Author Archives: Bob

Hot Chicks, Cool guys

I received a link in my email the other day, via my account at Classmates, to some fotos of my high school class reunion that had been posted by a classmate whom I remember as a very cool guy. I … Continue reading

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Silver Plane

Maybe it was Jo Stafford’s voice on those summer nights, singing from the open doors of VFW Post 6776, “Fly the ocean in a silver plane, see the ocean when it’s wet with rain,” wafting through our bedroom window next … Continue reading

Posted in Americana | 2 Comments

Crazy Man, Crazy

That was the summer of our odyssey, the summer of 1953, the summer that Crazy Man, Crazy by “Bill Haley with Haley’s Comets” was a huge jukebox hit at the bar on the grounds of the cottage rental place on … Continue reading

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Time Slow, Life Rich

There was no tv then, so all we could do in the living room was live. Continue reading

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Dartboard

Hey Mick, got a question for ya– Remember Chark and Lilian Van Buren, who lived across the street from us and VFW Post 6776, had a then supercool salmon and gray Chevy (1950? another question) and their son X one … Continue reading

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Superheroes

We know how it is, we elder superheroes. We know because we remember. That’s what it’s all about, in the end: remembering. We remember how it was– sure, we used to move at the speed of light, but we didn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Captain Marvel, kids, superheroes, Superman, Tarzan | 9 Comments

Hormones on the Range

Today, I shall briefly address that deep and timeless puzzle of life that involves growing up as a young boy (in my case during the 1940s-50s), going to a favorite movie theater on a Saturday afternoon at any time of … Continue reading

Posted in Black Crows, boyhood, Gene Autry, Good and Plenty, heroes, Hopalong Cassidy, Jujubes, Mary Janes, Mason Dots, Milk Duds, Necco Wafers, Raisinets, Roy Rogers, Tom Mix, Wild West | 4 Comments

Fearful Sweetness

Jesus, it suddenly hit me, they were all down there in that basement, just after the war and the survivors were home, the spring of ’46. Even now I can hear the yakkety-yak, the striking darts, the cackle and gab, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Men at Arms

Dad kept the Luger up in the attic in a box he never opened, as far as I know, but other than that he would never have a gun in the house. He never hunted, never bought a gun, never … Continue reading

Posted in 99th Infantry Division, Battle of the Bulge, US Army, WWII | 7 Comments

The Salamander Legacy

I remember the summer back in 1951 or so when we discovered there were big numbers of salamanders and snakes in the woods behind PS 23 up on Whitehall Road, the same woods whence I shot out that inviting streetlight … Continue reading

Posted in salamanders slingshots delaware vincentian saintjames hookey biomass halos monocot dicot boyhood snakes PS23 worldrecord | 6 Comments

My Part in the Greatest Election Upset in American History

When Dad and his buds took me to my first Albany Senators baseball game not long after he came back from the war I must have been about 5, and still couldn’t crack open a peanut by myself, so I … Continue reading

Posted in albany, Baseball, Democrats, Dewey, new york, peanuts, politics, Republican, Senators, States Rights, Thurmond, Truman, WWII | 5 Comments

The Big Wind Chill

Mick’s icy post brings back other memories, like the one I’m about to relate. This was back before the wimpy things they call winters today, this was in the time of diamond winters, when the Albany streets were always icyslick … Continue reading

Posted in albany, elm street, fatherhood, ice, new york, route 9J, siberia, staat's express, wind chill, winter | 3 Comments

The Right Stuff

Most people still believe that no toboggan has ever broken the sound barrier. Mick, Marty and I are the only ones who know the true facts of the matter, because together we pushed the toboggan envelope further than it has … Continue reading

Posted in college, corona, dating, enlightenment, hypersonic behavior, mach, madness, new hampshire, reentry, scotch, skiing, toboggans, vacation | 8 Comments

The Convergence of the Twain

None of our gang have ever shared this historic moment with anyone before because… well… it reflects negatively on the collective cool of the young gods we were then. But now that we’re senior gods and our coolness has tenure, … Continue reading

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The Island

It was just about the time when That’s Alright, Mama and Rock Around the Clock were hitting the airwaves with sonic dynamite; Mick and I were nouveau-poor city boys and brand-new teens, a tough combination. The cool older guys with … Continue reading

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The Ratty Sneakers of Happiness

Even out here in countryside Japan there comes a pre-summer time in a boy’s father’s life that the boy’s mother knows little of, when said father looks at his prepubescent son’s awesomely ratty sneakers and with a tear in his … Continue reading

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The Mansion of Beer

Mick, the destruction of Elm Street – and all that heart of Albany now erased – calls for some fine-tuned recollection on our part; we’ve got to do some glimpses of Elm street history here as we remember it, so … Continue reading

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Don’t You Dare Laugh

Remember how when you were a kid the funniest place on earth was church? Where you could not laugh under pain of mortal sin so you just had to laugh, even though nothing was funny except that you couldn’t stop … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Wild Strawberries

There are moments in every life that stand as treasures in the heart, riches that are savored throughout the life to its end. When I was 8 or 9 years old, we set out one late 1940s summer afternoon on … Continue reading

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The Softball of Death

How could I not I remember when, as a boy of 10 or so on one of those summer VFW clambakes Dad used to take the family to, I was playing softball with the men – I suppose they were … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The Empress of Penny Candy

We thought nothing special of her at the time, as is the way of little kids, who’ve not yet seen how few and far apart are the genuinely heartfelt kindnesses of the world. We boys would be playing in the … Continue reading

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The Same Spring

Springtime now and that magic scent is in the air, that rising perfume of softening earth and newcoming life that still tells me, even 60 years later – even in Japan – that it’s time for me and my buddies … Continue reading

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The End of the Dark Ages

Back in 1956, when it had been dark for over a thousand years, a primal scream to match the one that had been building in the breasts of white America since way before the Middle Ages pulsed out over local … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Jelly Donut of Nothingness

Anyone over 30 knows that the human mind and soul carry around all the cravings you often don’t even realize you still have (as any former smoker can tell you); those silent and unnourished (usually) embers remain with you always. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Life as Part of a Bike

Yes, Mick, it must have been the artist in you that inspired you at that young age to be the first of us to hotrod your bike, take the fenders off, chop and channel and the like, a look that … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Inventing the Frisbee®

Ah, there is so much, so much… But in a comment, Mick, you mentioned the dump, that seminal source that later led to so many dumps, so here I go with the first rummage… The major dump in our area … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Holier Than Thou

So much of the aforegoing makes us look so rough-and-tumble, Mick, but as you remember, we could be holy as hell when necessary. However, as to our transcendant piety in the early days (sort of the acquired obverse of our … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Through the Looking-Glass

Maybe the combined talents of Ansel Adams and Vincent vanGogh could have captured enough of the imagic of that full-moonlit night on the sleek frozen river to merit mounting on a wall in a room somewhere with flash lighting, but … Continue reading

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The Torch of Cool

During the Inquisition that was my high school days, now way back there in mythohistory along with Achilles, the Battle of Thermopylae and all that other stuff I’ve forgotten about ever since, I remember being puzzled as to why the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Bridge Adventure Redux, with Ducks

Not the bird kind, the shoe kind, where you use the upper case: Cordovan Ducks. (Even now, that phrase has a godly ring to it.) History. Cordovan Ducks, the NY teen male footwear of the gods that I sported in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

On the Road

Beautiful, Mick. Talk about evocation. That bridge lives in my mind as an icon of all that can be conquered if you survive (one of our Albany friends, who later worked on maintaining the bridge, fell to his death from … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My Winchester ’73 – Part II

[Spoilers herein: Read Part I first] There are moments in a boy’s life – generally summer or autumn evening moments –when he is walking home alone, worn to his essence at the end of a day’s all-out play, his heart … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

The Night I Saw Santa

Ah yes, the night I saw Santa. Each Christmas eve, I remember, Mom and Dad would set out coffee and donuts for Santa to scarf down complacently after unloading everything except my Red Ryder BB gun. I remember I gave … Continue reading

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Being Software

As navigator and colleague in those autumnal sorties, I should add to the aforegoing a key technological discovery on our part that enabled the clean getaways whence we could safely turn and watch our flamework: we somehow discovered that we … Continue reading

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My Winchester ’73

For a kid with no Red Ryder BB gun, defenseless in the world, there was only one recourse. I don’t remember specifically who my hero was , that nameless elder gentleman somewhere one summer (I salute him now, where he … Continue reading

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Injun-uity

The Adventure of the Flying Deer took place, as I recall, in the woods behind Graceland Cemetery, not far from Bowley’s [sp?] Hill, (another child-famous place, then soon to be under the Thruway), site of the Snow Crust Incident and … Continue reading

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Ghost in the Glass

Under that bridge across the Normanskill was where I first heard the word “television,” at the same time as I saw my very first television, which looked something like the one at left, a 1949 model. Must have been around … Continue reading

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Not the Yellow Brick Road, the Other One

I think it might have been Speed Harris. His mother would have killed me if she’d known, but I think he survived pretty much unscathed since he somehow landed on me and eventually became a lawyer, so she never found … Continue reading

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The Gun that Won the Imagination

Mick you did it again, you did it again, you always do that: you stick one magic phrase somewhere innocuously in the middle of your post somewhere for me to find and it evokes a rush back to wells of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Newspaper of the Living Dead

You forgot to mention one other place on that route, Mick: At last we’ve got some weather I can call cold, I who grew up in upstate New York just south of the north pole where winter weather meant daggery … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Comic Frames

Oh the magic of comics – hard-bought with pennies gathered from little tasks and errands – how those bright pages could fill a kidmind… and then the delight on later rainy days of phoning other comic-laden kids to find somebody … Continue reading

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Sometimes Never

I was 7, you were right around 6. So much, so much to bounce off of in these photos I haven’t seen in sometimes 50 years, sometimes never. I remember your constant double black eyes, how all the grownups used … Continue reading

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From the Heights of Age

Sitting in the loft of my house on a mountainside in central Japan, far from my childhood in much more than years, I turned on the computer and there in your previous post was Dad just as I remember him, … Continue reading

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Two Very Live Boys

Indeed I do remember that poem and the impact on my boybrain of its paradoxes, but I only remember hearing the first four lines – from a slightly older and more worldly kid – and being enthralled by it where … Continue reading

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Confessions of a Monkey Tosser

Although I don’t remember any specifics at all in re the tossed monkey caper, and although this should not be construed as an actual confession, I somehow believe it must have been me who tossed the monkey: not only because … Continue reading

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Now I Lay Me down to Sleep

To say nothing of saying each night before you go alone into the big darkness ruled by the monster in the closet: “If I should die before I wake…” Teaching your otherwise healthy young self that you might die every … Continue reading

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SURVIVORS OF THE LEOPARD MAN

Mick emailed me not long ago asking if I remembered a movie we’d seen as kids, and what was the name of it, where the young girl was killed by a black panther at her mother’s door and Oh yes, … Continue reading

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WE CAN SEE THE FUTURE COMING…

Man, I remember that photo shoot in the living room over Einstein’s drug store on the corner of Second and Delaware – must’ve been late 1947, when Sue in the center on Mom’s lap was just a newborn, I on … Continue reading

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