Tag Archives: childhood

bands.

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happy birthday paul mccartney

and thinking back to when i announced

in no uncertain terms

that my sisters’ choices of favorite bands:

the beatles and the doors

were stupid bands that would never last

and were nowhere near the level of greatness

of my favorite band

the monkees

they really should have listened to me

i know pure talent when i see it.


“most bands don’t work out.

a small unit democracy is very, very difficult. very, very difficult.”

-bruce springsteen

 

 

image credits: apple records, elekrtra records, rhino records

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who he was.

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i remember my dad standing right here 

when i was 2 years old

 we lived in chicago

 he was so young

just starting out in his career

i remember the bar in our basement 

climbing up into the stools

the candle wrapped in netting

the straw hats on the wall

and i remember 

he loved to be the life of the party. 

“it doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”

-anne sexton

happy father’s day to all 

where hobbies, hijinks, and capers go bad = my childhood #4

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one day
when i was little
sitting in my garage
with my sisters and friend
just watching the little spiders in the corner
as we hung out, talking and wondering 
how we could make some money
we came up with a brilliant plan
and decided that it would be a great idea
to start a ‘spider farm’
where we would breed spiders in my garage
and sell them to all of the people in our neighborhood 
overhead would be low
we just had to find two spiders
 get them to meet each other
and have babies
we never really considered the logistics
or that we knew nothing about spiders
or that we weren’t really spider fans
or how we would get them to ‘fall in love’
or that there might not be any customers
or that our business would close before it opened
when my mom closed the garage door and made us play outside
and that is the main reason why i am not a spider farmer today
and a teacher instead. 
“don’t worry, spiders, i keep house casually.”

-robert hass, field guide

image credit:  david kirk, ‘miss spider’s sunnypatch kids’

where hobbies, hijinks, and capers go bad = my childhood #3

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when i sent in yet another dollar

for yet another mail-in adventure 

i was very excited and waiting to play

with my 100 international dolls

expecting them to look like the dolls below

all in fancy and exotic dress

and ready for me to proudly display

 when they arrived

they were tiny, pink plastic, flat dolls without any outfits at all

and actually looked like the ones in the comic book ad

not sure why i had such big visions about them

but even then

that was how

i made my way through the world

always hopeful, expecting good things, and full of possibility.

 

“for me, a life without expectation results in a life with inspiration.”

-alanis morissette

where hobbies, hijinks, and capers go bad = my childhood #2

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another day, another hobby.

in the late 60s

this was a book that i longed to own

i loved to get mail and loved to get free things

what could go wrong?

i used my saved-up coins to send in for the book

and could not wait to begin using it

i read it from cover to cover

marking pages, checking off favorites

 began writing notes, stuffing envelopes, and ordering things

using stamps that i found in a junk drawer

before i knew it i had a small collection of

weird government brochures, lists of tips, tables, charts, and recipes

none of which were really of any use to me

but i didn’t care what any of it was

as long as it came in the mail and it was free

my pile grew and grew

until it didn’t

when once again

i realized that i had no income

had used all of my money to buy the book

and had no way

to buy any more of the stamps

that i needed

to send in my requests

to get free things.

what i really needed were unlimited free books of stamps

and it was on to the next ill-fated hobby for me…

“sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.” 

-albert einstein

 

where hobbies, hijinks, and capers go bad = my childhood #1

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it began with the arrival of a letter when i was seven years old

with stamp on it that looked different from any i had ever seen

so beautiful and very exotic

and it came from my nana

who lived far away from michigan, in the exotic land of florida.

i thought that it was beautiful

and i decided then and there to become a stamp collector.

i cut that stamp from the envelope and glued it into a notebook.

not long after

i saw an offer to join a monthly stamp collecting club

in my archie comic book

and i noticed, as  i went to send in the offer

 that a parent had to sign it

so i asked my dad to give me his autograph on a piece of scrap paper

cut it out and glued it onto the form

(an early foray into my ill-fated attempts at a criminal career)

added in 99 cents from my piggy bank

and i was off to the races.

i eagerly awaited the day my first stamps would arrive

i had chosen some beauties and i ran home every day

hoping to find them in the mail

and on one glorious day – they were waiting for me!

i tore open the envelope

excitedly looked through them

licked them and placed them in my book

already looking forward to the next month’s arrival.

no one in my family was a collector

so i was taken by surprise when i showed them off to my friend’s older sister

who told me that real collectors only put them in cases

never touch them, and would never, ever lick them

– or they would instantly be made worthless!

i was quite taken aback

as it had never occurred to me that

this would be the reason people collected them

i had thought of them more as a collection of tiny beautiful pictures,

pieces of art, from places far away –

new guinea, finland, new zealand and even the legendary land of  canada

i had chosen flowers, and children, and animals, and pretty designs

with no interest at all in old president’s heads, history, nor with any regard for value.

my version of ‘stamp collecting’ was simply collecting my favorites

and keeping them all in one place, in my special notebook.

i have always loved a mix of patterns and colors and collages of things.

the other thing i had not considered at all

was that i had no income

and would have to continue to pay in order to continue to receive stamps

the next month, when my new set arrived

i gathered more change together, put it in an envelope,

and of course it was never received.

they sent a new batch of stamps along with a due bill and i was panicked

still without any source of income

always waiting for them to show up at the door to tell my parents and to collect.

by the third month,

i simply collected envelopes that came from them

affixed with boring american stamps,

filled with letters, asking me to pay up

and my stamp collecting hobby fell by the wayside.

though i still have a great appreciation for beautiful stamps

and love licking them to put on handwritten letters that i send to places all over the world.

“synonyms for collectable postage stamps: “sticky treasures,”

“collection of paper heads,” “pretty bits of paper,” and “colorful scraps.”

-alan brandley – The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

 

crushed.

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i will never forget that day in the 70s

my brother was going to windsor

to sit in the studio audience

of the bozo the clown show

 watching it filmed live

 the whole neighborhood

had a vested interest in his visit

besides it being so cool to see him on tv

we assumed and expected that

he would be chosen from the audience

for a chance to toss the beanbags into the buckets

and win the bozo grand prize game

this was going to be the best day ever

we knew he was going to win the jungle gym

and our backyard would be

the new official headquarters of endless fun

we ran home from the bus after school

and gathered around the tv

in our family room

to watch it all play out

we could hardly contain ourselves

 it began just as we planned

he was chosen for the big game

 then 

he lost on the final toss

that never made it into the bucket

bozo gave a quick chuckle

a wink, a pat on the back

 he had won the second prize

a 6-pack of orange crush 

the family room went silent for a minute

as we realized that

our yard would not be undergoing any major change

and we’d have to find a way to share the pop.

(post below found on a bozo fan club site):
Posted on Monday, November 20, 2006 – 8:32 pm:   

‘I went to see Bozo around 1972-73 also. One of the things that stands out was taking the tunnel to Canada. I also recall getting there late and having to be separated from my two cousins in the seating area. I was wedged in near the top and had to deal with some Girl Scouts kicking me in the back throughout the show. To this day when a Girl Scout asks me if I want to buy some cookies I tell them to go to hell. I don’t forget easy.’

“i’m in competition with myself and i’m losing. “

-roger waters

credits: cklw-tv, womc radio-motor city moments,

mayo playground – archives, pre-1920s, pinterest