Remembrances of my childhood keep flooding my mind…
Saturdays were always a special day… that is if I had finished my mowing for the week during the summer months. If not I would have to stay and finish mowing once the dew had all melted off and the grass was dry to where it wouldn’t clump up as you mowed. Mom and dad were both real particular about how the yard looked. I remember hearing them tell other folk-"With three boys around, that ought to make for a clean well-kept yard…" The funny thing about that was, while I did have two big brothers, I was the only one doing the mowin’.
...saving my money for a hotdog with my friends
I learned early that if I started in the back with my mowing on Wednesday or Thursday, I could generally finish up on Friday afternoons in the front of the house. That is, unless it rained on Wednesday or Thursday. I also learned to pray harder during the week, if you know what I mean. Then I could use the money I had saved to go into town to the movie theatre. Tom Mix and Hop-along Cassidy were my favorite western heroes. ‘Duck’, (mom said I ought to call him Mr. Riley) who run the 24th St Grocery, would always let me ‘rob’ the cap catcher on the drink machine for just Coke caps, if I would empty all the rest in the trash for him. I could get in the movies for just 10 Coke caps saving my money for a hotdog with my friends at Buntings Drug Store up the street from the theatre.
We could really look hungry if we had to
We always met up at Buntings. That way we could decide who all we wanted to sit with in the movies. Some of my friends lived on the Virginia side of town and went to different schools and it had been a whole week since I’d seen them. There were usually a lot of people at Buntings, and we wouldn’t be able to sit down when we first got there so we would look around and see who was just about finished eating and then just stand and watch them. Eddie Wilson said it would cause them to hurry if they saw others waiting so we made sure they saw us. We could really look hungry if we had to.
Young boys in town on Saturday...
After we sat down the waitress would ask what each of us was having today. The menu was on the wall high above the soda bar so every one could see it to order from, but we had our orders memorized. We all wanted a hotdog & fountain coke and a bag of potato chips. Then we would all put our quarters on the table. What a life – it had been a whole week since we had last seen each other and me and my buddies savored each moment together. Gobblin’ down our ‘dogs’ and chips, then to run down the street to the movie; we were childhood friends on a mission.
We lined up eagerly waiting’ for the ticket window to open. Sometime the line would stretch around the building and into the alley; especially if it was going to be a Roy Rodgers with Trigger or a Hop-along Cassidy movie. You could tell we were all excited. We had waited all week for this...
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