From the Desk of Don Slinger Issue 45

Winter 2002 CSANews Issue 45  |  Posted date : Apr 12, 2007.Back to list

Hi Folks!

How good is your memory? Do you remember what a pain your teacher-assigned memory work was?

Let's take a trip back in time together. Close your eyes and let your mind travel back in time ­ before the Internet and the Big Mac ­ before semi-automatics and crack ­ before Super Nintendo.

Way back ­ I'm talking about hide-and-go-seek at dusk ­ sitting on the porch ­ home-baked bread and butter ­ the Good Humour man ­ banana splits ­ chocolate milk ­ sunflower seeds ­ lunch tickets ­ penny candy in a brown paper bag.

Playing pinball in the corner store ­ hopscotch ­ butterscotch ­ double dutch ­ jacks ­ kickball ­ dodge ball ­ Mother, may I ­ Red light/green light ­ red rover ­ Simon says and roly poly.

Hula hoops ­ Jolly Ranchers ­ wax lips and mustaches ­ running through the sprinkler ­ the smell of the sun and licking salty lips.

Oh don't give up yet! Watching Saturday morning cartoons ­ Fat Albert, Road Runner, He Man and the Three Stooges. Then, going back further, listening to The Lone Ranger on radio, as well as to such other favourites as Amos and Andy, George and Gracie, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, Fibber Magee and Molly and Abbott and Costello.

Remember catching lightning bugs in a jar ­ making a slingshot ­ when around the corner seemed far away and going downtown seemed like going somewhere ­ climbing trees ­ an ice-cream cone on a warm summer night (chocolate or vanilla or strawberry or butter pecan, if you were lucky) ­ a cherry Coke from the drugstore followed by a thousand mosquito bites on sticky hands.

Cops and robbers ­ cowboys and Indians ­ sitting on the curb ­ jumping down steps ­ jumping on the bed ­ pillow fights ­ running until you were out of breath ­ laughing so hard that your stomach hurt, and being tired from playing.

Remember when it took five minutes for the TV to warm up (if you even had one) ­ when nearly everyone's Mom was at home when the kids got there ­ when nobody owned a pure-bred dog ­ when a nickel was a great allowance and a quarter was a miracle ­ when a quart of milk went up by one cent and everyone talked about it for weeks...and it was delivered to your door?

Do you also remember when girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school (if then) ­ when your Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces ­ when you got your windshield cleaned and oil checked at the gas pumps without asking (for free ­ every time) and you didn't pay for air and you got trading stamps to boot ­ when laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden in the box ­ when a parent could discipline any kid or use him to carry groceries and nobody (not even the kid) thought a thing about it ­ when they threatened to keep a kid back a grade if he or she failed, and they did ­ when being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate of a misbehaving student at home.

Wasn't that a nice trip back in time? They were good times then, and are good times now as we reflect back on them.

I will conclude by telling you of an event that won't be commonplace, Beth and I bought the first TV set (black-and-white, of course) in our neighbourhood. We were so proud of this invention that I invited all our neighbours over to watch the Grey Cup football game ­ everyone accepted. On the day before the party, someone gave me a ticket to the game. I went, leaving Beth and four little kids at home to entertain our guests. Some of you might think I'm twins because one person couldn't be that stupid.

Believe it or not, we're still married after 54 years!

God Bless!