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Reminiscing: 50 Years Later
Old 10-05-2013, 11:12 PM   #1
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Reminiscing: 50 Years Later

Nowadays, at age 58, many things from my youth are reaching their 50 year anniversary.

At this time, October 1963, my family had moved from Southern California--where I, a huge music lover since I was born, had enjoyed the Beach Boys and girl group records--to Spokane. I remember going door-to-door in my new neighborhood on Halloween that year, frozen red apples on the trees, throwing rocks in the snow at the street light, getting into pirates (I still have a pirates cartoon book I created back then), and the songs "Sugar Shack," "Deep Purple" and "Rhythm of the Rain" playing in the soundtrack of my youth.

Fifty years ago our cupboards were just about empty come the end of every month back then. I remember the Salvation Army giving us a Thanksgiving or Christmas "basket" of food that late 1963 (including a turkey and Jiffy Pop!). What a wonderful treat it was. (I give every year to the Salvation Army this time of year in memory and thanks.) And seeing for the first time The Wizard of Oz movie on TV.

Next month, November 1963 , came President Kennedy's assassination. (More on that later, as November 2013 comes around.)

Then, a few months later, in February 1964, The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and for me, the music lover, a new era had arrived: going figuratively from flat, boring mono black-n-white to exciting 3D stereo psychedelic colors. What a great time to be a young kid growing up!

Today, my health is good, my cupboards are filled with food, and life is good. I am so thankful.

"Memories are life's handshake with the heart," my grandfather often said to us grandkids.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:20 AM   #2
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Next month, November 1963 , came President Kennedy's assassination.
Kennedy's assassination and funeral came during the month I turned four. I lived in Dallas at the time. Watching the television coverage is perhaps my earliest memory.

My mother still has the picture I drew that afternoon - a sheet of construction paper filled with angry crayon scribbles.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:11 AM   #3
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Some are hitting 51 for me, John Glenn 1962 liftoff, sitting with DM asking why we had to watch this. Her response "your watching history being made". Later that year it was the Cuban missile crisis. Same plea, same answer, history being made. What she didn't tell me is my DB was on the USS Enterprise, just off the coast of Cuba. In 1963 I didn't ask why we were watching about JFK, I knew the answer.

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Old 10-31-2013, 11:10 PM   #4
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Tonight is Halloween 2013.

I remember parts of Halloween night 50 years ago. It was Spokane, Washington. I recall a few homes we trick-or-treated on Dalton Street. That was when I suspected perhaps I was kinda getting too old for this stuff. I had just turned 9. I went out on Halloween for another year or two before deciding, yeah, I was too old to be trick-or-treating. (But not too old to get in costume every so often to this day.)

I also remember parts of Halloween the year before, when I lived with my grandparents in San Pedro, California. I recall dumping all of my collected sugary treats in this tall yellow garment bag that hung in my bedroom closet, and picking candy from that bag here-and-there for weeks to come. (I never knew at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis that almost took us all to WW3 only days before. Perhaps my grandparents had done a great job of protecting me from such worries.)

In neither year did my mother or my grandparents go out with me or us other kids. We kids left our house into the dark evening to gather candy, without adult supervision, and it was a "see you later" attitude. We'd come home around, I dunno, about 7 or 8. Although I'm sure the adults in my family were concerned with our safety, they felt no need to accompany us.

Much different these days, huh?

In my hometown, no kids visit us in our neighborhood. Instead, for the past few years, families bring their kids to the main downtown business area, where police cordon off many streets to make a large part of downtown pedestrian only, and the Chamber of Commerce and other folks sponsor Halloween stuff--like music playing over loud-speakers and a "mob flash" dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," while each of the local businesses hands out candy to the kids. It's been getting bigger and bigger every year, growing in popularity. Tonight, Halloween 2013, I'm sure many, many hundreds, if not a couple thousand or more, attended. I suspect a good portion of them were out-of-towners who have learned of our town's safe Halloween Night fun.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:28 PM   #5
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Kennedy's assassination and funeral came during the month I turned four. I lived in Dallas at the time. Watching the television coverage is perhaps my earliest memory.

My mother still has the picture I drew that afternoon - a sheet of construction paper filled with angry crayon scribbles.
Lots of JFK Assassination 50-year anniversary TV programs this November month.

They reminded me that not too long after the event itself, when I was just a freshly-minted 9-year-old, there came out a list of coincidences between JFK's and Abraham Lincoln's assassinations--which I recall as seeming very eerie at the time. Over these many years later I had forgotten many of them. But thanks to the Internet--such as this source--they've come back.

Jackie Kennedy wanted her late husband's state funeral to resemble Lincoln's, including the flag-draped coffin carried on a horse-drawn caisson, with the backward boots in the stirrups, to the U.S. Capitol to lie in state--but she had no idea at the time of all those other coincidences. Strange, huh?
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:34 AM   #6
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I've seen the Kennedy - Lincoln comparison list. Lots of comparisons. Also watched the Kennedy special on the Discover channel a few days ago. I didn't remember that the Kennedys lost a son a few months before JFK's assassination.
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:36 AM   #7
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Etched in memory.
I had just been transferred from managing the Sears store in Vineyard Haven, Mass, to managing the store in Falmouth Mass.
My assistant manager called me to the front of the store, where the TV display was located... near the front window.
"The president has been shot!"
...and with that, the world turned upside down.
For the next few hours, my store filled with people, watching, crying... then heading home to try and manage their lives. How to tell the children, and where do we go from here? The president was the dream of every dad and mom... the highest wish and hope for their own children.
Yes... the world stopped for the next two weeks.
.................................................. .........

It was only during the previous summer, when we were still living on Martha's Vineyard... (DW and I, two very young sons, aged three and four, and a brand new baby son who was born on the Vineyard)... that we had been over to Edgartown, by the ferry slip for the boat that goes over to Chappaquiddick. We were with our next door neighbors, who also had young children. The little girl, age 7 and the boy age 5, were good swimmers, and swam out into the channel, to where the Honey Fitz was anchored.

JFK and Jacqueline invited the kids aboard for about 20 minutes to play with Caroline and John John. A very exciting time for all of us.
.................................................. .........

Perhaps it's just age, and a faltering memory, but somehow those years were different... The awe of the presidency, the feeling of respect for government leaders, and the pride in being an American was a warm place of comfort and safety. My own kids grew up with that and still remember

Kennedys Going to the candy store in Hyannis... August 1963
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File Type: jpg Kennedys.jpg (78.6 KB, 23 views)
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:10 PM   #8
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I vividly recall this time of year, 50 years ago in 1963, when I was barely 9.

My family had just moved to Spokane, Washington, from San Pedro, California. It was cold--freezing cold. We kids would put our feet by the open kitchen oven. (I remember we'd have the radio playing in the kitchen while warming our feet by the oven--to popular songs of the day like "Sugar Shack" and "Deep Purple.")

I recall the JFK assassination TV coverage that November of 1963--a week before Thanksgiving Day. I also remember seeing for the first time, that late 1963, The Wizard of Oz, in black and white on our TV: our family's only luxury, as we had no telephone or car.

Being on "welfare," my family had little food at the end of each month in those days. So, I fondly recall when a priest from the local Catholic Church came to our house that holiday season of 1963 to give my family a holiday food basket. Then, a bit later, the Salvation Army also gave us a food basket for Christmas. Oh, they were so much appreciated! (I distinctly remember to this day us cooking on the stove-top some Jiffy Pop popcorn that had come with one of those baskets.) To this day, I donate $ to the Salvation Army this time of year--in memory of those donated food baskets that had made us so happy.

Today, when I look in my fridge, food pantry, and cupboards--to see lots and lots of food, compared to those hungry yesterdays--I am so very thankful.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:14 AM   #9
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My family had just moved to Spokane, Washington, from San Pedro, California. ...
I was five and living at 1832 West 27th Street, San Pedro, California. Our parents drummed that address and our phone number into our heads for when we got lost at the beach or in the department store. It is still stuck in there, wasting brain cells.

I have a vague recollection of my first day at kindergarten in Sept 1963, but my first firm memory is of seeing my mother running(!) across the street from the neighbor's house, tears streaming down her face, sobbing to us that the president had been shot. I didn't know much about the president at that point, but my my mother running and sobbing sure made an impression!
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:06 PM   #10
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The top apartment of 831 South Grand Avenue, San Pedro, California--1963 up to the early 1980s--was where I and other members of our extended family created memories with our grandparents, Pete and Bessie Sanstol, who lived there. Grandpa Pete died in 1982; Grandma Bessie in 1994.

All these many years later I still remember those two dear people, and miss their company.
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'The Fugitive'
Old 12-14-2013, 12:54 PM   #11
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'The Fugitive'

Also marking its 50th anniversary, but getting no mention whatsoever by the press, TV, or anyone else, is the debut of my of my favorite drama TV series ever: The Fugitive, starring David Janssen. I love that series, even to this day. I even had a couple of DVD box-sets.

Janssen was perfectly cast as The Fuge. He had that handsome, hound dog, hunted look that couldn't be matched when they tried to redo this series in the 1990s--when they cast a more traditionally handsome guy.

This was perhaps the first TV series that maintained its suspense for four years, and resolved it with the series' finale: August 29, 1967. It was the most-watched TV episode in history, I believe, to that date (perhaps the Beatles on Ed Sullivan Feb. 9, 1964--with some 77 million viewers--had more).

YouTube has a number of episodes, including the finale.

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Old 12-14-2013, 12:58 PM   #12
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I was five and living at 1832 West 27th Street, San Pedro, California. Our parents drummed that address and our phone number into our heads for when we got lost at the beach or in the department store. It is still stuck in there, wasting brain cells.

I have a vague recollection of my first day at kindergarten in Sept 1963, but my first firm memory is of seeing my mother running(!) across the street from the neighbor's house, tears streaming down her face, sobbing to us that the president had been shot. I didn't know much about the president at that point, but my my mother running and sobbing sure made an impression!
BTW, Scrinch, when I was going to grade school in San Pedro in 1963, I remember our school teacher had just traded in her canary yellow T-Bird for a brand-new powder-blue 1963 T-Bird convertible. Beautiful car. And Montie Montana came to our school grounds to present a show. And 5-cent bags of Frito corn chips for school lunches were new to me; potato chips were usually 10 cents a bag. Memories.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:03 PM   #13
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I got my DL in 1963. The world was never quite the same for me afterwards. Parents were protective, but gave me lots of space and the use of the car almost as often as I wanted (er, needed) it. Age 16 was a good year in many ways, until Nov. 22 that year. Many of us grew up way too much that year, no matter our chronological age.

I now marvel at being able to clearly recall things from 50 years ago. I remember the old timers saying "well, back 50 years ago..."). Now, I'm the old timer. And the cycle of life repeats.

Thanks for the memories, Birdie Num Nums (still love your name, by the way!)
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:21 PM   #14
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I think some people are reminiscers, and some not. I doubt I have spent more than 2 hours of my life reminiscing so far, and I kind of doubt it will start soon. I have memories that I can call up if I want to, it just doesn't happen very often.

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Old 12-17-2013, 10:17 PM   #15
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I do remember 50 years ago. I remember in detail JFK in the first grade. I've written about the year before with the missile crisis.

Tonight DW and I celebrated the 40th anniversary of our first date. We had never celebrated before. I brought it up, she had forgotten the month day year, but rembered our date. I think I got a few brownie points for that. Wish I could call them in as needed!
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:17 PM   #16
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I also remember some 50 years ago, lying on the sofa, with the couch imprinting my cheek as I watched late-night TV game shows such as and among many others.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:29 PM   #17
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Now we have Duck Dynasty...sad.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:20 PM   #18
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Now we have Duck Dynasty...sad.

we have enjoyed Me TV and seeing Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, Mash and other old movies. Life was simpler then?
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:02 PM   #19
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we have enjoyed Me TV and seeing Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, Mash and other old movies. Life was simpler then?

The shows were sure simpler to make, anyway. I recently saw an old Hart to Hart (when they met, it was murder) and the exterior shots of the luxurious Athens hotel the story took place in were actually and quite obviously the Beverly Hilton, the only LA hotel I have ever stayed at. Fun to see things like that. Today they have some footage of the real location I imagine.
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