The Club 747

NORBERT RUG

In the 60’s and 70’s, the drinking age was 18 in New York, which meant I was sneaking into bars when I was 16, and I was not the exception. Live music was everywhere. I learned a lot about life, love, music and myself in places like The Inferno, and other bars that are long gone. 

On a Saturday nights in Buffalo, New York there were several discotheques where young adults would go. The crowd headed to The Club 747 a disco in what looked like a Boeing 747 jetliner. This was situated right across Genesee Street from the Greater Buffalo International Airport.

WKBW Radio disc jockey “Super Shannon” was “in the cockpit” playing records and bringing plenty of energy to the microphone and atmosphere. The Club 747 was so trendy that it was written up in Billboard magazine in 1978.

It became the blue print for quite a few discotheques throughout the country.Up to 5,000 people a week were hustling their way through this airplane-themed club. In the first three years it since it opened, it had already been renovated to the tune of $100,000. This was done by the exact same lighting crew that did the lighting in “Saturday Night Fever.”

In the late ’70s, you would buy a “boarding pass” to gain entrance to the club. This cost $1 or $2 on Saturday nights. This sounded better than a cover charge. People were expected to be properly dressed. Dancers were expected to be dressed appropriately, no sneakers, sweatshirts or “non-dress jeans” (remember, this was the ’70s) were allowed. The men wore dress shirts and pants and the women wore dresses. 

Club 747 was a part of the Executive Inn complex. This also included a Playboy Club (yes Buffalo had a Playboy Club). It was renamed Kixx Nightclub throughout the 1990s and was torn down to make way for a Courtyard by Mariott hotel in the mid-2000s.One of Buffalo’s hotspots of the 1970s disco scene was Hertel Avenue’s, Mulligan’s.

There was a little of everything there. The place was like ones recommended by Stefon on “Weekend Update,” a city correspondent of sorts who gave quirky recommendations about clubs and destinations in New York City. It was even the scene of a mafia hit in 1974.

When a renovated Mulligan’s opened in 1975, it was billed as “a dancing and dining emporium modeled to suit the far ranging and capricious fancies of all who enter its doors.”A trip to Mulligan’s might include a sighting of any number of national celebrities known by only their first names, like Cher or OJ, along with Rick James and his girlfriend Exorcist’s Linda Blair.

Today Uncle Sam’s is the name of a Buffalo surplus store, but back in the 70’s it was first a disco known for its reverse dance floor and later became one of the earliest punk clubs in Buffalo.

Uncle Sam’s was on Walden Avenue. They actually booked some big name groups. The Pretenders, The Ramones and the Plasmatics played there. Uncle Sam’s was featured in the July 19th  1980 edition of Billboard Magazine 

The Inferno was “the” premier place to go to hear music from 1965 until 1968. I spent many lost weekends there. My favorite drink there was a gin and tonic. Not because I liked it but because it glowed an eerie pale blue under the black lights they had. After about a half dozen, it didn’t matter what you were drinking anyway. Many was the morning I would wake up with my head pounding like bass drum at a rock concert. 

On Wednesday nights, long lines of people formed through Glen Park and even over the Glen Avenue bridge, many of them waited for hours to get into the Inferno. The Inferno was formerly known as the “Glen Casino”.The nightclub was noted for featuring the bands like Wilmer & the Dukes and Raven on a weekly basis. This would help launch their careers. Additionally, national recording acts like Ike & Tina Turner, Sly and the Family Stone, Wilson Pickett, Junior Walker & the All Stars, The Butterfield Blues Band, The Bob Seger System, The Esquires, Gary Puckett & the Union Gap, Wayne Cochran & the CC Riders, and Arthur Conley also played this famous nightclub.

Ironically The Inferno, was destroyed by fire. The Inferno is one of the largest fires in Amherst in terms of equipment used at the scene. An estimated 13 fire companies and 200 fire fighters were there with 25 trucks before it was extinguished.

Bullying

October is National anti-bullying month. As a red head I was bullied when I was a child. Even today I can still hear the chants “Red head, red head fire in the wood shed”. This is the only one that was yelled at me that can be printed in a family newspaper. One involved the anatomy of a male dog and another involved my parents and a rusty pipe.

No wonder I was a loner.

While I was growing up in Buffalo, there was a family across the street that had 4 or 5 bazillion kids, or so it seemed. I remember them jumping me, punching me and sitting on me so they could pound my hands into the dirt. It always concluded with the threat that if I told anyone the next time it would be worse.

I was constantly tripped, pushed and kicked by the bullies in school but I suffered in silence because I knew if I reported them, retaliation was going to be quick and harsh.

In elementary school, I did manage to retaliate against one bully and gain some respect though. When we were sitting at our desks, he would reach across the aisle with his leg when the teacher wasn’t looking and kick me. This would cause the classroom to laugh.

One day I had enough and waited until he extended his leg, ready to torment me again when I grabbed his foot and gave it a yank. He ended up siting on the floor. When the teacher turned around and asked him what had happened, he stood up and said he just fell out of his seat. The laughter was the loudest I had ever heard. It seems he was bullying many of my classmates and they appreciated someone getting even. He never did it again and him and his “bully buddies” left me alone. Elementary school went pretty good after that.

We moved to the north towns in time for junior high school where I developed a small circle of friends. By the time I got to high school the bullying reached its apex. My books would get knocked out of my arms and I would get body checked into the lockers. I started carrying my books in a duffle bag so my stuff would not get scattered all over the place.  The school administrators would always look the other way because the perpetrators were primarily members of the football team. They were untouchable and they didn’t want to have to discipline them with suspensions. I was the victim and that, like designated seating, seemed to be my place in the school pecking order.”

I rode the bus to school. Seeing as I lived so far from the school the bus was virtually empty when I got on it so I would sit in the back. One day, on the way to school, I was “pantsed” by a couple of the motor-heads to the delight of all the other riders. On my way off the bus, the driver told me I had to sit in the front seat from now on. I now realize he was trying to protect me but back then I felt like I was the one being punished. Nothing ever happened to them.

One of my major tormenters was the son of Russian parents (or so he said). Finally enough was enough. One day we happened to be in study hall together in the school auditorium where he was messing with me. The person in charge saw this and moved them to the front row, but I knew that after the study hall the bullying would continue. Time to devise a plan.

I got the restroom pass and headed to my locker. Once there, I grabbed an old notebook and filled it with a bunch of loose papers. When I came back, I walked in front of him and “tripped” throwing the notebook in the air. Of course the notebook and papers flew everywhere. The teacher looked at him and me and asked what happened. He replied he didn’t know and I said I didn’t know, I tripped over something. The teacher made him pick up all the papers and I had no more problems with him.

I had started to work at a local company and once again I was the brunt of abuse. One day I was in the bathroom and a person started lobbing balls of wet paper towels over the wall at me. Time to make a statement again. There was a spray can of germicidal spray so I grabbed it. I sprayed it under the partition and lit it with my lighter. A three foot flame came out towards toward him. No more problems. I had gained the respect I deserved.

Today’s lesson is this. You never want to be the type of person that gets yanked out of their chair, gets blamed for tripping someone or has fire coming towards them. Let’s make sure nobody has to remember that October is Anti-Bullying Month.

Norb is an independent journalist from Lockport.

Halloween in the 60’s

Looking out my window one morning recently, watching the falling leaves fluttering by and waving goodbye to summer, my thoughts turned to Halloween.

Surely most of us have warm memories of Halloween from our childhood. It was the one night when you could be whatever you wanted to be, and be given candy and treats just for asking. I used to ring doorbells and yell “Trick or treat! Smell my feet! Give me something good to eat!”

The phrase “trick or treat” used to be an implied threat: give me candy or I’ll play a trick on you. As young children, we didn’t mean it literally. But eventually, as adolescents, we outgrew trick-or-treating and used Halloween to pull off pranks and light forms of vandalism.

I used to go down Bailey Avenue in Buffalo the day after tricks-or-treats night and see all the store windows waxed and soaped up. I never used wax myself, but I did use soap. There were quite a few raw eggs thrown around, too. In residential areas, homes and trees would get TP’d. This would turn into a real mess when it rained.

Sixty years ago, children dressed like horror legends such as Frankenstein or the Mummy, policemen, soldiers, firemen and sports figures. I had three basic costumes back then.

One was hobo. I’d grab an old, well-worn shirt out of the “rag bag” and maybe shred it a bit more, pair this with a worn pair of dungarees (this is what we called jeans back then) and take scissors to them, maybe sew a patch or two on the pants, and rub burnt cork on my face to simulate whiskers.

My second go-to costume was cowboy. I’d dig into my toy box and pull out my best toy cap gun, holster and a cowboy hat.

Ghost was another. This was the best one because nobody could see your face. I’d get an old sheet from my mother, cut two eye holes in it and voila! Instant costume. None of those store-bought outfits with the plastic masks for me, thanks.

In the 1950s and 1960s, trick-or-treaters took whatever treat they were given. Every neighborhood had a house where a kindly old lady allowed us to pick our treat from a plate full of homemade candies, cakes or cookies. Back then, families would permit their children to go out trick-or-treating with their older brothers, sisters or even the neighbor’s children.

My loot bag was an old pillow case and if I didn’t fill it at least twice, it was a bad night. I donned my costume right after dinner and headed out to pillage the neighborhood in ever increasing circles. Once my bag was filled, I returned home to dump the contents on a newspaper in the dining room, then headed out for another round.

While I was out, my parents would sort my treasure, separating out the fruit and anything homemade or repackaged. I was only allowed to keep individually wrapped, mass-produced candies, and I wasn’t allowed to eat anything until my parents had examined my loot. For some reason, peanut butter cups fell into the “suspicious” category and they were always gone when I returned, never to be seen again.

I read that this was because of paranoia about contaminated treats and was the result of unsubstantiated urban legends involving razor blades in apples or poisoned treats. Wikipedia says that no child has ever been killed by eating Halloween candy from a stranger. Snopes collected an impressive array of rumors about adulterated Halloween treats and found them all to be untrue.

One year I had a Halloween party in my parents’ basement. I produced “touch boxes” where my guests would reach through a hole and feel things while I told a horror story. The few things I remember are a bowl of raw chicken livers, a natural sponge covered with Karo syrup (to simulate a brain covered in blood) and peeled grapes to imitate eyeballs. My guests and I also bobbed for apples and played a few other Halloween-themed games.

I hosted this party when I lived in Buffalo and had to discontinue it once we moved to the country. As people moved to the suburbs, they found that their new neighborhoods weren’t very favorable for trick-or-treating. Sometimes the lack of sidewalks forced children to walk on the street. Many suburban neighborhoods boasted large lots and this caused the kids to walk long distances going from house to house. In rural areas, where the trek between houses is even longer, parents would sometimes pack up their children and head to more urban neighborhoods, where the homeowners might quickly run out of candy. 

Nowadays, children aren’t very familiar with their neighborhoods. Combine that with the dangers of traffic and it is best that parents accompany trick-or-treaters. A fairly recent trend is “trunk or treat” gatherings, in which people hand out candy from their Halloween-decorated cars in parking lots.

Halloween sure has changed since I was a kid.

Surviving childhood in the 50’s and 60’s

 

images (1)

If you grew up during the 50s or 60s, then you are familiar with how laissez-faire things used to be. We didn’t have very many “low calorie” foods, ate what we wanted, and we were afforded much more leeway than we should have had. There’s a pretty good reason why kids today aren’t allowed to do half the things that we did, but maybe, that’s a good thing.

Parents then were much less worried about what they gave us to play with. I’m referring to toys with choking hazards, lead paints and sharp metal pieces. I remember playing mumblypeg. This is a game kids (mostly boys) used to play on the playground where they stand with their feet shoulder width apart while throwing a pocket knife between their own feet. The boy who gets closest to his own foot wins. Getting the knife in your foot was an automatic win. It’s a surprise that we made it out of childhood intact. Why more kids weren’t injured playing Jarts or using easy bake ovens I’ll never know

We were never forced to wear seatbelts by your parents. Hell, most vehicles didn’t have more than lap belts in the front seat. The absence of seatbelts indicated that you could sit anyplace you wanted. The most coveted seat was then the middle seat in the front. This is when front seats were bench seats.

When you sat there, you could control which radio station you listened to. I always flipped it to WKBW, 1520 “The music people.”  WKBW dominated the Top 40 radio market in the Western New York area during the 1960’s. You also got the security of mom’s arm flung across your chest if your father stopped quickly. My favorite spot, riding in the car although was the “way back” as I called it. This was the cargo area behind the back seat of my parent’s station wagon.

However the very best place to ride was in the back of a pickup truck. No seat belt, no roof overhead, just sun in your face and the wind in your hair. A friend’s father even had an old school bus seat in the back of his pickup where we could sit.

download

Back then, parents really didn’t grasp the need for safety. Kids raced around on their bikes or roller skates without head protection, knee or elbow pads. You learned how to fall so you didn’t land and split your head open, skin your knee or break any bones.

Probably one of the biggest of the “what the hell were we thinking” moments of the ’50s and ’60s was “skitching.”  is a combination of SKIing and hITCHING. In its basic form, skitching was as easy as finding a slippery, snow-covered road or parking lot, and a passing car bumper.

The skitcher grabs the bumper, flexes their knees, and skis on the bottom of thier shoes through the snow. The car does the work and the skitcher enjoys the ride. Skitching is believed to have originated in urban areas in northern New York, probably cities like Buffalo with a regular snowfall (http://skiernet.com).

download

In the playground in the summer I remember swinging with my buddies so vigorously that the legs of the swing set would come off the ground. We would jump off the moving swing and would be flying through the air. You had to learn how to “tuck and roll” so when you landed, you would not break any bones. We also had the burns that we got going down the blazing hot metal slides during the summer. We would steal our mother’s wax paper and slide on it. Waxing the slide would make it that much faster.

There wasn’t a nice soft rubber landing area in the playgrounds back then, either it was dirt or asphalt. And of course we had the Playground merry go round. That steel disk that went in a circle powered by your legs and could whip you around and around. Hang on tight!

If you had a younger sibling, then you would be given the task of watching them after school. You didn’t require any special training to be able to babysit. As long as you were 13 and could dial the operator, then you could babysit the neighbor’s kids when they went out. It was an acceptable practice during that era.

There weren’t health foods either things like quinoa, tofu or kale weren’t readily available back then. The less time it took your mother to pack your school lunch, the better. A whole generation grew up on Skippy PB&J sandwiches on Wonder Bread, a small bag of Wise potato chips and a pack of Hostess Twinkies,

There was no escape the pervasive cloud of cigarette smoke in the 50’s and the 60’s. From airplanes to restaurants to automobiles. There weren’t any limitations on where you were able to smoke. We most likely breathed in much more secondhand smoke when we were young than most people do today in thier lifetime.

We played stickball in the streets and went swimming in the quarry on East Amherst Street. There were no structured play dates and no cell phones. Yeah, being a kid in the ’50s and ’60s wasn’t without it’s hazards but we managed to survive.

 

The Wall :) /s

brown wall stone
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This is a satirical piece. Be sure to read it to the end before you blow a gasket. We need a wall! I know this is might prove to be a very unpopular article but it is just the way I feel. I have never steered away from controversial topics and I am not going to start avoiding them now.
We need to keep the unwanted types from entering our great country. I am not referring to the very controversial boundary wall along the Mexican border but a wall between the United States and Canada. I know it might be hard to build a wall up the middle of Lake Ontario, Erie, Huron and Superior but maybe we can come to some kind of compromise between the Canadians and us.
Maybe they can help us build the wall. This could be a retractable wall so it could come down in the summer to allow us all to enjoy our great lakes. We put up an ice dam every winter to protect the power plant, maybe we could just make it a floating wall like that is. But the wall between us in the lakes will have to be very high to stop this foreign invasion.
Every year, during the winter the border crossings increase and I am sick of this. It has to stop! Canada should keep their problems on their side of the border. INS seems to be helpless in stemming this problem and I don’t know if they can. I don’t think they have the ability, the finances or the manpower.
We don’t seem to have this problem in the summer but as soon as the weather starts to change and the temperatures start to drop, the trouble starts all over again. Some years are better than others but we just can’t always predict how bad it will be. Many have tried but few have succeeded.
This invasion is so bad that you can watch it’s progress every night on the local news. Sometimes it has even made the national news. Our neighbors to the north don’t seem to care or even do very much about these border crossings. This invasion is even worse than the one caused by the “Mexican Caravan” as it effects every person living in Western New York. If we know it is coming then why, oh why, can’t we prevent it?
Sure we have customs and border patrol at all the main ports of entry but much of this blows right past them or even crosses the border in unprotected places. When this incursion reaches my home, I try to stay inside with the doors closed and latched, hoping that they will hold well enough to prevent the infiltration that could cause me to become another statistic.
Sometimes I stay in my bed, trying to ignore what is going on bet it seems like every television station had a person dedicated to telling us how bad it is going to be.
The problem I am talking about of course is the Arctic blasts that we get here every winter in Western New York. That Canadian import that comes across the lakes and dumps snow on all of us. We have to put up with school closings, shoveling, sub-freezing temperatures and icy roads because of them.
Just so you know, I have nothing against Canadians in fact I love our neighbors to the north. Both my grandfather and my wife’s grandfather are from Canada. I just don’t care for their weather. Be safe, stay warm and drive carefully.
Norb is a writer from Lockport, New York.

Rocketship 7

A long, long time ago, in a place that seems far, far away, many Buffalo area children, myself included, would turn on their TV sets in the morning and were greeted by a trusted friend.

In 1961 the space race was on! Before a special joint session of Congress, President Kennedy announced his goal to put a “man on the moon” before the end of the decade. If you were a preteen, rockets and robots ruled. It was in this environment that one of the most popular television programs in the history of Buffalo broadcasting was created.

During the span of a few months, the USSR’s Yuri Gagarin made history as the first human in space and Alan B. Shepard made America’s first ride into the stratosphere. From toys to television programs, it seem that everyone was looking towards the future including Buffalo’s WKBW. Channel 7 management looked to add an additional children’s show to its morning line-up which already consisted of a local version of Romper Room. Looking to attract kids 5 to 12 years old, a space-themed program was a natural.

The station’s creative minds developed a program that would have an academic focus with a foundation deeply rooted in scientific facts rather than fanciful fiction. To host the program, Channel 7’s station manager Doug McLarty called upon a fresh-faced broadcaster named Dave Boreanaz. He was calling himself Dave Thomas then and it was thought he would be the perfect choice to host the program. He had adopted the stage name “Dave Thomas” when he joined WKBW-TV in 1961 first as a booth announcer and weatherman. His boyish good looks, calming manner of tone, and slight hint of mischievousness in his eyes appealed to children and adults alike.

In the autumn of 1962 WKBW-TV’s new children’s program was ready for its television debut. September 10 was chosen as the “launch date” of the newly christened Rocketship 7 with Dave Thomas. Featuring educational segments interwoven between Warner Brother’s cartoons and the animated shorts like the stop-motion curiosities “Gumby” and “Davey and Goliath”. The show was quickly adopted by its young audience. Rocketship 7 aired on WKBW-TV for 16 years. Thomas, in what passed for an astronaut jumpsuit, stood next to a stack of cardboard boxes with epaulets known as Promo the Robot. They were joined by Mr. Beeper, their puppet pal.

A Buffalo native, Thomas began his broadcasting career in 1954 at WAER-FM, Syracuse, New York and later worked at WOLF-AM, Syracuse, New York. In 1956, he started in television at the NBC owned and operated WBUF-TV in Buffalo, later joining WGR-TV (now WGRZ-TV) before joining Channel 7. For months prior to the show’s launch, Thomas traveled to the Bell Testing Laboratory in Wheatfield, New York to learn about aeronautics and space flight. At the time, the Niagara County facility hosted some of the nation’s brightest engineers and test pilots. As the show’s future space cadet, Thomas would practice in a Mercury era program training capsule and helicopter simulator.

The name of the program, “Rocketship 7,” referred to Channel 7 and lent itself to NASA’s Mercury space program. From 1961 to 1963, seven of America’s first astronauts made pioneering ventures into space. National audiences would follow the likes of Freedom 7, Liberty Bell 7, Friendship 7, and Aurora 7 as spacecraft reached towards the heavens. Rocketship 7 would join the local lexicon and would prove to have the right stuff for television success.

With the calming influence of Dave Thomas at the helm, the show ran weekday mornings from 1962 thru 1978. Rocketship 7 was cancelled because Thomas left his native Buffalo for another job. After the show went dark, the original Promo sat in a prop room for a while. When WKBW moved to a new building, the robot costume was thrown in the trash but it was rescued by a guy from the crew who put it in his garage. Eventually it was fixed up and, for a while, put on display at a toy museum.

The fate of the shows themselves, thousands of hours of children’s programming, is even sadder. Very little exists today. Most of those early, local children’s shows were shot live and if they were on tape, they were erased or thrown out. Back then, few saw the need to archive copies for future use like DVD collections or specialty channels. Forgotten Buffalo has compiled an excellent photo montage for a Youtube video:

Rocketship 7 has been reincarnated twice. The first time was The Commander Tom Show hosted by Tom Jolls. This was cancelled in 1991 but WKBW chose to resume the “Commander Tom” character bringing back Rocketship 7 as a Saturday morning show. “Captain” Mike Randall took over hosting for this edition of the show. Rocketship 7 was cancelled for the last time in 1993. It blasted off for good as infomercials, public affairs, and educational/informational programming began to dominate the Saturday morning lineup.

 

Growing up in the 50’s.

download

We had the junkman who would drive down the street in his beat up truck. He would collect your scrap metal to sell at the junk yard. The local cobbler would repair your shoes if the soles wore out or heel broke off. On garbage day, they would send a man ahead of the truck to bring our can to the curb. Then after it was emptied another man would take it back into the yard.

The milk man used to deliver to your house. I can still remember the rattle of the empty bottles in the wire carrier that he used. We had a wooden door in the side of the house by the back door for the milkman to deliver our milk and dairy products. This was called a milk box. If you didn’t have a milk box, your items were left on your porch in an insulated metal box. The milk would have a layer of cream on top that you would pour off to make whipped cream or to use in cooking. I loved the milk in glass bottles. A fixture back then was the “knifeman”, who would drive up and down the street and sharpen your knives, scissors, hedge sheers and the blades of the old reel type, hand pushed lawnmowers.

We had bread delivered to the house and had the rag man as well. Let’s not forget the fruit wagon. He would yell “Apples, peaches, strawberriessssssssssssssssssss.” I recall the popcorn man pushing his cart down our street with that steam powered whistle summoning us to come running. We would bring our precious coins that we had earned by returning bottles to the corner store and get this hot, salty snack. That is, if we had any left after buying our stash of penny candy, ice cream treats, & comic books. My Grandfather was a Fuller Brush man and he used to sell aprons and Fuller Brush products.

Around Christmas, the post office used to deliver a twice a day. We walked to school, coming home for lunch, and played outside till dark, only going home when the street lights came on. We were always playing in the street, roller skating, playing baseball or tag. In the fall, we played football. We used to call “Heads up!” whenever a car was coming.

My father worked every day and drove the only family car. This caused us to walk everywhere, parents just didn’t drive their kids around and you walked if you wanted to go anywhere.

We had a few chores, but then it was outdoors in the summer. In the winter we would go to a friends’ house or they would come to mine to play board games. You would walk to a friend’s house and see if they could play. Calling our friends by their name to come out to play didn’t involve texting. We would walk over to a friend’s house and yell “Oh (insert friend’s name here) can you come out to play?” We never rang a bell. If somebody was calling you, you would ask permission from your mother to go outside. It was a simple yes or no and no one got angry if the answer was no. Neighbors got along better than today.

Women were outside & visible around their houses hanging wash or doing yard work, watching their kids in the yards. Our basement contained a wringer washing machine for washing our clothes, our dryer was a clothes line in the back yard and our dishwasher was my mother. When I got older, the kids were in charge of washing and drying the dishes, setting and clearing the table.

The doctors made house calls if you were too sick to come in, or very contagious. Our family doctor visited me when I had the Chicken Pox and the Measles.

We would go home for lunch from school every day and we had a bank day at school on Mondays where we would take our money and get it posted to our bank book.

Every Wednesday we would get out of school early so we could walk to church for religious instructions. I used to stop at the local five and dime and get a small bag of Spanish peanuts for the trip. Speaking of school, there were air raid drills in school. We crouched on our hands & knees, in the hall ways, up against the wall, or under our desks, hoping the Russians didn’t bomb us.

We played with homemade toys such as kites, scooters made out of fruit crates decorated with pop bottle caps, scrap 2x4s, pieces of scrap wood for handle bars and discarded metal roller skates. I made a car out of a large crate and the wheels from an old wagon. You steered using a rope that was attached to the front axle.

There was also the “rubber band” gun. A long narrow piece of wood used as a rifle that we would put a notch at the top of to hold a rubber band made out of a used tire tube cut into 1/2 inch wide trips. You knew when someone shot you because of the sting that you felt.

I have memories of Fel’s Naptha soap that was used for anything from washing clothes, floors and taking baths. Sponge baths all week were the norm then when Saturday night was the night for a real bath in a claw foot, cast iron bathtub.

It was good being a kid in the 50s.