In yesterday’s blog I wrote about our trip to a couple of antique malls and said that a lot of the things people call antiques today were everyday household items when Terry and I were growing up. Then I added that I am so old that I remember having to get up and actually change the channel on the TV because we didn’t have a remote control. I added that we also had to actually use a dial to call somebody on the telephone. It was a different world back then.
Thinking about how much the world has changed since I was a kid is really amazing. If you would have told my parents back then that someday we would all carry a telephone our hip pocket, and with it we could look up any kind of information we wanted, use it to get directions from satellites up in outer space, play music on it, watch television on it, take photographs, and even make phone calls, they would have suggested you had been out in the sun too long and needed to sit down someplace in the shade and cool off. I’m sure they wouldn’t recognize the world we live in today.
But not everything has changed. I was a klutz as a kid, and I’m still a klutz today. I was always doing something to end up with scraped knees and bloody noses and bruises here and there. My dad used to always say that when I grew up I should get a job in a mattress factory. But then he’d add that with my luck, I’d probably knock over a big stack of them and suffocate the first day on the job.
Today we make our kids wear helmets and kneepads to ride their bicycles, we arrange play dates because we don’t think they can find their friends and hang out together without us making it happen, and any modern parent would freak out if they saw their kid drinking out of the same glass as his buddy from down the street. When I was growing up my parents were too busy just trying to make ends meet and survive day-to-day to worry about what the heck I was up to.
Today’s parents would never believe that I got my first rifle, a .22 Stephens single shot, when I was 10 years old. When I was 12 a friend of my dad’s named Skeeter Skelton, a Border Patrolman who went on to become a well-known writer for various gun publications, gave me my first handgun. It was a beat up old single action Colt .44 Special. Somebody had filed down the front sight, there was almost no bluing left, on it, the barrel was severely pitted, the cylinder was loose, and the grips were badly chipped and held on with black tape. But I didn’t notice any of that. I thought I was a real desperado. Back in those days it was a junk gun, but what I’d give to have it back again.
Of course, I never would have been trusted with something like that except for the fact that I had grown up around guns and was taught firearms safety from a very early age. Guns were not toys, they were tools. I remember somebody saying something to my father about me having a gun, given my history for mishaps. Dad’s reply was so typical of the man. He shook his head with a chuckle and said, “I’m not worried. He’s clumsy, not stupid.”
When he gave me that little single shot .22, Dad told me not to shoot anything I didn’t plan to eat. And disregarding those words, I promptly went out and shot a roadrunner. My poor mother tried, bless her heart. I know she did. But there’s just no way you can cook a roadrunner and make it taste anything less than awful! I know this for a fact, and I never shot another critter I didn’t plan to eat after that experience.
Many of you are spending your winter in Florida or Arizona, and if you’re looking for things to do besides hang around the RV park, be sure to check out my books Overlooked Arizona and Overlooked Florida. They are full of stories about interesting places to visit, many of them off the beaten path, that most tourists never know about. You can find them in either print or as e-books on Amazon.
A lot of you do your online shopping by clicking this Amazon link or the Amazon Search box at the top right sidebar of this blog. We appreciate that, because when you purchase an item on Amazon any time of the year from one of our links, we earn a small commission, which helps us offset the cost of publishing the blog.
It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Dog’s Run, my mystery set in a small Midwestern town in 1951. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. – Eleanor Roosevelt