Gaming The System

One of the biggest mistakes you could make when I was growing up was to tell your parents that you were bored.

The minute you uttered those words, you knew that the next several hours would be filled with manual labor.

Growing up in a world with just three TV channels, my sister, cousins, friends and I had to find ways to amuse ourselves. Oftentimes, we relied on the contents of a stack of boxes that sat inside a bookcase.

Those boxes contained ...

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The Ways of Fold

 

You would think that there’s only one way to fold towels.

But, you’d be wrong.

My momma showed me how to fold them, as well as shirts, socks, underpants, and other personal sundries, when I was a kid.

I assumed that this skill set would carry me all the way though until people were standing over me singing hymns.

But, I was wrong. More than once.

I’ve been married twice.

Within minutes of returning from my first honeymoon, I loaded the washer and ran a load. ...

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Are You Kitten Me?

You forget how much energy a kitten has until you get another one.

Our last cat was 19 when she crossed the rainbow bridge, so it had been awhile since we’d experienced the exuberance that a kitten possesses.

We live in the country, so for the first several months after we got our new cat (who we named Cola because her color is the same as the beverage), she stayed in the house. Coyotes and other vermin are plentiful in our neck ...

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Beam Me Up

I was watching an episode of Star Trek. Captain Kirk went to a wall, pushed a button, and asked the computer to look up all of the information in the data banks on the earth colony of Tarsus IV.

In a matter of moments, the female voice responded with several pieces of information.

I looked down at my iPhone and realized that Captain Kirk had nothing on me. I could do the same thing on my phone without getting up and going to ...

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The Wheel Deal

After an accident sent my first car, a 1966 Mustang, to the junkyard, my dad found me a replacement. It was and still is the coolest car I’ve ever owned. It was a 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.

The car was a metal-flake gold color inside and out, and had bucket seats with a center console with an automatic shifter.

The one thing the car lacked was a decent set of mag wheels.

The factory wheels were OK, but I was surrounded by buddies ...

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A Tail To Tell

Two weeks after my father left this earth on our Nation’s Birthday, a bird wandered into our front yard.

It wasn’t just any bird. It was a peacock.

He was young, so I wasn’t sure if it was a male or a female.

Our neighbors had raised peacocks before, so I just assumed that they had acquired more, and one of them had gotten out.

It wasn’t the neighbor’s, and a nearby vet said it wasn’t his, so I put pictures on Facebook.

It looked ...

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Just Over The Wire

I still have a hard time calling the Internet, “The Internet.” Frequently, I will call it, “The Wire.”

I still catch myself saying, “I saw a story about that on the wire.”

The “Wire” refers to a literal wire. The wire was a phone line.

For many of my 25 years in broadcasting, the wire was how stories reached the radio station and, in turn, the masses.

For a subscription fee, the Associated Press (AP), United Press International, and other news services transmitted breaking ...

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Where Were You In ’62?

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride

But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died”

– Don McLean, American Pie

There’s a scene in the movie American Graffiti where Richard Dreyfuss goes into a radio station to ask Wolfman Jack to do a dedication for him. The man behind the mic convinces him that he’s not The Wolfman, but he asks Dreyfuss to tell him his story.

Dreyfuss’ character said he desperately needs to ...

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A Hic Town

Television was never better than when a “Dean Martin Celebrity Roast” came on my parent’s RCA console TV.

If you’ve ever been to Hollywood, it is remarkable how small it is. The “Hollywood” sign sits on a nearby mountain and can be seen from almost anywhere. Take a short excursion and you can be in Bel Air, Beverly Hills, or many other well-known Zip Codes – all of which you and I can barely afford to drive through.

From 1974 to 1984, ...

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Aladdin And The Lamps

As long as I can remember, my family has always had Aladdin Lamps. 

My dad called them “coal oil lamps.” All of ours were made by a company called Aladdin, although, there were other manufacturers.

Before generators and battery-operated lighting systems, we used them to light our home during power outages.

If the electricity went out, dad would get an Aladdin Lamp down from the mantle, and check to make sure there was enough coal oil in it.

Although, by the time I ...

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