Thursday, July 29, 2010
There wasn't much to do in Louisiana and I didn't have a lawn mower so I couldn't go around cutting grass. Back in those days there weren't any aluminum cans. Everything came in bottles, and they were recycled. When you bought a bottle of pop you were charged any where from 2 to 5 cents deposit. Most people were too busy I guess to take them back to the store and like the aluminum cans of today people would just throw them out the car window. That's where I come in. I found another use from my wagon of many colors. I would tie it to the back of my bike. Then I would hit the road picking up bottles as I went, by the time I got to the store I had enough for a couple of dollars.
Then my folks got the idea to move out into the country, twenty miles from town. We lived on a farm with cows, horses, chickens, rabbits, and homing pigeons. The rabbits and pigeons were mine. My buddy who lived in town gave me a few of his birds when we moved. I had two beautiful pure white fantail pigeons. By the time we left, we never stayed any where more than a couple of years, there were over 180 birds in my flock. I started out with two rabbits and before I knew it I had twenty of them. I didn't know how fast they would multiply. My dad worked at the mess hall on base. He was a cook for the Army and he would bring home these big boxes that the eggs came in. I would fill those up with cow dung and sell them on the side of the road going into town along with the rabbits. I would charge $5 per box or rabbit.
In the summer my teacher, Mr. Jetters had a tractor and a hay baler. He would go around to the local farms and cut their hay and bale it. The cutter would cut the hay and pile it in the center of the tractor in a neat row. Then after it dried he would come around with the baler attached and scoop it up and bale it into a three', 12” by 12” bale. The tractor didn't do so hot on corners, that's where I come again. He would pay me to go around to all the corners and rake them into a pile for the baler. When that was all done we would throw these bales weighing about 60 pounds onto a flat-bed trailer and haul them up to the barn and stack them inside. One cutting would fill this huge barn they had.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Then the unthinkable happened, my mother kept saying that she was through with my father and she would never go back to him. Well, she lied. He showed up on our door step with bags in hand and drunk. My mom took him in, got me and the kids dressed and told me to take them out and not come back for a few hours. This was in the winter. When I did come back everything was fine, we were going to move to Louisiana with my dad. No body asked me what I wanted, just that's it.
I used to do anything to be with my dad. One time my mother made him come out and play catch with me. I had been asking him for a while to play with me, he kept saying sometime but not now. Well, when my mom made him play with me he would throw the ball as hard as he could. Every time it would hit my hand it would burn throw the glove. And when I threw it back to him he would yell that I was throwing like a girl. I mean, who would want to do that again. One time we sat up all night watching a Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. He had his gallon of whiskey and cigars, and I had Royal Crown pop and tater chips. We made some Jiffy Pop and we made fun of the guests they had on.
After we got there my parents bought a car. My mom had the learn how and get her driver's license when we were going to the base to get the food at the commissary on the Navy base. So they bought this used car. This is the first beating I remember my father giving me. I has wrote a letter to my grandmother telling her how we were doing and that they bought the car. They weren't suppose to know that we got a car because my parents owed money to them. So my father beat the hell out of me, he made me strip down to nothing in front of him. The whole time I was begging him not to beat me. I found out threw time that the longer it took me to strip down the longer he would beat me. Every time until I was sixteen he made me strip down in front of him. When I turned sixteen I said enough was enough. I had done something, or had done something, it didn't matter, I said come on. Went into my bedroom, I didn't say a thing, I stripped down, laid across my bed. When he started hitting me with the razor strap I bit my lip, but I did not cry out, with every hit it would be harder and harder. Finally he threw the belt down, told me to get dressed and come out to the dinning room. When I got out there, he looked at me and said, “I guess you think your a man now?” I knew not to say anything. Then he punched me in the stomach with his fist and said, “That's what a man gets.”
Wait, I know what your thinking, this is suppose to be a story about my career? Well, it is, but I got to put back ground in there so you know where I'm coming from.
Next I'll tell you how collecting soda bottles put spending money in my pocket...
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Well, next I'll tell you what happens when you take a city boy and move him to the country. Later.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
West and south of the store was where the richer people lived, good for tips. All of the east side were fair to good tips, all the north west was poorer people that lived in apartments, not too good for tips.
So my routine was to run home from school, do my homework and eat a snack. Then off to the Acme I went, I was usually there by five. I would work till they closed at 9, I made enough money to be able to bring home milk, bread, margarine, eggs, bacon, or what ever else my mom said she needed that day, oh, and cigarettes. Saturday was the best, I'd be there from 8:30 am to 10 pm. I would get two large pizzas on the way home and we'd sit and watch horror movies.
My mom would shop and cook for the whole Thompson family. We would go to the commissary at the Navel Yard in Pa. That's where all the old ships are kept in mothballs. She would keep me out of school that day and I would either stay at home with my brother and sister, or I could go along and take care of the kids while she was shopping. It depended on her mood that particular day. But she would bye enough food to feed five adults, two teenagers, and two children for a whole month. My grandmother and grandfather were paying the grocery bill, and she would have to go and clean their house twice a month. And I did what I could to help out. After I came home from work I would eat something saved from dinner, kept warm in the oven. Then I would do the dishes from the whole day. Sometimes I had to bath my brother and sister and get them into bed... Tomorrow promises a confession.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
My neighborhood was row after row after row of Row-houses, in modern day we call them Townhouses. Long Lane was where all the shops were. Oh man, I remember the butter cakes that we would get at the bakery, and everything was baked on the premises, when you walked in the door your taste buds would jump up and say, “feed me, feed me. Next door to that was the Jewish delicatessen, and over in one corner was a big wooden barrel filled with the biggest, fattest dill pickles, and yes, it was a nickel. There was a tailor, shoe maker and the candlestick maker, a movie theater that had a balcony and Saturday morning was a quarter to get in. There was always a cartoon, a short serial like the Lone Ranger, or Buck Rodgers, and then we'd see the movie. It was usually some Disney movie or Elvis Presley, beating up guys and singing to the gals. How many of you have a smile on your face right now?Come on, you KNOW what I'm talking about and if you don't, you don't know what your missing.
The other end of Long Lane was where the Acme grocery store, and that was where I had my little home delivery service. We were called baggers. We didn't work for the store, that would have been child labor. We provided our own wagons to put the bags in. We boys would line up out in front of the store with our wagons. When a register was open the next boy in line would go in and pack the shopper's bags until they got an order to take out, then the next guy moves in. The shopper could choose someone they like if they wanted to. They would tell that person before they went into shop. One of my Uncles took my wagon and reconditioned it for me, and then he painted it the most awful colors for a boy, pastel pink, green, and yellow. Talk about barfing. But he didn't tell me that those were his Shrines' colors. I didn't have time to listen to other fellows make fun of me, I was making too much money... cont.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Little did I know that that was the start to an ever changing career path. One that makes me pretty much a jack of all trades, a master at none.
My next job description is going to be very interesting, I think you'll be very surprised.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Sometimes when I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. I think, "It is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
Lyndon B. Johnson
"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
H. L.. Mencken
"When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So, let's all get drunk and go to heaven!"
George Bernard Shaw
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."
BEER: HELPING UGLY PEOPLE HAVE SEX SINCE 3000 B.C.!
W. C. Fields
Remember "I" before "E," except in Budweiser.
Professor Irwin Corey
To some it's a six-pack, to me it's a Support Group -Salvation in a can!
One night at Cheers, Cliff Calvin explained the" Buffalo Theory" to his buddy Norm:
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I made some bread pudding in the slow cooker, it turned out pretty good. Would have been better if I had measured the bread cubes. I just filled the pot thinking that that was about 4 cups of cubed bread, it came out kind of dry, but still tastes good, put a little milk with it and I'm good to go. Here is the recipe I used:
This cinnamon and nutmeg spiced bread pudding is made
in the slow cooker, with bread cubes, eggs, milk, and
optional raisins. Ingredients: * 4 cups French bread cubes, toasted * 2 1/2 cups milk, scalded, cooled slightly * 2 eggs, beaten * 3/4 cup sugar * 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon * dash nutmeg * dash salt * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract * 2 tablespoons melted butter * 1/2 cup raisins, optional * dessert sauce or whipped cream for garnish Preparation: Lightly butter the slow cooker then add bread cubes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the scalded milk,
eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, vanilla, and
melted butter. Pour milk mixture over the bread cubes
then add raisins, if desired. Gently, using a largespoon or spatula, press bread cubes down into mixture
so all bread pieces will soak up milk mixture. Do not
stir. Cover and cook on LOW setting for 5 to 6 hours,
until bread pudding is set.
Serve with a dessert sauce or whipped cream.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Saturday night I watched "A Prairie Home Companion" the movie. It took me back to when I was driving big rigs across this great nation of ours. I loved driving through the night, we were a different breed of driver. The night drivers depended on each other, we hardly ever argued with each other on the CB radio, and swearing was against the rules at night. I remember one night coming out of Wisconsin, it must have been around midnight, I picked up the mic, mind you I hadn't heard anything for a while, I keyed up the mic and started sounding like a cow. A few seconds later someone else made the sound of a sheep, before I knew it we had a regular barn yard going on. Many of Saturday nights I would have "A Prairie Home Companion" from the PBS Channel, on the radio. A lot of times it was just to hear a human voice, it would mostly get me through the night. Truck drivers used to be know as the Knights of the Road, we would stop and help anyone broke down on the highway. But then people started robbing the drivers who stopped to help them. Sometimes it would be a very attractive female, and the tire would be flat. While the driver was down on one knee, a man would come running out of the woods with a bat and slug the driver. Then the couple would jump up into the cab of the truck and take off with it, leaving the driver with the stolen car. So it got to where we could take the chance any more.