During these hot summer days, I find myself reliving the time of my youth, growing up with my neighbors Mike and Tom in a small town.


First grade.
First grade.



I was a cute kid (with a big melon head).

All grown up, I still have a melon head–but what the hell happened to the “cute?”




Wapa Theater

To cool off, we would take in a matinee movie.  Usually a Disney flick starring Kurt Russell & Fred McMurray.

The most fun was rolling jawbreakers down the crooked, sloping wood floor of the Wapa Theater.  We drove the ushers nuts!




After the movie, it was time for a little “Olfashionation.”

Don’t ask me how we came up with the name, but “olfashionation” was a treat time where each fella in our posse (usually the three of us) would grab a snack  from his house to share with himself and the others.  So instead of one treat–you would have three!

Typical “olfashionation” fare was a graham cracker, a cookie and a piece of candy.  But sometimes you chowed on a saltine or a slice of bread.

That was the exciting part of “olfashionation”–you never knew what you might be eating!



Of course our carb heavy snacking fueled our activity schedule which might include a game of “Fake Out The Mailman.”


“Fake Out The Mailman” took place on my front porch as we would act like we were fast asleep while the postman made his delivery.

Really how stupid were we to think the mailman would actually believe three 8-year-olds to be snoring soundly at 11am in the morning!




Way before “N.C.I.S.” our neighborhood boasted its own secret agent/detective agency.  We stored the tools of our trade in a cabinet drawer in my garage.  They included a rubber ball, notepad, boomerang, bullwhip and Tony The Tiger secret decoder ring!  (We weren’t consulted to help with the Watergate investigation!)





We built a sophisticated communication system of tin can phones with string tightly strung between three houses.  (It didn’t work!)





Making money was the name of the game in my neighborhood.  Forget mowing lawns & shoveling snow–we tried that, but we had bigger, grander ideas!

When we weren’t hunting pop bottles (10 cents apiece), we were selling Creepy Crawlers on the street using a TV tray as our display case.

Bill Cosby

We also planned headliner comedy shows.  Mike & I memorized Bill Cosby routines.  We would charge admission.  His sisters would be our ushers & sell refreshments.

It would be Vegas-style entertainment in our our backyard!

But like the Beatles Reunion Tour, our show never materialized.

Damn Yoko!



Sports consumed our days.

Twice daily baseball games occurred throughout the summer.  We had a bicycle racing team who would ride around our block trying to set a new course record.  I didn’t participate as I didn’t learn to ride a bike till my teen years.  But I served as crew chief/timekeeper as I owned the only stopwatch and our plastic astronaut “crash helmet.”


The fall season brought football culminating in the neighborhood “Super Bowl” between the Benton Street Bombers (us) versus our block rivals the Court Street Killers.


Of course all of this activity led to mighty full bladders!  Thus, the “Pee Place” was established.  “The “Pee Place” was a three-foot gap between two vacant garages—just enough room for a quick “go” between innings, games, ect.

We even had old magazines there for reading!  Hmm, noone ever really wanted to spend a lot of time in the “Pee Place!”


So how did your childhood summer stack up?

Let’s sit down for a game of “Fake Out The Mailman” while we enjoy our “Olfashionation.”

Happy Summer.


4 Replies to “Olfashionation”

  1. Wow, if I didn’t know better (having lived through that era myself) I would have thought you were talking about a prehistoric time instead of a pre-virtual-reality time. Thanks for the trip back, and it certainly brings home how things have changed.

  2. Today my neighbor drove me to Walmart, since I no longer drive. After we bought what we came in to get, we decided to look in the toy department, my idea, to see what the in toys were. We are both over 55 years old, and not only were we commenting on the amount of toys, but what they cost. We were remembering that when we were kids, we played in the sprinker (even drank from the hose) in the summer,and rode bikes to the neighborhhood pharmacy to buy frozen cokes for a nickel. We also commented that our children have probably never opened a garage door without an electric garage door opener.

  3. Thanks for the memories. Did you kids play kick the can? Do you remember it never mattered how many kids there were, there were alway enough for a baseball game? We drank from the hose, shared a bottle of pop and ate vegetables straight from the garden(sort of cleaned, we wiped the dirt off on our shirts).

  4. AWESOME post. And thank the mailman for the picture. It’s always great to remember our childhoods (even if we don’t relive it…ol’ man my mom’s gonna kill me). Seriously though, awesome to make it known that yes, we still have memories…even if we don’t….wait…what was I saying? 😉