Like – “You Know!”

I suppose that I am just a mite old fashioned, but I find it harder and harder to converse with the youth of today.  I was seated beside a young man at a dinner party recently, and I made an attempt to ask if he was employed.  His answer was (I think), “Well, yeah, like, you know, I boogied down to the Quick-Check; and I go; ‘hey man, do you need somebody to clean this joint up?’ and he goes; you know, like, ‘cool.’  So I go; you know; sucked up to the old geezer, and like, you know; here I am.”

I desperately tried to remember what he said in order to question my sons as to his answer.  Was it yes or no?  I am reasonably certain that he was not taught that this was the correct procedure for a job interview, but then, I have been told that I am out of touch with the real world; therefore, how would I know?

It has not been so long ago that a job interview involved: “Putting your best foot forward.”  Neatly dressed, shoes shined, hair combed and most importantly, presenting yourself as attentive, polite and enthusiastic.  Perhaps the lack of this line of reasoning has contributed to the rise in unemployment.

A visit to any video arcade during a workday can attest to the fact that many young people favor entertainment in lieu of working.  Dozens of young people are present on a daily basis, so engrossed in the operation of some video game that they were apparently oblivious of the help-wanted signs in the adjacent shops.  I well remember when the mere mention of an opening for a job could prompt long lines of prospective applicants.

This brings up the subject of where do they get the money that they evidently have in abundance?  I realize that some work different shifts and this would be considered their ”down time;” but there are a few who are present morning, noon and night, with no visible means of support for their addiction to a ”Video-fix.”

The point in all this rambling is simply that I do not understand youth.  In another time, youngsters were expected, no; required to earn at least part of their subsistence.  Allowances were not feasible for a family who needed all of the income that they could get for survival.  Also, I am not aware of any permanent scars on anyone who was required to help with this income.

Getting back to the interview of yesteryear.  “You dressed neatly, talked intelligently, convinced them of your willingness to work hard and ONLY when you had secured the job did you ‘suck up to the boss”…

Like, you know; “Hey man, I need more bread.”


A Round – tuit

When are you going to mow the lawn? When are you going to wash the cars? When are you going to do this? When are you going to do that?It seems that I hear these questions on a daily basis. Usually they are asked right in the middle of The Jerry Springer Show or just before the afternoon nap. Apparently it has not occurred to my child-bride that my priorities are somewhat different from hers. Also it is fairly obvious that she does not realize that the seasons of the year play a large role in the completion of the above tasks.

Everyone is aware that one cannot mow while rain is falling and, if indeed, it is raining, then washing the cars serves no useful purpose. Other factors to be taken into consideration are temperatures. There are very few days during the summer months when performing these tasks does not require the use of an old sweat rag. I shudder to think of the image I project if I am observed seated on the old John Deere with a bar towel hanging from the pocket of a pair of designer shorts.

When the seasons change, it is certainly not feasible to scrape ice from the vehicles in order to wash them. I sometimes wonder about the rationality of my roommate. Besides, a little dirt on a car don’t hurt the running of it a bit and the horn will still blow. Therefore, my answer to the above inquiries is an emphathic “when I get a round-tuit.”
Well, this past week, the weather was such that I could venture outside for short periods and I decided to tackle the work that has bothered my wife for so long. While engrossed in these activities, I made a couple of amazing discoveries.

I washed both cars and found out that both were white.

I mowed the lawn and discovered that the house needs painting.

This simply proves a point. Getting a round-tuit just creates more problems.


Capturing Memories

I have developed a habit of browsing through the thousands of photographs stored in the hard drive of this machine.  Being an early riser for many years, my day usually begins anywhere from 02:00 to 04:00 am.

“What??  You really shouldn’t be shocked??”  These hours for arising are perfectly acceptable, if the hours for “nappy – nappy,” are anywhere between early ‘lunchtime’ and ‘dark-forty-five.’
Armed with a quart of coffee, I begin my trek through memories that my feeble brain has; for one reason or another, suppressed.  Add this re-counting to our daily method of keeping time by glancing at our daily pill holders.  
“Don’t laugh!  It works.”  If the cup marked noon is empty and the one marked evening still holds six pills; we have to assume that it is somewhere between Suppertime and Beddy-bye!
Many of our photographs remind us that money to be spent on travels in our younger days was practically non-existent.  Many of our photographs reveal that our home away from home’ was a TENT, a POP-UP-CAMPER or a TRAVEL TRAILER.  Our investments in these vehicles allowed us a measure of comfort while away from home and did not require searching for Hotel accommodations.
Ironically, our family loved this nomadic way of life and the children still are avid campers even though the days of an entire weekend outing for under $10.00 is long gone.  Of course, they are attuned to today’s higher costs, and do not necessarily camp to save the $50 -$100 dollar per night Motel costs’ but rather, for the love of living outside and communing with nature.
I recall that we had a neighbor, who once scoffed at our nomadic travels by stating that he considered; “roughing-it,” not having cream for his coffee.  Apparently; he had never heard of, “The Styrofoam Ice Chest!”
However, in today’s expensive, fast-paced’ world; these two parents are much too ‘cheap’ as well as content, in our overstuffed lounge chairs; to be burdened with set-up and take- down, at a campground.
Our last venture was when one of our children offered to pull his travel-trailer to a Mountain Campground, explicitly, for our use.  We merely drove to the site and “moved -in.”  He even returned to “break camp” and bring the trailer home.  Perhaps, we would reconsider our options today; if we could depend on such generosity on a weekly basis.
Back to the memories:  I usually select a photo at random and upload it to the monitor screen. Staring at the screen brings back different happenings at that particular outing. Tomorrow will begin another adventure with a different photo.
As long as we keep loading the “C. D.’S” with all the photos, into the machine; we will re-live our younger days.  This is much better than to just “Sit and watch the tractor rust.” 
When reminiscing about a particular photo; of an outing to a theme park in the mountains of North Carolina; or South Carolina Beach; both parents can hardly remember when the children were this small and innocent.
Without pictures such as this, we would be hard pressed to remember that our two sons are not the toddlers in the photo; but are fifty-something years old, married adults;’ with lives of their own. Who knows where we will go next as we attempt to re-live our past through memories that have, long since; faded from our weak minds.

PHOTOGRAPHS !!!   Who needs them ???     WE DO !!!

War Rationing

Although very few people complained; the early 1940’s placed a hardship on many rural families.  The war effort was foremost in everyone’s mind.  Rationing was accepted as a small endeavor to aid the fighting men and women in bringing a swift end to the aggression from Germany as well as the Empire of Japan.

Every household was issued ration books for items that were needed by our military.  Among these items were sugar, gasoline, butter, cheese, silk, metals, rubber and many more.

The production of new automobiles was halted for the duration of the conflict; and anyone owning an operating vehicle was hard pressed to keep it in running condition.  Stickers with “A”, “B”, “C”, adorned every vehicle’s windshield to advise Service Station Operators as to how much gasoline that vehicle was allowed for each week / month.

Daddy’s ‘moonlighting’ job required that he travel the countryside to shoe farmer’s mules and horses, and perhaps repair needed farm equipment.  It was therefore, that Daddy was issued an “A” sticker for his Model ‘A’ Ford.  This allowed him to purchase more  gasoline than the cars with a “B” or a “C” sticker.

It did not, however, permit the purchase of new tires.  Once, when he ran over a nail and punctured a tire.  He managed to get the slick spare tire onto the car and carried the ‘flat’  to Pop’s Filling Station, to have the inner tube patched.  It was there that he got the sad news.

After Pop examined the tire and inspected the other three, he informed Daddy that, “There ain’t no use to keep patching that tube ’cause “all th’ “casings” are plumb wore out.  I ain’t got no new tires; but your “A” sticker will let you put ‘re-liners’ in all four casings.”

Daddy agreed for two reasons.  Number # 1; was that he had to have the car in working order and number # 2; he had no choice.  He removed four ration stamps from his ration book and paid Pop $8.00 for the re-liners.

Such was the way of life for most folks during the war years; but they endured it without grumbling since this would help the Sons and Daughters who were sacrificing so much more in order to keep our country free.

If today’s technology had been available then, with tubeless tires; that are a standard feature on all modern cars, it would have been a simple matter to insert a “plug” in the casing” and forget the re-liners and, the inner tube.

It possibly could have been; that ration stamps for a small “plug,” would not have been needed during the War years.  What is the ‘old saying’ about; “Hindsight being much better than Foresight?”  

Somewhere, deep in my clutter; is my Dad’s ration book for Gasoline; with a couple of UN-used stamps intact.  I wonder that; if I were to provide that book for inspection from those professionals on “Antique Roadshow,”   Would I come out, ‘smelling like a rose?”


A couple of things that were evident during those war years, remain the same today.  For instance:  As far as my’ financial situation is concerned; “It’s really not hard to meet expenses… They’re everywhere.”      Dj.


Admission to a hospital is certainly not an event that one would cherish, however, one such event was the beginning of a lifelong camaraderie.

In the olden days, private rooms with telephones, radios, private nurses, etc. were few and were generally reserved for their elite clientele.

Obviously, the two occupants of the small, semi-private room just off the corridor that led to the snack bar did not qualify. Little did Claire and Sue realize that memories from their tenure in this room at Presbyterian Hospital would be the anchor for their enduring friendship.

Introductions were made and the two ladies settled down to whatever this institution had in store for them. Due to their infirmaries, neither ventured beyond the usual small talk and endured the tests ordered by their Doctor. They even quietly consumed their tasteless meals without comment.

Everything changed with the announcement of visiting hours and the arrival of their spouses, Doug and John. It was at this point that the sparse quarters took on a carnival atmosphere. Laughter reverberated throughout the hallway and drew quite a few stares from those going to and from the snack bar.

During their stay each evening, it was common for one or more nurses to enter the room and announce; “We’re a little noisy in here, aren’t we?” This remark would usually prompt Doug to retort, “Get sick, girls. You’re not allowed to have fun!”

As a general rule this scene was repeated each evening until the public address system was activated with, “Vissitinng houuhs aruuh oveuh!”

Both Claire and Sue recovered in spite of the rigors of hospital stay and the four individuals enjoyed many years of friendship. Doug and Claire chose the mountains of Colorado for their retirement home while John and Sue opted for the eastern coast of South Carolina;  and later, the foothills of North Carolina.

Although many miles separate them, the annual Christmas Card will inspire nostalgia in each of them to the point of again seemingly hearing an amplified voice saying, “Vissitinng houuhs aruh oveuh!”

John (aka) Demijon

Why is a certain time of day called after dark; when it is really after light?   Dj.

Today’s Television Families


Even though television has come a long way toward accurately depicting an average family in their “Situation Comedies;” they still have a long way to go in order to get it right.

Perhaps the writers and producers fantasize quite a bit; and portray Mr. and Mrs. Average, as being the ideal couple.  If this is their intent; they usually ‘fail, miserably;’ as depicted by the following…

Now; get this!  In real life:  How many times has the Father come home from work, dressed in an immaculate suit, removed his hat and coat, placed them in the hall closet; fingered the mail on a convenient table in the spotless living room.  He puts on a sweater and retrieves his pipe and slippers?  Why was there always a sweater and a pipe?  Was the furnace on the blink again?  And isn’t smoking a pipe, sending the wrong signal to young viewers?

“Honey, I’m home;”  Mr. Ideal says, as he sits down in an overstuffed lounge chair and unfolds the evening paper.

“In the kitchen, dear.” is the response, (of course, out of camera range); but the voice is quite melodious, and literally dripping with love.

Immediately a swinging door, (it always swings), opens to reveal the beautiful Mother. She is clad in the latest fashionable house dress, and complete with makeup, hose, Pearl Necklace;  Diamond Earrings;. and even 4 inch, spike heels.

Every hair is in place and a short, lacy apron adorns her perfect body.  “How was your day, dear?”  She huskily asks, as she hands him a frosty drink and bends to kiss his cheek.

Three perfectly manicured children descend the spiral staircase and stand at attention before his chair, and in unison remark, “We missed you, Father.”   NOTE:  It is always Father;  never Dad, or Pop.

He tousles’ their hair and leans back to read the stock market report while the beautiful Mother and the Children quietly retreat to the dining room to put the finishing touches on the perfect dinner by candlelight.

Let’s be realistic, people!   No one lives this way.

Now for real life:  Dad stumbles in the door, dressed in coveralls with JOE’S GARAGE” emblazoned on the back; throws his CAT Diesel’ cap in the direction of the coffee table, that is strewn with True Confession Magazines and Comic Books.

He pulls the top of the coveralls from his shoulders and leaves the top half hanging down his back; kicks the papers and schoolbooks from the couch and slouches at one end, while reaching for the remote control and tuning the Television to the Wrestling Channel.

“Bring me a beer, Marge,” he says;  “And tell them Youngun’s to get in here and clean-up this hog pen.”

Marge emerges from the ‘curtained doorway,’  that leads to the kitchen; wearing a faded Chenille bathrobe; her hair in curlers, and her toes protruding through holes in the soft, bunny-shaped slippers.

Removing a Cigarette from in her lips, she says; “You know where the damn refrigerator is.  Get your own beer.”  “You think you’re the only one around here that works? 

“I’ve had to stop these kids from fighting at least, a dozen times.”  “Now, go wash that axle grease off your hands.  The Hot Dogs will be ready in a minute.”

Three filthy children now saunter in the door, bouncing a basketball against the wall and said; one after another, […]

“Pa, the septic tank’s overflowing again.” 

“Daddy, I need ten dollars for my Pills.” 

“Dad; Juney’s pregnant.  Do I have to marry her?”

As I stated earlier; television has improved over the years.  However; if its realism that they are looking for, they should hire me as a consultant.

There is nothing like having a person available, who has experienced, first-hand, the factual aspects of the average household. This would indeed, make for a believable characterization of the ordinary family.

Attention all networks.  “If you are interested, please call me.  I am available.  But just remember.”   I don’t work cheap!”   “So; don’t hand me any of that crap about Union Scale.”  “I make my own wage structure, and it is for cash only.


I can be reached at “B R – 775?or I can usually be found at Bubba’s House of Pancakes & Funeral Parlor.”  Dj.


One of the definitions of the word DUMB is stupid or moronic, lacking some normal part or character, according to Mr. Webster.  This causes me to wonder if the man had some insight into the inner workings of the Congress.

They certainly seem to be missing some parts that many of us would consider normal, based on a few of the decisions that they are hawking as the answer to the deficit problem.

First of all, is the fact that it was they, themselves, who got us into this mess to begin with.  No average Joe Citizen would ever authorize an expenditure of some $1.46 for a simple 39 cent screw, even if his brother-in-law DOES, in fact, own the screw factory.

Jane Ordinary would flat-out refuse to take a junket, at the expense of the taxpayers, to the wilds of Lower Slobovia for the express purpose of doing a study on the mating call of the June bug.  In reality, we would probably be surprised at some of the things for which our tax dollars have paid that have benefited only the members of this governmental body.

The above is dumb.

Although Mr. Webster offers no definition of the word DUMBER; I contend that it falls in the category of moronic and/or stupid.  Proof of this is contained in the Congress’ recommendation on how to pay for these extravaganzas.

Raise taxes:  Cut Social Security:  Curtail Medicare Benefits:   Bleed every cent we can get from these recipients. They are the  ones who are so poor that they will never miss it since they have never had it.

But whatever we do, we cannot touch the income from the rich and famous.  If we do, there will be no vast amounts of money to finance our next campaign.”  “THAT,  my friends; IS DUMBER!”

Dumber still, is the rhetoric that they feed us as an excuse.  “We have a contract with America,” they say.  In my humble opinion, it is more likely that  they have; “Put a contract out on us.

I agree that the deficit must be reduced and the budget balanced, but let’s start at the beginning with the responsible ones making the first payments.  I cannot believe that a Senator with a $100,000.00 plus annual income will suffer as much as a person whose total income is a Social Security check that barely covers the rent.  These are the ones who cannot even afford the 39 cent screw; and yet, the contract states that they will be the first to fall before the big guns.

Getting into this mess was, “DUMB!”   Their proposal to get out of it is, if possible, even,  DUMBER!”


Being Poor

I can remember very well when money was not as important as it is today.   We all seemed to get along as well or perhaps better that we do now.   It was not uncommon for a family of four to get by on what is now minimum wage.  Although wages have escalated over the past decade or so, prices of goods and services have somehow risen to a point that is well above the balancing mark.

I am not complaining and often chide others when they express a desire to return to the good old days, simply because I lived through those so called “good days.”  One could not accomplish much when the weekly take home pay was somewhere in the $30.00 range and rent plus groceries were in excess of $80.00 per month.  This meant that clothing and other staples were severely limited.

In order to have any extras such as transportation or an occasional night at the movies (at a cost of .50 cents per ticket), there would have to be more than one income per family.   With wife and husband both employed, this should have meant around $100.00 each month as a cushion.   However, forgotten were insurance premiums, payments on furniture, gasoline, utilities, etc.

Also, not figured into the budget were things like breakdowns on the car and if this occurred there would be payments to the repair shop.   This expense would cut deeper into the cushion.   During this period in our young lives, we did, however, prove that humans can survive by eating lots of dry beans and potatoes.

Things did get better for us as our incomes increased substantially; but not to the standpoint of becoming wealthy. We did, however, raise and help educate two sons; bought our home and somehow accumulated a modest savings account; but we have never forgotten those few years when things were the toughest and our financial status was practically nil.

Even now, although retired, we tend to guard our tiny cushion and limit our spending to well within our paltry income.   Our memories of those good old days are so deeply ingrained within our minds that we are grateful that we are still able to sit up and take nourishment.   We are also thankful that “but for the grace of GOD; we could still be poor.”   It really takes so little to make us happy.


YESTERYEAR:   “A penny saved is a penny earned.”   TODAY:   A penny saved is a Government oversight.”


Profound statement:  ~~  If you think there is good in everyone;  You haven’t met everyone.  Dj.


The age of discovery

Posted on September 20, 2008 by John Sellers

Have you ever wondered what the world did before the invention of Plastic, Duct Tape, and WD-40?

Many of us senior citizens can recall when almost everything was made of either wood or metal.  These two materials were used wherever possible in the earliest automobiles, (horseless carriages). They continued to be necessary components until designers began to streamline the vehicles.  Since It was not feasible to bend wood into the desired shapes, the manufacturing process relied heavily on thin metal that was lighter and stronger.  Still, a combination of metal and wood were incorporated into the bodies of most primitive automobiles.

An example could be found in many of the 1920’s -1931’s Model vehicles.  Generally, these had a wooden post wrapped in an upholstery material located between the front and rear windows.  I can remember seeing a neighbor’s Model “A” Ford whose hinged doors had failed to latch.  To remedy this, He had driven a nail into the wooden post and wrapped a chain around both window frames. To enter, he merely unhooked the chain, opened the door, and then closed it by re-attaching the chain on the nail.  A simple, but workable solution.  This was known as “making do.”
In later years, some enterprising Chemists invented a substance that they called Plastic.  This was a combination of chemical elements blended into lightweight sheets that could be molded into any shape. This more or less revolutionized the automobile industry.  Even today, Plastics make up major portions of our cars and even many of our kitchen appliances.

It did not stop there.  Plastic evolved into a substance called Fiberglass that today is used extensively in the manufacture of our modern day vehicles.  There are even some sports cars whose body (outer shell) is constructed entirely of this Fiberglass.

Another couple of innovations are the invention of a strong, sticky tape and a spray that displaces water.  These two objects became known as Duct Tape and WD-40.  Over the years they have become essential products in every household.  In addition, they have just about replaced many expensive items in a homeowners toolbox and have triggered the following slogans;~~~

“If it moves, and shouldn’t; – Use Duct Tape.”

“If it doesn’t move, but should; – Use WD-40.”

AND: – If you experience a crack or breakage in Plastic or Fiberglass,  a simple cleaning with WD-40 and taping it with Duct Tape will solve the problem.

We’ve come a long-long way, baby.

Quote from the past:  “Have you seen the new cars coming out next year?  It won’t be long before $2,000.00 will only buy a used one.”        DJ.

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Don’t kid me!!!


“IF”   You still remember—–.

Ration stamps for food and gasoline.

Drawing water from the Well to fill the Wash Pot.

Driving a Model “T.”

Emptying the drain pan under The Ice Box.

Underclothing called union suits’ and step-ins.’

Paying a nickel for a Blue-Horse writing tablet.

Cardboard hand-held Fans on every church pew.

Wearing shirts and dresses made from chicken-feed Sacks.

Buying ten pieces of candy for a Nickel,

Listening to a battery-powered Radio.

Making whistles from reeds.

How to make a sling shot.

What a skate key is used for.

16 inch boots with a pocket on the side for a Jackknife.

Removing a tire and patching the Inner Tube.

Nickel sacks of Golden-Grain, Bugler and Stud-Horse tobacco.

Soaking corn-cobs in Kerosene for kindling to start the fires.

Although you reprove all of the above-mentioned items, it is obvious that the years have been kind to you and you have held up well. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to believe that you really are indeed,  In your declining years.”

Lying about lt does not erase the wrinkles.