Am I Crazy……? Part Four

In my previous post on this section I talked about the past years but this post is about the present.

We just had our Halloween trick-or-treat time of year 17 days ago.I wanted to say a bit about how things went here in the “Big City”.

First thing,let me just tell you the way it used to be then the way things are now. During my childhood days here in Bryant,Illinois on Halloween was much,much different. It used to be two nights of trick-or-treating,the night before and Halloween night.We would leave our house and within an hour we would have a huge paper grocery bag filled to capacity with candy.

Now it is just a few people who pass out the “goodies” to children.It seems like no one gives a hoot anymore.This is really disappointing to those children who does not have a way to go out of town.It used to be fun but now it is complicated.My wife and I were married on Halloween and used to have family and friends over for a wienie roast after the kids all done the trick-or-treat thing. Now we have to schedule the event for a night when everyone can have a night off from work and the kids have a day off from school.Weekends work well for the children but not all the parents have weekends off.So here we go again,another year past and a new one will be starting.We always try to make plans so all our grandchildren will be able to go to other area towns (it’s hard to organize 20 grandkids at once).

 Things are complicated nowadays but one day (and night) out of the year I truly wish we could have things the way they were: October 31

To be continued………

Am I Crazy……? Part Three

I remember there were nine businesses in town,three Bars,three Stores, a Steakhouse, a Gas Station and a Greenhouse


“Bernice’s Store” was more than just a store,she also sold gas, Sinclair Gas (you know the one with the big green brontosaurus on their sign).Also she had a small diner.Bernice Dugan owned and ran this early version of a Casey’s (Maybe that’s where Casey”s got their idea).

“Bobo’s Store”(which was located directly across the highway from Bernice’s) It was ran by Jim and Clyde Bobo.This store was a General grocery store.

“Carl Lee’s Store’ this store was ran by Carl Lee (or as us kid’s used to call him “Ping-a-Ling).Us kid’s would always stop in there and purchase candy and what-not after school.Well that and to tease him.He would always run us out with his meat cleaver but we all knew he would never use it on us (or would he?lol).

“Laird’s Gas Station” this was ran by Gene and Guy Laird.They had gas,kerosene,oil and groceries.They were pretty good about giving a person credit on groceries and gas,imagine that,credit for gas when it was only 32 cents per gallon).

“Laird’s Greenhouse” the greenhouse was owned and ran by Helen and Clyde Laird I can remember this greenhouse as the big glass (not plastic or fiberglass as most are now) building between route 100 and the railroad tracks. Hmmm,I can’t believe with the rocks available at the tracks it lasted so long but people were different back then and thoughts of throwing rocks at it probably never crossed there minds. I guess that goes to show you our small town was and is full of good neighbors (and children).


“The Brick Tavern” was owned and Operated by Ray and Margaret (SP) Walters.(I started with Ray and Margaret because by the time I got the balls to go in they were the owners). Ray and Margaret were like second parents to us kids and damn good friends with us even up into our adulthood.We had some damn good times there playing pool,shuffleboard and even foosball.The Brick was also the place where we were introduced to our first video gaming experience “PONG”. Wow we,ve come a long ways since then lol.(WE MISS YOU VERY MUCH RAY AND MARGARET!)

“Ma Casters”(SP) This is what we called this bar it might have been “Mom Caster’s”for all I know. I’m not too familiar with this bar because it was always considered a rough place.It had to have at least one fight every weekend if not every night. So needless to say it was no place for children.

“Virginia’s Tap”(earlier known as Humphrey’s) This bar was ran by Virginia Tomic , the mother of a friend to us kids.There were a lot of Army games played by us kids there lol.I never hung around in the bar much hell we were outside playing those war games.

“Britz’s Steakhouse” This establishment was owned by John Britz and later by “Boots”and Sophie Phillips.It was a real nice place with a bar just inside the front entrance and a large dining area just past the bar.Our family would order tenderloin takeout all the time.In my teen years I enjoyed hanging out with the kitchen staff.I know that sounds strange but they were all friends of mine.

That just about covers the businesses as I remember them (You may remember things a little different ).So until next time,keep those memories and I’ll try to keep mine.


Inpaint by TeoreX
I used to have an earlier version of this program until I had a computer crash,so I was glad Giveaway of the Day had it up again yesterday!
I love this program,it is fun and simple (mainly fun)to use.Below I will add a before and an after photo of a squirrel I have removed from it.

There are six (6) steps to removing an object:

Step 1:open file (picture you want to work on)

Step 2: Click on “select” and “Mask”

Step 3: Using the red dot select(trace over) the object you wish to remove.

Step 4: Click on “Deselect” and “Mask”

Step 5: Use the dot to remove the “Donar (green box)from areas you don’t want to clone as a replacement for the obect you wish to remove.

Step 6:Click the “Erase”button,this will remove your object and replace it with the cloned replacement(everything under the green you left on.

It may take a few times to get the hang of it,but it is a fun program.
Inpaint tutorial can be found in “Help” at the top of the program.

As I stated above “I love this program”,I use it strictly for removing unwanted objects from photos(once you use it you will know why.



Little "Mamma"

If you ever get a chance to purchase the Inpaint program you should or maybe Giveaway of the Day will have it up for grabs again some day!

Am I Crazy……? Part 2

I’m back again with more!

I think all small towns have their very own town drunks,and we had ours.The two most memorable ones I remember were “Ioane(pronounced : eye-own) andGeorge”. The reason I remember these two is because They walked past our house on their way to the bar (or bars). We had three bars in our town ( four if you counted the bar in Britz’s Steak House) I don’t believe they ever made it to the steak house lol.Then every afternoon or evening when the embarked on the long stumble back home. It seems that almost every night one or the other would end up in the ditch just outside our bedroom window (in those days me and three brothers shared a bedroom).We would look out the window when we heard someone say “Shit!”, “Damn” and sometimes “Help” and alert our father  “ Dad,The old drunk is laying in the ditch again”.It was an every night thing,which wasn’t bad during the dry parts of summer but on those long rainy days that old ditch would fill with rain water.During the winter the ditch would be drifted over with snow. Either scenario could lead to disaster if “Ioane” or “George” would fall into the ditch or as “George” would sometimes say “resting”. With our vigilance they were always rescued and sent or helped down the street to their houses.

Now old “Ioane” she had a peculiar question she would always ask people either at the bars or even in the streets…”Hey mister,you got a cigarette?” (she would pronounce it  cigar-reat ).She would ask this even though she clearly had one tucked behind her ear lol.

Old “George” never really had any certain verbal sayings in particular that I can remember but one thing he did have was his magnificent white handlebar mustache! He looked like he just stepped out of an old western movie set.Only he was wearing modern times clothing and a Stetson hat instead of a cowboy hat.

I don’t remember what ever became of “ Ioane” I believe she was eventually sent to a nursing home in Canton,Illinois. As for “George”, one day we saw an ambulance come by home heading to his house and later seeing the ambulance attendants bring him out covered head to toe with a sheet.We all knew we would never see him again.

I’ll have to ask around and find more stories about these two or wait till I can find some more about them tucked away in the back of my memory files.

Until then,I hope you enjoyed meeting a few more of my childhood memories.

Am I Crazy……?

Am I Crazy…?

This is the question I ask myself every time I start to think of the days when life was much simpler as a young boy.

Am I crazy for remembering the fun, the freedom,the lack of fear? I remember more about my early childhood than I do of recent years.Am I just blocking out the fears of my every day life as an adult? My memories of the days when the only thing I was really afraid of was walking the distance from our back door to the outhouse (located way across the back yard near the alley under the huge gigantic weeping willow next to the freezer shed and garage) in the dark.[for those of you who are too young to remember an outhouse is a small building consisting of a closed in bench type seat with anywhere from one to three holes for sitting on to go to the bathroom].

We had no fear of being out and about at anytime of the night because back then you just knew your neighbors and the whole town would know exactly where you were and what you were doing.Back then we had no fear of being attacked or kidnapped by anyone because we always had a group of three or more kids that were with us and a whole town of people who actually liked the kids enough to report to each others parents of our whereabouts.

Back then we as children had it made,we were very lucky to grow up in that period of time. How many kids  can say that now?

I can remember when I was a kid we never had to worry about some kid getting pissed at you and either pulling a gun or a knife on you.It was as simple as going out behind the school house and having a good ole fist fight.By mornings light both kids would be like nothing happened,friends once more.

I  can remember walking to school in the mornings with friends joining in on the walk and arriving at school in one big group.We never shunned anyone be they rich,poor,male or female.School back then was much simpler also.We respected our teachers,learned the three R’s plus music sports and most importantly “RECESS”.

I can remember that the teachers were your friends even when you got into trouble and was confronted with by the principal and his paddle. You knew you were in the wrong and got what you deserved. But even then you regarded the principal as a friend.

I can remember when the most important planning we done as children was deciding what game we were going to play that afternoon after school or exactly where we were going to go fishing and camping that weekend.Hunting was important also but that came later in childhood and we never really had to plan on where we were going to do that because we knew no matter where we went we were welcomed by the land owners.

I can remember a lot of things from early childhood,but what I remember most is the friendships with not only the children but with their parents and our own.I remember the fights between the brothers and sisters and ten minutes later playing tag,kick the can or mother may I.

I can remember scooping coal into the basement through the coal room window,and then into the furnace via the coal hopper on the stoker box.The worst part of having a coal furnace was removing the ashes or “klinkers” as we called them.The heat was terrible but it had to be done or the furnace would clog up with the ash and smother out the flames then fill up with coal from the stoker.

I can remember riding to our grandparents farm near Cuba in the back of the old “59” Dodge pickup.Down them dusty bumpy back roads,occasionally getting caught in a sudden down pour.We always thought that was fun lol. Some times we were lucky enough to be hauling several crates of expired milk from the dairy for the hogs on the farm which somehow always had a crate full of non-spoiled chocolate milk (I would wonder why they would give away something like that).The hogs definitely never got those.

So am I crazy for remembering these things or just longing for the days of old? I don’t know but I’ll be back with more memories and with the hope that I will never grow old enough to forget them.