Friday, September 26, 2008

Seven things you should know about me...

7 Things I plan to do before I die
1. Surf a shoulder high wave again
2. Sky dive from 16,000 feet (With oxygen - just don't tell Sue)
3. Oar paddle the Grand Canyon in the giant rapids
4. See the rest of New Zealand
5. Go to Antarctica
6. Participate in a three day cattle roundup - real, not the dude kind
7. See New England during the fall colors

7 things I do now
1. Organize, organize, organize
2. Enjoy cooking - learning to cook without recipes
3. Own a VW
4. Tell stories - lots of them
5. I am comfortable talking to anyone, anytime, anyplace
6. Remembering numbers for a long numbers, addresses, whatever
7. Love Sue! She is my best friend and has always believed in me!!

7 things I can't do
1. Blow a bubble with bubble gum - no matter how hard I try
2. Sing
3. Drive fast on the freeway - I worry about getting a speeding ticket
4. Run a marathon - I let everyone else do it - I just watch
5. Skiing of any kind - water skiing (can't get up)...snow (can't stop) get the idea
6. Learn how to play cards well
7. Recall everything I read in the scriptures

7 celebrities that I admire
1. Joseph Smith
2. President Hinckley
3. Elder Scott
4. Eddie Edwards
5. Harrison Ford
6. Kent and Gary
7. My kids

7 favorite foods
1. Chili Rellenos (Any mexican food)
2. Macaroni Grill Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Meatballs (Look up the calories...)
3. Aunt Pat's Casserole
4. Perfect PB Sandwich - Peanut butter, tomato and onion (Sweet, pungent, juicy, sticky)
5. Cottage cheese, avocado, Veg-All, mayonnaise - topped with Seasoned salt (Not any more)
6. T-Bone steak and a great salad
7. A really good omelette

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hallway Bowling

The sport originated in the small add-on bedroom Kent and I shared in Culver City. We had just gotten into bowling big time. We were regulars at Culver Bowl, in the Bantam Divison.

To sharpen our skills when we couldn't be at the bowling alley we made up a game called Hallway Bowling.

The bowling pins consisted of bottles of every shape and description. No glass - just plastic bottles. The were arranged in the traditional bowling configuration, backed by a pillow off the bed. The pillow was very important as it provided protection for the wall or door behind the pins.

The bowling ball was the small, rubbery kind that you buy at the supermarket in the tall wire cages. Did you every notice that they will not roll straight?

Now, very important, you only use a two step approach - not much room there...release the ball with plenty of spin...amazing how much you can get the ball to curve in ten feet...

The pins fly - helped of course by the side walls and the ball coming off the pillow - the pins are attacked in two directions really. Pins fall, oh yes - they fall...

We kept score faithfully, well, I kept score faithfully. Scores were usually pretty tight...typically 287 to 277 - something like that...

At the end of the year, after I don't know how many games, we were averaging around 275 for the season...not bad.

For a longer version of the game we moved to a hallway, when we had a hallway.

Eventually Kent and I considered careers as professional bowlers, based on our enormous success at home.

Somehow the real game at the real bowling alley was harder....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Open for Business

Santa Monica...Barrington Apartments...middle complex in a row of about 6 apartment buildings...apartment on the bottom level...Right front apartment, I believe...

I am about 8 years old, Kent is about 5...

On the corner of Barrington and something, down the street, is located a grocery store and an adjacent Thrifty Drug Store.

The grocery store became a gold mine for the local kids because of a unique policy for shopping cart returns. For every shopping cart that you brought back to the store you were given a nickel. A nickel was big money at the time. I remember that you could buy a decent candy bar for 5 - 10 cents. The trick was to go to the shopping cart area in the parking lot and then bring the cart into the store as a "returned" shopping cart. The person would ask you if you brought the cart from outside the store lot, and you would look them straight in the eyes and say "Oh, Yes". They would look you over and then give you a nickel. You had to be very sincere - good acting experience. You couldn't do this more than three times in one day. Every once in a while you would actually find a cart on your way to the store and bring that in...much easier than the acting.

This was small potatoes as we graduated to a much more lucrative scheme. The Thrifty Drug Store had a wide variety of model cars, ships and airplances for sale. They were fully stocked. They even had glue and an assortment of paints. I organized the apartment kids into roving bands of shoplifting professionals. The younger ones were tutored by the older, more experienced shop lifters. Lessons were taught in store management observation, product selection, and of course, exit strategies.

You can't just walk into a store, shop lift and then run out of the store. You have to be discreet and not bring any attention to yourself. No looking around before the heist. Just casually inspect the products, maybe pick them up and read the details on the side of the box, and then slip quietly from the scene.

Now mind you this was very organized. When the "products" were procured (Shoplifted) they were taken to the "Store" under our apartment building. To reach the "Store" you had to go down the side of the building to a little rectangle at the ground floor. The "doorway" was a piece of screen which had to be pulled back. You would crawl through the dirt in the foundation of the building for a short while and then to a "room" where the products were displayed. The models were organized by type (Car, Ship, Airplane) in perfect product display order. A "customer" (A local kid) could purchase the model at a greatly reduced price. The glue, paint, etc. was also available. What I don't remember was how the gang was paid. I know money was coming in and business was good. I remember meetings where I would let people know what products were needed as goods were sold - the marching orders.

It didn't take long for the Thrifty Drug people to start to notice that their inventory was shrinking. They were on high alert. Every once in a while someone would get caught. A casualty of doing business.

One day that someone that got caught was me! I thought I had done a good job of making sure the coast was clear! I grabbed a model and was headed out the door, when all of a sudden, the store manager swoops down on me as I exit and grabs me and drags me back into the store. We go to the back room and he interrogates me. What was my name? Where did I live? Had I done this before? Did I know the penalty for shoplifting? Did I want the police to show up? None of these things felt very good.

I was then paraded through the store, with the store manager pushing me along, and as he spotted an employee would tell them that "he caught the ring leader!" They nodded their approval, and I moved along. Eventually he called my parents and they came down to the store. I was very humble and said whatever they wanted me to say - I just wanted to go home. They had no idea about the magnitude of the Shoplifting operation or the "Store" under the apartment building.

There was a final Clearance Sale after that because I was threatened with death if this ever happend again. All items must go! Rock bottom prices!!

Closed for business...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Out for a Stroll

Kent and I lived in the San Fernando Valley, in Mission Hills. Mission Hills in the the northern portion of the valley.

It was another summer day and we were bored. Our parents were at work. I think I was about 10 years old and Kent was 7.

I don't know how we got the idea, but we started walking south. We walked down Haskell Avenue for a good while, then turned westt toward Balboa. Balboa runs the vertical length of the Valley.

I remember that it was very hot out, as usual in the area during the summer. VERY HOT!

Next thing you know - we had walked the entire length of the Valley, to the sourthern end and we could see the Ventura Freeway a short distance off.

We were standing next to one of the holes at the golf course in the Sepulveda Dam Basin. I remember the two of us talking and then we went out on the course. It was so hot that no one was playing at that time of day.

We found some sticks and then we found some beat-up golf balls in the bushes and proceeded out onto the course. I remember the innards of my ball hanging out through the white stuff.

We played one hole completely - hacking at the balls and making large divots in the ground. It's not real easy to play golf with sticks!

We went to tee off at the second hole and were working our way down the fairway when a man in a golf cart spotted us. He came over to us and yelled at us to get off the course and look at what damage we had done to his beautiful golf course!

We were scared...I can't imagine us knowing how to get a ride home from we started back up Balboa north towards our house. How we knew directions at that age I do not know, nor can I comprehend. I wouldn't have believed this, but Kent and I agree we did it!

Somehow we got home late in the afternoon. I think that there was an afternoon babysitter or housekeeper or something. She must have been pretty sharp to not notice we were missing for most of the day.

Anyway, as hazy as the incident was...can you imagine in this day and age having two little guys walk across the San Fernando Valley and not have anyone stop or even question what they wree doing?

When our parents asked us how the day went I am sure that we told them that we had just a normal day...normal for us!

Friday, September 12, 2008

World Land Speed Record

We're living in the San Fernando Valley...Valley surfers!

In our early teens and skateboarding is what we do...mind you, this is not the shaped board, poly wheel, tungsten truck type skateboarding, this is skateboarding in its infancy.

This is the get yourself a piece of wood, any piece of wood - find your old skates (you remember, the ones made of metal with the toe and heel pieces that you put on your shoes and tried to stay upright) and proceed to peel the wheel assembly from the rest of the skates. Good, now you have the wheels and the wood (By the way, don't worry about the shape of the wood, although rectangular would be nice)...

Now, hammer some nails to attach the two and you are ready to go...metal wheels were difficult to master - they tended to slip around a lot - limited your tricks! Rails? Are you kidding?? Jumps? For idiots! You simply tried to stay on the sucker!!!

An attempt had been made while we lived in Culver City, much earlier. Sort of like the Wright Brothers and those that followed...

My Brother Kent was selected to attempt a small hill around the corner from our home...we found the perfect piece of wood, a 2 x 6 seem to be our preference, and attached the metal wheels to the plank. Kent estimates that the wood was probably about 6 feet long - he would have only used about 3 feet of it... :))

Well, Kent was selected to steer our pilot attempt...he took off and rode on his stomach down the hill...gained pretty good speed and then was confronted with the prospect of the intersection in front of him - with no braking mechanism other than throwing your arms and legs to the ground...not much chance when you are little...

Well, he could have tried to grab the street sign pole, but that didn't happen...instead, Kent launched himself into the crosswalk on his stomach, invisible to cars and moving very rapidly...he made it all the way across the street and stopped abruptly against the curb on the other side...painful slivers in his stomach proved that the stop was abrupt!

The point had been made and proven! The skateboard had held up under the trying conditions of Culver Hill...

Well, one afternoon I was reading the latest Surfer Magazine and noticed a small article in the back of the magazine which reported that someone had set a new speed record for skateboards...35 miles per hour!

Only 35 miles per hour??? Nothing!!!!!

My brother and I went to work immediately with our plan...we found ourselves an eight foot length of 2 x 6 wood...perfect! Next we needed all the metal skate wheels that we could get our hands on...scoured the neighborhood and got about 4 pairs of skates...nobody really wanted the things anyway...

We took the wheels off the skates and prepared the World Record Holder Skateboard with skate wheel after skate wheel...the thing looked like a centipede!

The amazing thing is that the board actually rode pretty straight! It was about twice as long as we were, but it was pretty straight...

Now, for the plan to come together...summer day...parents not home...we start carrying the beast to the Land Speed Record location...Woodley Hill...some day they will probably mark the spot with a bronze memorial (On this date the world land speed record for skateboards was broken by the Hambly boys...something like that)....

Woodley Hill, for those of you not familiar with the area, is located across the street from the VA Hospital in Mission Hills/Sepulveda/whatever they call the's a steep hill - and long...perfect for our needs...

We arrive and prepare for the attempt. No helmets in those days! No elbow or knee pads, no protection at all!

Are you ready? Yes, I'm ready!! (Interestingly, no way to record our speed either...that will have to wait until we can get a parent to come home to verify the attempt - after we perfect the technique!)

I push off and start down the hill...slow at first, gentle slope down...

Whoa, gaining speed quickly now...cracks in the sidewalk are starting to make the board jump a bit...faster, faster...

Now at some point I am aware that I am going really fast! The cracks in the sidewalk start to feel like canyons - remember, there are no shock absorbers on this baby! Takes everything I had just to keep the thing on the sidewalk!!

Houses are whizzing by now...I remember a lot of ivy on the right - the whole side of the hill leading up to people's houses...only problem, they have sprinkler heads in the ivy - that could get nasty real fast!

By this time I can see the bottom of the hill...Not many options if I should get that far down the hill...Remembering Kent's splinters and the street crossing...things didn't look good...

Never really had to use any about the time I was making plans - the board is behaving so violently that I am looking at bail-out opportunities was like riding a bucking bronco that wanted to throw me...the metal wheels were sparking furiously and starting to come apart from the intense friction of the sidewalk!!

Abort! abort!...probably going about a 100 miles per hour now (probably 10 miles an hour :))!

Took the ivy option and said goodbye to the World Land Speed Skateboard as I disappeared into the hill of ivy...saw the board heading down the hill and certain death...

I managed to escape with only major cuts and bruises...but alive! The board would need extensive work to repair - and a new rider!

Surfer Magazine would have to wait for someone else to break that stupid record...the Hamblys Skateboard Racing Team was now officially through...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Backyard Olympics

I've been known to be a bit of an organizer in my lifetime... :))

One of my earliest organizing feats was the creation of the Backyard Olympics.

I had just watched the Olympic games on TV and, of course, was quite impressed with the whole show.

Why not put on our own Olympics? Right in the backyard of our home in Culver City? So I went to the drawing board.

We had an area for the sprints, 2 or 3 different lengths, if I recall...

The shotput was a big rock and the discuss was a pie tin...

We had to dig a pit for the long jump, with a board in the ground to mark the spot where you took off...

Long distance races were started in the backyard, but continued down the side yard into the street, one race even going around the block...

The highlight of the events, probably because I was pretty good at this, was the high jump and pole vault area. I found two trees that were close enough together for our purposes and tied some cord across them. It only took me one gigantic rope burn to learn to tie one end of the rope in a slip knot so that it would give way when you missed - I think I still have the scar...

We found an old mattress to land on - twin size, of course.

The pole vault pole turned out to be a challenge - what could we use that was light enough to carry down the approach, yet strong enough to support our weight - all 80 pounds of us???

We found a length of 2 x 2 wood that worked just fine...not much bend in the pole, mind you, but it did the job...

Now for the Games to begin...

Events were announced and the particpants (actually, just Kent and I) went to their marks...

I remember posting the results of each competition on paper on a tree for all to see. Results were carefully recorded for future Backyard Olympics competitions...

It was a day of glory for the Hambly boys...we captured the Gold and Silver in every event...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


For a while we lived in Fontana. We moved there from Arizona so that our Dad could help the struggling family office supply business. Things were tough because his Dad was having health issues related to the heart (Go figure... :)) )

Well, we moved into this really nice house a bit out of town. It had a lot of bedrooms and was on a really big lot. Next door there was nothing built yet and it was a giant dirt lot with Eucalyptus trees lining the property.

We moved in during the summer time, school was out. Both our parents were working, my Mom having found a job working at a construction company in Colton.

It didn't take us very long to use that big dirt area for our "Fort". Only this fort was an underground fort. We found some shovels and started digging. We didn't tell our parents - we were going to surprise them when we got done.

We dug for days. A big, long, straight main entrance and then a perpendicular tunnel meeting the main tunnel. We added rooms at the ends of the T. The whole thing was probably three feet deep - deep enough for two little boys to crawl through...barely.

Now, what to cover the tunnels with? It took days for us to find a pile of abandoned plywood sitting along the tree line. With considerable effort we dragged the plywood over to the tunnel area. We covered the entire tunnel in plywood.

Now it was pretty obvious that the plywood would give away our secret location, so we proceeded to cover the plywood in dirt - plenty of it!

Finally, we had tons (Probably not tons, but when you are little... ) of dirt disguising one of the coolest tunnel systems on the planet.

One problem - the tunnel was very dark. How to solve this problem? Go to the garage and you will find kerosene lanterns!

We drug those lanterns with us into the tunnels and lit them! We were pretty proud of ourselves for that move!!

Well, when the time came to show off our "Fort" to our parents we expected praise like we had never known before. After all, we had worked for days building this beauty!

Our parents came out to the dirt field and didn't exactly react the same way we had anticipated. It seems that they were very concerned about all the dirt that was placed on the flimsy plywood...even more excited when we showed them how we were able to illuminate the tunnels. Saving the most excitement for the fact that the lanterns were sucking the oxygen right out of the rooms at the end where we spent most of our time!

To our parents this was a "DEATH TRAP"!!!! Take that down right now...Norris, help the boys take this apart before someone gets hurt! Don't you ever build something like this without talking to us first!

Parents sure don't have a sense of adventure...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

War is Hell

A final chapter to the Freddie Upchurch story...for now...

Another boring summer day...what to do?

Freddie comes up with another idea.

He had noticed that a variety of airplanes landed at the Hughes Aircraft landing strip nearby our house in ulver City ...

Now Freddie mobilized his troops - just Kent and I - in our fighting uniforms...Freddie was outfitted in a complete soldier outfit, with canteens, knives, compass, etc. - all in camoflage...

Kent and I were outfitted in our fighting uniforms...shorts and a tee's the best we could do... :))

Freddie loaned us BB guns from his arsenal and we were ready!

Freddie had us march down the streets toward Hughes, probably counting cadence for the patrol...

When we got to Hughes we headed straight for the east end of the property - it had a cliff facing to the east and the planes always landed from the east...

We took our position and waited for the first unlucky plane that crossed our path!

Here it comes! Ready!! FIRE!!!

We quickly unloaded our one shot apiece at the approaching aircraft...we couldn't have been more than a quarter of a mile from the intended target...easy range for a Daisy BB gun!!

We all thought we got a piece of the plane - we even heard the BB's bounce off... :))

Couldn't understand what kept that baby in the air, though...

We spent most of the afternoon trying to bring down every kind of plane that came in...they most have had some pretty exotic airframes in those days... BB gun proof, I think...

When we were satisfied that we had defended our position and things were safe for America, it was time to march home - with Freddie barking out orders all the way home.

Wonder whatever happened to that juvenile patriot???

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Shake and Bake

Blame that Freddie Upchurch again!

Another boring summer that I am older (really old) I don't seem to think that Culver City gets that hot...but, when we were kids we believed that the summers got to be about 120 degrees...

What is there to do?

Freddie looks down his driveway and spots an abandoned 1950 Plymouth sedan - two door as I remember it - kind of a grey color. Parked next to the house.

Freddie looks at me and says "How long do you think your brother could survive in the trunk of that car?"

"What do you mean?" I ask. "Well, if we lock him in the trunk, how long do you think he could last?" "I don't know..." Well, let's find out!"

So we go and capture Kent and bring him to the car kicking and screaming. We open up the trunk of the car easily and put Kent inside, making sure to secure the trunk.

We stand across from the car (In the shade of the house, of course) and wait.

At first there is little sound. Then, a muffled yell. Then, a muffled scream. Beating on the trunk lid from the inside. Finally, no more sounds. Sounds like he is done.

We open the trunk and see Kent sitting there, all red faced and sweating like a pig.

I guess we answered the question, how long would he last...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Swing My Brother To and Fro

Blame everything on Freddie Upchurch!

Freddie lived on our block in Culver City. He was an only child and his parents both worked. He was a year older and considerably larger than the rest of us. His parents were able to buy Freddie pretty much whatever he wanted.

War stuff was what Freddie wanted.

He had camo clothing, BB guns, knives and assorted weapons of every description. Basically, what you had here was a walking Army Navy store.

Freddie was fascinated with warfare. He had little GI Joe action figures and battlefield layouts.

We would get pretty bored during the summertime - all of the parents were at work.

Well, not this day! We got the bright idea to try our hand at target practice in the garage of Freddie's house.

I remember putting up some regular targets and shooting at them from the garage door line into the back of the open garage. We were pretty accurate...

After a while that got pretty boring...we needed to liven things up a bit!

What if we shot at something a bit more difficult? Like my brother Kent for instance!

We get Kent to come over...we string up a rope over the rafters of the garage and we tie the rope to Kent's ankles. Now, turn him upside down and pull on the rope so that Kent is above the floor and hanging there. Mind you, this wasn't done easily - he fought pretty hard for a little guy!

Now, to make things more sporting, let's swing him back and forth from the rope.

Ready, aim, fire! See if you can hit him while swinging wildly from the rope. Remember, no head shots - that would really upset our parents! Just some body shots...steady, steady - time your shot to dead center. Got him!

After a while we even got tired of that! Bring him down...his face is really turning red now!

"You OK?" we ask him...he seems to be upset. He's gonna tell Mom and, don't do that!

Don't worry - he'll get over's only been 50 years and he's almost forgotten about it...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our Smokin' Cool Christmas Gifts

We were living in Culver City in a little house in a modest area of town. I was in a brand new school, Marina del Rey Junior High School, and very involved.

In fact I had been elected Student Body President of the school - running on a platform that included a speech addressing the seagull "poop" that we all had to dodge every day. Very edgy, deep stuff.

The point is - I was a big man on campus - well, not really a big man - but on campus.

Our parents tried hard to provide the necessities of life - but the luxuries were another matter.

Everyone at the school surfed - we even would get on our boards and paddle down Ballona Creek behind the school and paddle right out the channel into the break.

True surfer outfits always included a white T-shirt, levis, white socks, Purcells (the tennis shoes with the black slice in the toe) and PENDLETON shirts.

Well, we did pretty good on most of the stuff - not real levis, off brands on the tennis shoes, white T-shirts - check...

Now for the Pendleton shirt...not so much...too expensive!

Christmas was coming around and expectations were running hight...our parents knew that we really, really wanted Pendleton shirts. Now remember, Christmas gifts were usually purchased on Christmas Eve at KMART (Blue light specials).

Christmas morning rolls around and we see two boxes under the tree that are just the right size for the expected shirts. We open all the other gifts (probably 1-2 max) and then excitedly tear into the wrapping on the "big gift".

When we unwrap the present, we are immediately puzzled. The label said Pendleton alright, but it was a shirt that we had never seen before. It was large - oversized - and had a pocket on the upper chest and two large pockets over the stomach area. We only remember two pockets in the upper area on the shirts we had seen at school.

We proceeded to try them on - Mine a blue plaid and Kent's a brown plaid. We told our parents how great they were and how much we appreciated the gifts. Later we met in the bedroom to try to decifer what the heck these things were.

When school started again I remember going to Home Room and how everyone admired (OK - they stared) at the Pendleton jacket I proudly wore! I remember the first kid who asked me what that thing was! I told him that it was a special Pendleton jacket - no one else at school had one just like it!

Note: Actually the jackets were Smoking Jackets! Our parents got a real deal on these babies because why would teenagers wear a jacket to smoke their pipes in? The upper pocket actually was for the pipe, the lower pockets were where you put your pouch of tobacco and lighting accessories.

Well, word got around pretty fast that the Hambly boys had special Pendleton jackets!

Kids started coming up to me in my first class and wanted to know if he could wear the jacket. I told him that he could - just trade his Pendleton for my Pendleton and we would change back after the class. This went on all day. I got to wear everyone else's Pendleton - and they got the special jacket.

The teachers were especially amused. I think they figured out the purpose of our jackets pretty fast. They made some comments behind my back - but I was too young or naive to get it.

Anyway, the moral to the story. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. These cool jackets took on a life of their own. If the cool guy wears something unusual, odds are that kids will think that it is special.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Flowers, Anyone?

We used to live in an apartment building. It was an apartment building amongst other apartment builders - 6 in a row, I think - along a main street by the old Santa Monica airport.

My Dad worked at the Douglas factory and this building was located very nearby.

I remember picking Dad up after work and watching people leaving the plant. Each person had a badge on and on each badge were colored buttons which signified what level of security they had. There were two green buttons, one green and one yellow, two yellows. My Dad was two yellows - the highest. Never knew what he did - just that he was two yellows. Years later after we had moved to the San Fernando Valley he told me that he would work weekends correcting the work of some idiot with a college degree - that is as close to knowing what he did as I ever got.

Now this apartment building was a gold mine for some enterprising kids.

We started a flower business and went door to door selling these flowers. The gold mine? The flowers were growing down the side of the apartment building - free! The enterprising kids? We bought a can of gold spray paint at the local Thrifty Drug store on the corner and then we painted the flowers with the gold spray. Really kicked them up a notch.

My brother Kent was used for the door approach. Who could turn him down? He was a cute, please buy my flowers kind of kid. We may have even asked for a dollar per flower - outrageous in those days and times.

I just remember making a killing in the complexes.

Eventually our parents found out that their children were basically begging for money selling worthless flowers painted gold and put an abrupt end to the enterprise.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

PB The Hambly Way

Everyone has a favorite sandwich which they love to eat while growing up...

Well, in our family we were made to eat a vile combination sandwich on a regular basis - peanut butter, pickle and mayonnaise...yes, you did read it right!

My Dad would spread out half a loaf of bread on the counter - two rows. He then would take this enormous knife and dip deep into the peanut butter jar and spread the breads from left to right. This was followed by cutting the pickles into thin slices and applying them to the slabs of peanut butter bread. The other side of the bread was then spread with a large amount of mayonnaise.

Assemble and wrap in - not plastic wrap - wax paper. Put 2 - 3 "Little Gem" oatmeal raisenette cookies on top (Very inexpensive - big bag)...

Take this to school in a brown paper sack and wait until lunch time. Try to trade someone at lunch time for some decent food - difficult sales job at best. By lunch time the cookies have now made an impression in the soggy sandwich - presentation is everything....

This probably only went on for 2 - 3 years...or until we complained so loudly that the money was found for us to eat in the school cafeteria...usually not considered a blessing. :))

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bombadier Pants

This is my earliest childhood memory. I must have been about 5 years old, Kent about 2.

I remember being in the living room of the small home in Santa Monica. Somehow I remember a braided rug on wood flooring.

It's Christmas Day and we are both excited. We must have received a new Lionel train for a gift. And Lincoln Logs - those interconnecting pieces of redwood that together built a fine log cabin.

Well, we never really had much money for the finer things in life.

So my earliest memory consisted of a game we created with our new toys...and our "special" underwear it would seem. Somehow our white underwear was a bargain brand - a "second" or flawed pair. The flaw - an extra layer of cloth below the lowest point in the pants - a "shelf" of fabric.

So what do two boys do with their shelf? They load them up with Lincoln Logs, run across the room at the moving Lionel train while it made it's way around the tracks, stop suddenly, and with a thrust of the pelvic area forward - "bomb" the train off the tracks.

I believe that we got really good at this game. Maybe even Junior Championship Bombadier good.