Saturday, May 28, 2011


The year of the tail fin
  This was a pretty quiet year, all settled into the Milford house.  School and work took up most of the time.  I was involved in an auto accident.  Going into Cincinnati on a Friday night, I was driving too fast and hit another car.  There were no injuries, only to the cars - I was driving my fathers car, he was quite happy :\
  I worked all summer, I really think that job kind of calmed me down and at least gave me more to do, and I got paid, how good can it get.  School was just that - school, the quicker it was over was a good thing, except for the Friday night dances, I went almost every week I think, at least that's how I remember it now, fifty some years later.
  Gas was up to twenty-four cents a gallon, a dozen eggs were twenty-eight cents and a new house costs about twelve thousand dollars - damned inflation!
  Elvis and Love Me Tender was the number one song in 1957, followed by Hey Jealous Lover by Frank Sinatra, one of my favorites Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino and Moonlight Gambler by Frankie Lane and at number five Too Much by Elvis.
Desegregation of Little Rock schools, a tenuous time.
Pink and Charcoal, colors of the year, they were everywhere.
Norman Rockwell was at his peak.  This one is After the Prom.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Do you really need a name?
  A better year for sure.  We moved from Cincinnati to a small town, Milford, Ohio.  A brand new house and other kids my age nearby, thing were looking up.  The only problem, for us, was the water; there were no wells or city water in the subdivision.  Each house had a single or double car garage, and under the garage was a cistern, a holding tank, that held the rain water from the roof, that's it.  If you ran out of water you called a company that sold water, a tank truck came and filled the cistern; just like a heating oil delivery if you heat with oil, or trucks bringing gasoline to filling stations.
  I spent most of our two summers there camped out in the woods with my friends.  Mom had to check me for ticks every morning; it was just like having a dog - check for ticks.  School at Milford High School was a lot better, there were about a hundred in my class.  An, really exciting, added benefit was that a car dealer asked the school to send two boys to work for them after school and weekends.  They picked me, reason unknown, to work for the Service Manager, Accountant and Parts Manager, another kid went to the Mechanics.  That job, and the inventory in grade 7, shaped my entire work life.  The job was great, it paid one dollar and hour - that was good money in 1956-1958, the work was varied, a day as a service writer, a day with the accountant, I did payroll every week, and a day in the parts department all of which I liked to do.  No surprise then that the Navy made me an Aviation Storekeeper, or that my degree (much later) was in business.
  So that was it, school, work and a little time off, in my car a 1948 Ford.  That's the car Tehachapi Pete has been driving all these years!  Oh yeah, and girls, a dance every Friday night at the school and a ride to Shoney's Big Boy, they had car hops and good burgers - I'd like one right now, and it's 3:30 in the morning!
Fiat produced a car and boat in the same vehicle, notice the boat type seats in back. - click
With 500 hours of wages I could buy this 21 inch TV - click
Top five hits of 1956, want to sing along?

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Click to enlarge - check out that remote!
  The year of the "big move".  With no jobs in Maine my father took the offer from Palm Beach to relocate to Cincinnati, Ohio (actually the mill was in Newport Kentucky, across the river).  We lived in an apartment in Swifton Village, a large development of maybe 500 apartments.  This development was the first property given to Donald Trump by his father, and I'm sure it's much different now, those original buildings, new then, are probably gone.  I went to Woodward high school, there were more students in that school than in Lebanon Maine!  Culture shock? You betcha' Red Rider!  Actually I was pulled out of class (it was geography) and sent to the Speech Teacher, she had me read a paragraph and asked if I was from Maine.  End of speech defect.  I did make friends in the "village" and in school, we played a lot of baseball, several players for the Cincinnati Reds lived in the area.  That winter I was accepted on a Hockey Team, on the first day of practice I was running (with typical oblivion) to the Cincinnati Gardens with my skates.  Was I watching where I was going?  Of course not!  A car had stopped at a red light and I ran right into it!  Kah-bam!  A broken ankle that resulted kept me from the team that year.  I didn't think it was broken, but a week later it was swollen and painful, Dad took me to the doctor who had to re-break the ankle and put it in a cast.  It was a walking cast, with a rubber "heel", but it was winter, it was repaired several times.  The next summer we moved to Milford, Ohio to a brand new brick home (no photo).  So that was the big move, it turned out to be rather short, more tomorrow.
$249.50 in 1955 was a lot of money, maybe two thousand dollars now.
Sex in advertising became more noticeable - click
Those radios still had tubes. - click

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Bell Labs tests a solar panel - that test equipment now would be a thick pencil size.
1954 should be known as the "birth of corporate greed year",  Burlington Mills bought out Goodall-Sanford, quickly moved to North Carolina (then tax free, cheap labor country) and left over two million square feet of empty space and 3600 unemployed people, my dad among them.  Corporations still do this only now they move offshore.  Dad studied and got a real estate and insurance licenses but no job, we would have to move. (1955).
  1954 was also when the music got good (my words), the number one song was Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets (I'd see them in person in only five years), number two was Shake, Rattle and Roll by Big Joe Turner and rounding out the top three Earth Angel by The Penguins. (I sound like Dick Clark).
  1954 was when I started high school, markedly the worst four years of my life, I went in knowing it would suck and it did, terrible.  I see kids that seem to enjoy high school (mostly girls) but I'll bet they lie!  Anyway it was off the Sanford High School where my brother was a senior; back then there was a week where seniors could tell freshmen how to dress or to carry books - that sort of thing, it was not fun, at least for me.
A "Portable" HiFi boombox :) - click
Mr. Hitchcock made another movie, a good one - click (imagine Raymond Burr in a bit part)
Color TV brand new and expensive - click

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The Chevrolet Corvette, a new car is born
  A new school year, and Lebanon has a new school.  The Lebanon Consolidated School in one building, brand spanking new takes the place of six of the one-room or two-room schools.  In grades one through eight, each grade in its' own room.  I am in the eighth grade, the first graduating class, my Grandfather Grant is the custodian.  My teacher, and the principal is Matthew Lubeakis, the dirty rotten son-of-a-#@**!  He once lifted me right off the floor by the front of my shirt!  I did nothing to deserve that kind of treatment (you know me, a diligent student).  At the end of that first school year, he also took all of the money and left town - not to be heard from since.
  It was also the first time any of us had been on a school bus, the town had two new buses.  Mr Raymond Lord, accompanied by Mrs. Lord (with a broom weapon) were the driver, and self-appointed conduct officer; you better watch you step on here mister!  I did okay on the bus the fear of brooms is a powerful force!
  This is the year the third President in my lifetime took office; Dwight David Eisenhower, a five-star general, became President, Richard Milhouse Nixon was his Vice President.  Ike is the founder of the Interstate Highway System, in his military wisdom it was required that at least one or every five miles of the highway be straight so that in time of war it could be used as a runway for military aircraft.
  Gas was still twenty cents a gallon but the price of a new car had gone up to $1650.00.  Percy Faith had the number one song - Song From The Moulin Rouge, the number two title was Vaya Con Dios by Les Paul and Mary Ford, rounding out the top three was Patti Page and How Much is That Doggie in the Window, good music if you ask me.
Ike and Nixon, the new guys in town
A Hit of the year - click
A star with a long ball, over 500 feet - click

Monday, May 23, 2011


I'd buy that! - click
  Another school year, it was hard to believe that I'd already "served 6 years of a life sentence", and was starting a 7th.   Something had happened in town, to this day I have no idea what it was, but (there's always a but) several of us were sent to a Middle School in Sanford.  I went with Frankie, Eldon and Shirley all young kids from a really small school into what we believed to be a "huge" place.  My God, they even changed rooms between classes, and had more than one teacher!  It was like what we thought high school must be.  We did learn to enjoy the experience, most of us a hot lunch - something most of us never had before at school.  I don't think I got into any major trouble during the year - I must be slipping!  I got to work a couple of days doing inventory at Colby and Woodman, a plumbing supply store.  I got that because Joyce Parsons got the job too, her Dad Charlie, worked for the company.  It would figure in to a lifetime of work although at that time I hadn't really thought of what I would do after school was, finally, out for good.
  Prices continued to be fairly low by toady's standard, but you could tell times were changing, or maybe I was just getting old enough to understand change.
  Doris Days' song A Guy is a Guy was number one for the year and movies were a mix of Science Fiction and Westerns.  I still had only seen two movies, my family wasn't big on that sort of thing, unless it had something to do with church.  I think that by that time church stuff was bothering me, I know I didn't appreciate going to church three or four times a week.  There were better ways to spend my time by breaking in to buildings or electrocuting a chicken - which was a fun experiment.  I'll tell you about that.  I think it all began with the radio broadcast of the sort of public execution of spies on the radio.  Anyway, I had a shingle and an extension cord, and a couple of chickens.  By baring the wire on the end of the cord and looping it twice through the shingle there was a space to fit the chickens feet.  I caught one of the hens, placed her on the shingle (holding on to her), and plugged the cord in - as a result it blew every fuse in the house and barn.  My parents failed to see the educational purpose of my actions.  Boy! They were sure hard to convince.
Styles were changing!
This ad was criticized even then as not fit to print.
Airline Food was very different then, I'm sure.  It was also included in the price of your ticket.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


A scary year?
  Ah, the sixth grade, what better way to waste a year?  The situation continued to be tense between Mrs. Bumford and me,  she was a fun spoiler, she thought people really ought to study that junk!  Of course out of the classroom was where the real fun was.  Fun like jumping through the thin ice in a bog and getting muddy wet!  Four time - each time after changing clothes, and telling Mom it was an accident!  Just how dumb did I think the woman was?  She could see right through that kind of action.  Another fun spoiler - but this one had a broom (weapon)!  And just exactly is wrong with breaking into sheds and blacksmith shops anyway?  Ask the York County Sheriff, who paid us another visit.  And what is wrong, exactly, with taking a leak in the Town Constables gas tank?  I don't have an answer either.
  Prices in 1951, and wages, were far lower than they are now, here are some examples:
   A new house - $16,000.00, A new Ford $1425.00, a six-pack of Coke 37 cents or a gallon of gas for 20 cents.  One of the songs of the year was Hank Williams' Hey, Good Looking; no I never figured out what she was cookin' either.  Another big hit that year was Cry, that song also had a lot of critics, I mean a man crying?  Hah!
   Cigarette Ads were sure different then too, doctors smoking?  Of course they did, had an ashtray right on their desk, ashtrays in the waiting rooms too.  I think folks smoked everywhere except in church.  I tried some of those cigs myself.  My brother Lysle and friend Chet, with me tagging along had obtained a brand new pack of Chesterfields, not too hard to do back then.  Up in the pasture at David Gales farm (Chets' brother) we were going to smoke, but we only had two matches.  The answer, of course, is to light a small bonfire, that's what we did.  We each smoked a couple of the butts, put out the fire and headed back to the house.  Was the fire really out?  Of course not!  The fire consumed about six acres of pasture and a few trees, boy! were we lucky.

I told you doctors smoked

Technology in the office.
A 1951 Home Entertainment System (yes, they did call it that) - Where's the remote?