Wednesday, April 30, 2008

cowgirl in the kitchen

This picture was taken in the kitchen of 2624 Scenic Hwy, the home we Finlayson kids grew up in. That's my oldest sister Jennie holding yours truly. Jennie doesn't wear cowgirl clothes see back in those days - dressing up in cowboy duds was a big deal for baby boomer kids. I didn't know this back then - seeing how I wasn't even a year old. Jennie took care of me a lot in those days. By the way, she just made Dean of Winthrop University in South Carolina and will be leaving Georgia Southern University soon.

The door behind us leads to a screen-in porch (well it was back then), where three big wooden rockers sat. I remember all the kids sitting outside on the rockers at night and listening to the trains pass in the valley. We had a wonderful place to grow up, hills to play king of the hill and just enough flat to play a baseball. We had lots of kids in the neighborhood too...plenty of little boomers to join in games. Our yard seemed to be the focus of a lot of neighborhood activities. The hills were fun to roll down or slide down on cardboard boxes. If you had the nerve - the hills made for a pretty thrilling try on a bicycle. I remember my chain broke while attempting the hill on a bike and the tool closet door brought me to an abrupt stop. It was either the wooden door or a brick wall. The hills were fun and didn't deter my downhill bicycling efforts.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

we didn't have mp3

Back in the 60's, we had this thing called the portable transistor radio. I had one, as well as a little ear phone to jam to the oldies...of course back then...the oldies were still new.

Radio stations back weren't country stations, rock and roll stations, etc. You'd tune into listen to music and you got to hear Johnny Cash, Ray Stevens, The Beatles, Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Who, The Four Tops, Burle Ives, Bob Dylan, Henry Mancini, and Peter Paul & Mary. You heard it all without having to tune to different channels.

Back when I was going to R.A. Mitchell, I'd carry my transistor radio in my book satchell. I thought having a transistor radio was hot stuff back then.

Monday, April 28, 2008

let's play cowboys & native americans

True, we didn't have PC back in the good old days. We not only had plastic Cowboys and Indians...we had FORT APACHE! Fort Apache was a play-set made by Marx. I believe Michael Bynum's sons (Chad & Josh) gave him a set a re-issue of this awesome play-set some Christmas' back.
Marx Toys also made some Cowboy and Indian 12" action figures that were pretty cool. I had Johnny West and General Custard - but they never fought Injuns with them. I just wasn't into Cowboys & Indians...unless that is when John Wayne was fighting them. My Johnny West and Gen. Armstorng Custard had to settle for Nazis.
"Mind if I borrow that machine gun Joe?"

Sunday, April 27, 2008

wish list of 1966

Okay, this is the first time you'll see something G.I. Joe related in this Boomerville, USA blog - and it won't be the last. This folks is the the G.I. Joe Five Star Jeep from the old Sears & Roebuck Wish Book. I got this toy after two years of begging Santa for it. The cannon on the back actually shot hard shells. I had to take a long screwdriver to poke out the plastic wall the Hasbro people put in there as hindsight because this is one of those toys that could put an eye out. I became a very good aim with it. I first saw the G.I. Joe Jeep in the Sears & Roebuck Wish Book but didn't lay my eyes on the real thing until mom and dad made a trip to Masons in Anniston.

I got my Five Star Jeep on Christmas morning and immediately loaded all my joes on in for a recon outing. I didn't wait for family members to finish opening their presents...orders were orders and we took off around the house that cold December morning. We were doing pretty good there, not a Nazi in sight when I heard a voice from behind me, "INCOMING!" I turned just in time to see a basketball coming, no time to react. Brook had thrown it and laughing. It was a direct hit - Joes went everywhere and my new Five Star Jeep was minus a tailgait. Needless to say - I FREAKED!!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cousin Cliff

Cousin Cliff had a kid's show down in Birmingham. I never got to be on the show but I tuned in regularly to watch Popeye cartoons on channel 13. Brook once told me that he saw Cousin Cliff in all his glory at the Princess Theater (Downtown Gadsden). All a kid had to do was show up at the theater with 6 RC bottle caps to gain entry.

On his television show - Cousin Cliff would do magic tricks and show cartoons and interview the kids in his audience. He was pretty hot stuff back in the day. I think my brother in-law Dan Noojin once told me that he was on the Cousin Cliff Show.
There is a humorous story that has circulated about Cousin Cliff asking two black children what they were giggling about (while on air). After a little coaxing from Cliff, one of the little boys blurted out, "Cousin Cliff - Leroy Fahhted!" I don't know how true the story is but it was a pretty darn unexpected thing to hear in the day of squeaky clean TV.
Post Note: Cousin Cliff passed away September 8, 2008.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

thanks mike

My pal - Michael Bynum just started a site about his love for the old monster movies. As I read his new blog, my mind kept going back to my youth. In the comments, I kept wanting to write out my memories, or my take on that era. I decided instead to create a blog aside from my primary blog to post about all things relating to the baby-boomers.

As for the advertisement above, I never cared for Fizzies but they were a favorite treat for most baby-boomer kids. You'd plop a flavored pill into water as if you were using an Alka-Selzer and PRESTO - a fizzily-flavored drink. Brook (my older brother) told me of a guy that got out of class by popping one directly into his mouth during class. It wasn't long before red foamy bubbles started spewing from his mouth.

I remember enjoying TANG as a kid...the orange juice of astronauts. I also remember this chocolate drink by Carnation Foods called Instant Breakfast. It was a chocolate powder that you added to milk. It always gave me a stomach ache for some reason.