Monday, October 31, 2011

Kevin’s Story, Part 30, Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween.  Some would say that Halloween is this terrible day with all types of anti religious overtones.  If that’s your position, well then more power to you.  When I was five years old we moved to Wilmington, California.  Wilmington was a very rough town in the early 1960's.  We lived within a stones through of highway 1.  Not the fancy four lanes in each direction highway one, the four lane, with no left turn lanes highway 1.  With a light on every corner and people really frustrated at traffic.  If someone was turning left, that stopped the fast lane, then if someone wanted to turn right and the sidewalk was full that would stop the right lane.  Everything would clear just fine when the light changed and two cars from each lane made it through the light.  Our world was a half block down the street.  There was an alley behind all the businesses on highway 1 and we were 15 feet and an alley away from those businesses.  The kitchen window was at least two feet and a bush away from the alley.  The same window that my Mom watched as they scooped up the man that had just been shot and took him to the morgue.  So, I hope,  you can understand my point of reference.

When you are five you don’t think of dangers you think of candy.  Lot’s of it.  Southern California you don’t even have to think about rain or snow like Maine.  Fact is you don’t have to even consider a coat.  Just worry about how many houses and how much candy.  I’m sure Mom raked through to ensure razor blades were not sticking out but I don’t remember.  Halloween was a great fun experience filled with sound effects and scary masks.  I don’t remember being scared of anything but I do remember the candy.  Did I already mention that part?   The season got off to a great start.  The local refinery would dress up the oil tank and make the biggest pumpkin in the world.  One of my greatest joys and memories of being a five year old.  Fact is, I don’t remember anyone telling me how bad anything was until I was about forty.  So I had thirty five years of fun.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kevin’s Story, Part 29, I lived down the street from


Thank you for this, the best picture of this house I have ever seen.  A perfect picture for this time of year.  I have ten pictures that don’t even come close.  Great job, I have to follow your blog and wait for another great picture.

You may have to go back and read Part 25 again because, that window was close to this house.  I guess this should be a quiz.  Well the famous writer did not live in the house when I lived close by.  I don’t even remember seeing the house when I was little.  If you get to see it in person, you won’t forget it.  It has a completely different look when surrounded by snow.

The mansion was built in 1858 for $7,000.00.  I would wager the last paint job cost more than that.  Maybe if you lived in a house like this you could write awesome books also.  So who lives in the house now?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kevin’s Story, Part 28, side bar; there was a little boy

There was a little boy that lived in Maine.  (my nephew)  He was born long before me but never got to know his younger uncle.  In his sixteen years I’m not sure he ever got to know anyone.  Like all little boys he loved to play and get into trouble.  What was he thinking?

He is thinking how much fun it is to learn to crawl, take the first step, then not thinking much about anything.  He may have just stop thinking about stuff.  Maybe the best times in his life were when big sister and grandpa would come visit.  Maybe, the crafts or the painting.  Maybe looking out the window.  The window that would see spring time and the birds singing, then the summertime and watching the man mow the lawn, then the leaves would turn into a million colors and drop to the ground.  Then the window would turn all white, powder puffs would fall from the trees.

Johnny didn’t have to worry about anything at all.  His food was always in the same place and he had a place to sleep.  Did he care how he was treated?  Did he get the proper care?  When he was sick, did they send him to a doctor?  When life is so simple, so simple is life, so easy to forget, so maybe it never happened?  Johnny were you in pain?  Tell me John Anthony, did you have a good life?  I’m sorry that I never got to meet you John, but I will never forget you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Quiz 4, Where Did This Show Come From?

In the 1960's there was a TV show called The Andy Griffith Show.  One of my very favorites growing up.  Well there was a little boy and his name was Opie.  He was always getting in trouble just like me.  But his heart was always in the right place and his Dad always taught him the difference between right and wrong without having to take off his belt.  At least they didn't televise that part.

So our trivia question of the day is where did The Andy Griffith show come from.  You may remember that The  Andy Griffith show had it's own spin-offs like Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., Mayberry R.F.D, and the movie Return to Mayberry.  But, what series was The Andy Griffith show a spin-off of?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Kevin’s Story, Part 27, the Train

Winters are long in the north east part of our country.  Living on the west coast for 50 years does not make you an expert in east coast weather but, having family members relating weather stories makes it easier.  When I was growing up I remember old folks talking about the weather.  Maybe it’s having something to talk about?  The weather is boring in central California at 10 feet above sea level.  We don’t have snow drifts to talk about, closed roads, snow tires, we don’t have to put away the summer clothes and get out the winter clothes.  But we can tell stories about the really bad winter where Dad had to climb out the second story window to dig out the snow drift that would not allow us to get out of the house.  It was so exciting for a little boy to stand at the front door waiting for Dad’s shovel to finally break through.  Or the memory of driving down a tree lined road with so many colors in front of you and you could hardly see the tire tracks through all the leaves.  

Have you ever heard of the gift that keeps on giving?  When I was little I guess the fly boy wanted to impress the auburn haired girl so he brought home a gift for the little boy.  The gift came through the door in a big bag.  Maggie was so happy for the little boy as she said what’s that?  As I climbed into the bag I found a huge box.  As the future Dad helped me open the box, I was so excited.  The biggest box I ever got.  Could have stopped there but what is in the box.  Hurry!  Out of the box came a huge train engine.  It was beautiful.  Wow, green, yellow, just like a real one.  Could I ride on it?  Not quite that big.  Then the fly boy pulls out a package of batteries.  He turns the huge train upside down and puts in the batteries and then the gift started giving.  Noise, lot’s of noise, train whistles,, lights, did I say noise, I loved it.  As he put it on the floor it took up a life all it’s own.  It headed straight for the wall, hit the wall, and WOW it turned around and headed right toward me.  All I could do was laugh.  As it chased me and I ran to safety behind Mom, the train hit the chair.  You guessed it, it turned and headed directly for Mom.  And that’s the last memory I have of the train.  If I could just ask Mom what happened to the train.  My guess is the batteries ran out the same day and we could never afford replacements.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kevin’s Story, Part 26, The Fly Boy

Maggie did not have it easy.  Of course taking care of a child that minds perfectly should be simple but the big boy, who weighed all most as much as his Mom, was not very healthy.  The doctor wrote; he was hospitalized for eight days on Jun 17, 1958 for possible Rheumatic Fever.  At that time low grade temperature elevated se. rate 27 mg. Per. Grade 1 cystoloc murmur was heard-maximum at 4th left interspace-tonsils were enlarged not injected, cervical glands were small.  Following hospital discharge he came down with acute tonsilitis which responded to penicillin.  He was considered a potential Rheumatic Fever suspect and treated accordingly with limited activity.  ECG taken,  showed evidence of Myocarditis.  He had an episode of Bronchitis in September of 1958 which responded to TAO Suspension.  He also was given HesperC liquid as a prophylactic against respiratory infection.  Heart murmur remained unchanged.  Tonsils enlarged somewhat moderately.  B. L. Shapero M. D.  Thanks doc you fixed me.

This was starting to get expensive.  Then of course were the doctor visits she would have to be making for herself soon.  There was another one on the way.  See, she had met this fly boy. Let’s go back a year.

She worked at Dow Airfield and there were a lot of pilots flying in and out.  She happened to meet one that was not in the service but flew for a Government contractor.  His job was to wait for a prototype part to come to the cold country for testing.  They had to install the parts in real conditions before they were certified to go into production.  So the fly boy would install the part and then test it in actual flight conditions.  He would travel to New Foundland, Iceland, and Greenland testing parts and then return.  The fly boy got a glimpse of the auburn hair and there was no turning back.  Must have been the little boy that sealed the deal because they would stay together for the rest of there lives.  The fly boy had a family, and it would soon be growing.

Continued . . . . .

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Kevin’s Story, Part 25, The Window

Let’s back up just a couple years, maybe to 1954, continued from Part 4 posted in April.  News was in the newspaper and on the radio.  Television was becoming more affordable.  You could pick up a brand new 19" black and white set for about $150.00.  The median household income was about $5,000.00 per year, so not everyone was lining up to buy a new set.   However, if you worked for a television shop you got a discount and it wasn’t long before Maggie’s Dad got a new set.  He would have just a few months of TV watching before he went to meet his maker.  By then Maggie had bigger challenges.  She was going to have to share the news that she was in trouble.

Three big brothers, there wives, step Mom, sister, Aunts and Uncle’s.  The consensus of opinion, adoption.  In 1954 girls did not become pregnant.  They went on holiday to some far away place and came back six months later like nothing had happened.  (Sidebar; [I got that from the OJ trial], we did not understand the mental damage that giving up a child for adoption would cause in the 1950's.  It wasn’t until abortion was legalized and we found out about the life long mental damage it caused that we looked at how hard it was to give up a child for adoption.)  You can imagine that I favor anything but abortion.  If you are on Facebook, search for the +9 group.  I should be the poster child because my Mom could have gone the easy way with an abortion or give me up for adoption.  It was much harder on a female then.  The right to chose is much easier the day you chose than living with the choice forever.  If you find it difficult living with a choice you made, please seek help from your church or pregnancy resource center in your area.

I am thankful that Maggie chose life for me.  It would take Maggie another 18 months before she could take me home.  She gave everything she had during those 18 months to make a home.  Back then you did not get a reward check every month for having a child you could not take care of.  Women did not have many options for work that paid enough to support a family.  Maggie found a job as a ward clerk at the Governments Dow Air Field hospital.  She found a one bedroom apartment in downtown Bangor and got to work by bus.  She would break that kid out of foster care and raise him by herself with no help from anybody.

Think back to when you were two years old.  Do you have any memories that far back?  I have one thing I can remember.  I must have been two years old and must have been in trouble.  I was required to stay on Mom’s big bed (I guess that was a time out) and take a nap.  I was not allowed to get off the bed for any reason.  (You may not have the whole picture.  It’s Bangor Maine, in the fall, cold breezy day, maybe in the 40's) Mom puts down the laundry basket, bends over grabs the latch on each side of the window, gives it everything a 5 foot 2 inch girl can give and the window finally comes up about 2 feet.  She grabs the laundry basket, bends over like a girl jumping hurtles, climbs out the window onto the roof.  I don’t ever remember being able to go outside that window and play.  I can’t see my Mom from my position on the bed.  I slowly and quietly lean over, , , , more, , , , a little bit more, , , , can’t see anything, , , more, , , oops.  I jump to my feet and try to get back on the bed but I can’t climb that thing because the bedspread pulls down when I pull up.  (I may have been vertically challenged then but I had plenty of weight) The bedspread on the floor and I have no way up on the bed.  I’m in trouble but, Mom didn’t yell yet???  Well since I’m down on the floor anyway, I slowly and quietly make my way over to the window.  Maybe I could go out and play with Mom.  I slowly peek around the window molding and see my Mom hanging up clothes.  ON THE ROOF?  This looks like a lot of fun so, being the good helper that I am, I throw a leg over the window ledge and the next 60 seconds is probably why I remember the story.

Continued . . . . .