Tip Toe down memory lane with me as I recall the days of old when times were easy and life was simple.
My mother thought that waffles were a great Sunday supper. For some reason I thought they were for breakfast and it always seemed sort of out of place to eat waffles for supper. Perhaps even then I would have a flush of sugar rush followed by a real down period so they were not for me. Even today I try to eat some Bacon or ham when I eat pancakes or waffles. To tell the truth, I can’t remember when I had my last waffle. I am pretty sure even if I did have one, it wasn’t the toaster kind. Given free reign, I will eat ham and two over medium with hash browns and dry whole wheat toast.
As kids, we generally got a couple of pairs of shoes a year. Seems like at the start of school and sometime around Easter, would find us in the Shoe Store. I remember that one time we went to a store that had Buster Brown Shoes. You would put them on and go look at your feet in a machine that showed how your feet fit in those shoes. I’m pretty sure it was a fluoroscope and there is no telling how much radiation we were exposed to just to see how our feet fit in those shoes. I recall doing it a couple of times with different shoes and today I don’t have cancer of the feet.
I know that from the neighborhood we grew up in, we were at best, upper lower class or the cream of the crap. We never went hungry or without clothes but it was easy to notice the difference between the kids in Forest Hills and the Travel Air City kids. In fact the nick name of my neighborhood was changed to “Dogpatch” after the Al Capp cartoon city. We did have a real collection of Oakies and Arkies that came to Wichita during and right after WWII. There were no blacks in our neighborhood. They wouldn’t live in such a trashy place.
I can remember most of the cars we owned while I was a kid. It all started with the Kaiser dad bought right after WWII. I can remember that we wore that car out right down to the seat springs. We had to finally put blankets or the springs would hurt our little legs. Dad bought a Volvo and it was one of the first cars I drove (Legally). I did steal the Chrysler keys and drove it down the driveway. Dad had to know from the rubber on the driveway that I had laid rubber with that hemi powered beast. Dad bought a 56 Chevy, a Nova and later a series of new Volvo’s. One of my favorite stories was that Nova. Dad bought it from our neighbor when he stopped driving. Pete told Dad that he really likes those back-up lights, especially at night.
Back in the days when no all cars came from the factory with air conditioning, my Dad would buy and install an “under the dash” model. If you sat right in the front seat it would blow cool air on you. For some reason they didn’t hold the Freon well and Dad was always adding a can of Freon to make them cool well. That was of course back then no one gave a good crap about the effects of Freon on the Ozone layer. Most of my friends had a set of hoses so you could add Freon when needed. As I recall, it was cheap and you could buy it by the can t almost any store.
Do you remember seeing your first aluminum bat? I think it was a softball bat that we bought Dave when he was little. It really cracks me up to hear the crack of a ball hit by a bat being replaced by the “pink” of an aluminum bat.
I still consider myself the king of the BBQ grill. I can remember going to grandpa’s house and having chicken cooked on a grill that was a 30 gallon barrel cut in half and reinforced with pipe. I’m sure that one of the Oil Field workers would make them and one year one made it our way to Wichita from Western Kansas. Ours really didn’t last all that long. Seems like that grill rusted apart in short order. Today I have a couple of Weber grills and lots of hickory wood. I wouldn’t even think of using one of those dirty grills in the park.
There were two games back in the day that we wouldn’t get caught dead playing. Tennis was one and soccer was the other. I know that today a lot of kids play them both. Back then we played baseball, kick the can, hide and go seek and that was pretty much it. My sisters had a couple of those big clunky tennis rackets with the wood press to keep it straight. Seems like those darned cat gut strings just didn’t hold up to hitting rocks.
Oh well on to part 3 later.