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July 2015
As I Recall...

Life After the Wars

Waste, no matter how small was not tolerated. Grandma was still boiling her coffee grounds twice in the ‘50s and scolding her grandchildren for not drinking all of their milk. “Waste causes want,” she would tell us.



Since moving to a community densely occupied with transplants from areas where I once lived, the urge to call heaven comes when I meet new people and we play “ethnic geography.” Sometimes my new acquaintance and I realize that there was a good chance our long-gone parents were once friends, neighbors or co-workers.

June 2015
The Raven Lunatic

History Through Kodachrome

Though it was a small, ubiquitous Indiana ranch house — we thought it was the Taj Mahal with not one, but two bathrooms! Our first Christmas in the house my grandparents bought us an RCA console color television, and we thought we were rich.


Do You Remember RFD?

The RFD mail man was a privileged character.  He knew the families on his route, often doing chores for them when they were sick. Or everybody on his route knew they could get a ride back to town for a quarter.


Old Time TV News Was Good News

Back in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, it was easy to tell when the evening news came on TV because I’d hear solemn music mixed with noisy Teletype machine clatter or urgent Morse code beeping.


In Search of a Real American Road Trip

And I thought about something for miles and miles — about how for the longest time I’ve been craving authenticity in my life, from people and places and food and experiences. It’s hard to find what is truly real and it makes me yearn for another era, another America.

Senior Moments

Dad's Magical Bracelet

He used to make bracelets for his fellow crewmates out of scrap deck plates from the various ships he worked on. When the war was over, he continued to make bracelets for family and friends. He made two bracelets for me, one when I was a young boy and one when I was older. The latter I have worn every day for almost 50 years.

May 2015

Nylon Was for Parachutes

She'd once told me that people in Europe might have done anything, during the war, for a box of chocolate and sheer nylon hose; I simply felt very dressed up in just anything that wasn't a cotton anklet.

April 2015
The Raven Lunatic

The Mad Dash for Eggs

My sad, sad tale is of the child who is ever beaten at this ritual. Let’s see if I can make this story even more pathetic. Imagine I’m dressed in blue plaid pants that are too short, and my mother has insisted on this cold late March day that I wear a hat that makes me look like Elmer Fudd.

March 2015

Looking Back

This, our third move since marriage, found me becoming an expert in wall washing. I hadn't yet read feminist books so I wasn't aware wall washing and my own college degree were incompatible.

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