I stumbled across this magazine in the break room today “Good Old Days.” (I was enticed by the Norman Rockwell painting adorning its cover.)
It’s chock full of the kinds of stories the elderly like to tell their grandkids over and over and over again. Things like buying candy at the local drugstore for 5 cents, walking to school 5 miles – uphill both ways, and the “valuable” life lessons learned from parents. You know, old people stuff. I don’t know who in my office is a subscriber to this magazine, but I have a strong hunch it’s the same person who’s been bringing in the Large Print versions of Reader’s Digest.
Anyway, I read a few stories, chuckled at the advertisements (fuzzy slippers, orthotics, machines to help a person in and out of the bath tub, etc), and marveled at how many old people desperately want more recipes for their slow cooker. (Seriously. That’s all the classified section contained. Apparently the elderly care less about finding companionship than finding new crock pot recipes.)
It was awesome.
But ever since I’ve been flooded with my own pointless memories, the kind that only I will ever find interesting. However, I don’t want to forget these gems (afterall, someday I'll have grandchildren, and I'll need these stories to torture them). Anyway I thought I’d periodically record them here. And because I’ve obviously been unmotivated to write much else lately.
The Good Ol’ Days: Summer Melons.
(side note: I’m talking about Watermelon, Cantaloupe, and Honey Dew, so pull yourself out of the gutter, you perve.)
Not long after moving from Boston, MA to Provo, UT our family met Bob Ross. He was an elderly man in our neighborhood who was asked by our church to visit my family regularly, which he did. Bob was going blind in his old age and usually had his cute wife drive him (in their huge Buick) the two blocks to our house. In the summer time, Bob always brought us melon. He owned a melon farm somewhere in Central-ish Utah, and (although he was retired) made regular trips to stock up on the fruit. I don’t know how he stored the stuff, but he always had TONS of it. And it was always perfect: juicy, cold, and extra sweet. As I got to know him, I grew impatient for his monthly visits, and I (along with several neighbor kids) would walk to his home on hot summer days and ask for melon. He or his wife always obliged and gave each one of us something. It was too difficult to carry it all home so we’d sit on their curb and break into the stuff. And it was so good. We weren’t little kids...we were in our mid teens at the time. It was awesome.
Again, this will likely interest no one, but to a girl who had spent most of her prior life on the subway and in the city, the novelty of it all was memorable. This remains one of my more innocent and sweetest memories of living in that neighborhood. I’m sure Bob has since died, but I’ll always think of him when I’m eating melon. No watermelon, cantaloupe, or honey dew has ever been quite as good as the ones he used to give me every summer.
I turned 26 a week ago. In recounting that story, I probably sound more like 76. Oh well. Fuzzy slippers do sound kind of nice right now...
Assuming you've made it this far, what are YOUR favorite stories from the good ol' days?