Thursday, April 28, 2011

Texas Tidbits: 40 Years Ago in Texas

I got an email from my Mom a few days ago that was like a walk down memory lane to a world a million miles away. Thing is, it was right here on our Big Blue Marble not so long ago. Maybe thirty-five years. There's a passel of memories on this email, so I'll highlight a few today and save the others for a rainy day, or possibly even a mini-series of posts. We'll see. Be sure to take detailed notes, we'll have a pop quiz on this material later. :)

Remember when...
  • Gasoline was real cheap? When I first started legally driving, my Dad had a brand new 1971 Monte Carlo. AM/FM 8-Track, 4 speakers, and cruise control! It was a great car. The chicks loved it. Anyway, this Monte Carlo had a 16 gallon gas tank on it and I remember stopping at Wakefield's on Shady Grove and Rodgers to fill it up. The damage? FOUR DOLLARS! I don't stutter and your ears don't flap, I said FOUR DOLLARS to fill up that sled. Four bucks today won't even get you a double bean sprout tofu wheat germ oil frappaccino (however the hell you spell it) at that national sissy coffee place. But, four dollars will get you a 6 pack of cheap ass beer. So, I guess there is some justice in the world.
  • It was a treat to go out to eat with your family? We were pretty lucky here. My Dad had a good job, so we actually went out to eat fairly often. It wasn't always Sunday after Mass going out to eat either, even though we did that regularly, mostly at Luby's or some Cafeteria like that. I was always extra hungry for Luby's. Our usual out-to-eat experience was some place like Joe's Coffee Shop on 6th Street in Irving. Joe's was a cafe that had home cooked food every day. Chicken Fried Steak was always my favorite. The roast beef was damn good, too. The best thing about Joe's? Breakfast. Enough said. For those who don't know about Joe's, think about the diner on the early Andy Griffith Show. That's Joe's.
  • Kids played baseball and no grown ups were needed to enforce the rules? My buddy James Ott will remember this one. James and I lived in the same apartment complex for a while when I was in Junior High School. We had a big vacant lot next door that served as a baseball diamond and football field, depending on the season. Heck, I remember times when we had two, two man teams and would play baseball for hours. No adults required. One other time, I lived on a dead end street with a big field at the end of it. All the kids, ages 9-12 or so, got together mowed the empty field into our version of Yankee Stadium, formed a league with all the other neighborhood kids, played a pre-arranged schedule and never, not one single, solitary time did we ever need an adult to do anything for us. We policed our own.
There's plenty more I could blab on about, but like I mentioned, I'll do this type thing again soon - perhaps tomorrow. Who knows? Now, if you'll excuse me, school got out early today due to the heat here in Maine, and I gotta go pitch for both teams of neighborhood kids. No adults required. Just us kids.

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