Posts Tagged ‘the old days’


Join me during the month of April as I blog through the alphabet. My theme will be What’s In A Name. I will attempt to write up a short fictional character sketch beginning with a different letter of the alphabet each day. Remember that a place can also be a character.

Julian Street ran from one end of town to the other, east to west. Much of it was commercial but the part where I lived was a lot more residential. Well, I didn’t really live on Julian. I lived around the corner. It was pretty much  a quiet two lane one way street on the part where I lived but there was a gas station on the corner and another a few blocks east of me and a Safeway grocery store a block west of me. But other than that, it was all houses. Later on there were some apartments but when I lived there there weren’t any. It was quiet enough that my mother let us walk to the grocery store around the corner. We actually had to walk along Julian but it was safe back then. I’m not sure what the speed limit was then, I would guess maybe 25. Then you have to remember that there were a lot less cars back in the early 1960’s.

I mentioned that gas station a few blocks east of us? Well, it was the first time we had seen a gas station with a store inside. My dad could buy beer and wine in there and we could buy soda and ice cream and candy and sometimes, when Safeway was out of something my mom needed, we could go to the gas station to find it at the store inside. When one of my brothers or sisters was sick, with a fever and nausea, my mom would send one of us to the gas station store to buy a little bottle of Coke syrup which she used to get rid of the barfs. They used to have this deal there, too, where you could take in your own empty bottle and they would fill it with soda from the fountain and it was a lot cheaper that way. We had a big family and we really didn’t drink soda because it was too expensive but once in awhile, as a treat, we would be allowed to buy the fountain soda and have them put it in our gallon sized bottle. What came in a gallon size bottle with a narrow pour spout and a handle that we could take to fill up with soda? My dad’s wine jugs! We usually took them in with the label removed and cleaned off but once we took in an empty wine jug with the label still on it. When Ben, the old man that lived across the street came over to have a cigarette with my dad, my dad decided to play a joke on him. He got the root beer that was in the wine jug that still had the wine label on it and he poured us each a glass of soda but didn’t say anything about it being soda. When we came to drink it, Ben’s eyes just about popped out of their sockets! He thought we were all drinking wine, including my youngest sister who was only about two at that time.

I remember those days with fond memories. Julian Street is a lot different now. I know for a long while it was a pretty bad area. The whole neighborhood had gone downhill. That was about twenty years after we moved away from that area. Now I hear that it has gotten to be a pretty nice area with homes selling for a million dollars! It’s strange to think that I once lived in a million dollar home, only it wasn’t worth that when I lived there. Far from it!

One of these day I’ll go back to town and go visit Julian Street and see what it’s like. One of these days.










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My ex-husband has always been an avid sports fan. He follows baseball, football, and basketball. At least when we were married that was all he followed. Of course he also watched tennis and golf and every other sport on TV, but as for attending games and really following on the radio (ooohhh what’s that?) and TV, it was baseball, football, and basketball. We lived in Los Angeles (Santa Monica to be exact) so we were Dodger fans. He still lives there and is still a huge fan with season tickets and all that. I still love the Dodgers, too.

I remember going to as many games as we could afford. We went in triple digit heat, in rain, in wind; we went all the time! As soon as there was a hint of post season play, he would mail in the postcard to win the chance to buy tickets. And he would use every name he could think of, his, mine, his sister, his niece, his brother-in-law, friends, on those post cards so he would have more chances of winning the right to buy the tickets. One year, I think it was the first year we were married, 1978, he got tickets to the World Series against the Yankees. He invited his father to drive up for the game. It was a huge thing to have his dad come. Hid dad was a big fan too so he really appreciated the chance to go to the game.

So the day of the game arrived. His father drove the three hours that day and was in town in the early afternoon. When the time arrived, off the two went to the game. Then a couple of hours later, I got a phone call. It was from a pay phone (no cell phones then). It was my husband. He was out of breath and upset. I think he called me just to vent because there was nothing I could have done. It seems that his dad was holding the tickets and put them down to buy a program then forgot about the tickets (his dad was elderly, tired from the drive, and excited about the game). When they got to the gate, they had no tickets. They retraced their steps but the tickets were gone. Stadium police were called and because my husband had looked at those tickets so many times since they had arrived in the mail, he had memorized the section and seat numbers. So Stadium Police (and they are definitely Police, not just security, with the right to arrest and their own jail inside the stadium) went to the seats, got the people out of the seats. They didn’t have the right ID. The stadium had a record of who the tickets had been mailed to. So the people that were in the seats were taken away by the Stadium Police and my husband and his dad got to watch the game in their seats.

It’s one of those things that sticks in your mind and pops up every so often. They were lucky that he remembered the seats and had the receipt in the envelope in his pocket to prove he was the rightful owner of the tickets. They missed the first inning and a half but that was okay, they were relieved to be able to enjoy the rest of the game…a World Series game…against the NY Yankees!

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I’ve been watching TV because I’ve been too sleep deprived to concentrate on much. When I watch TV, for the most part, I put on something just for background company, not to really watch it. However, there are some shows that I will watch over and over again…entire seasons…entire series. I think I have seen every episode of NYPD Blue at least ten times (12 seasons); The West Wing (7 seasons) I have watched every episode at least five times; The Gilmore Girls I have seen at least twelve times, some episodes more than that because I caught them on TV, not streaming.

This past week I started streaming Parenthood. I really like the show. I think a lot of the acting is overdone but the story lines are solid. The music is a bonus. This time I really watched the show, not just had it on in the background. Although I’ve always loved the theme song (it was very popular in my college years so it reminds me of good times), Forever Young by Bob Dylan, I never paid attention to the lyrics. This week a few popped out at me so I went looking for the lyrics. They like a prayer a wish; like an Irish prayer (to me anyway). I thought I would share them with you. I’m not linking to the video because I couldn’t find a good one with no ads but if you search for “Forever Young Bob Dylan” you’ll find it. Here are the lyrics:


May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

Copyright © 1973 by Ram’s Horn Music; renewed 2001 by Ram’s Horn Music


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