a print ad for Pontiac that read: "Hands off the grab bar, Charlie, you're tearin' out the dash" and at the bottom: "The 421 makers - Pontiac"
riding with Mom in the ****** Aero Ace and rolling off the front seat onto the floor when we were hit at an intersection in New Brighton, PA
watching a B-36 bomber fly over my back yard - wow!
my Dad'* new 1954, 1956, 1958, and 1961 Fords. And then the start of something better, his first used car - a 1961 Bonneville Convertible - bamboo cream with leather seats and a 389 4-bbl. That car was fast! And had a grab-bar (a stout handle in front of the passenger seat on the dashboard).
walking to school in 20 inches of snow at 20 degrees F below zero. When I got there, none of the bus kids could make it and didn't have to come. But school was not canceled.
when cancelled was spelled with two "l"*.
getting mercilessly beat on by my two older brothers one of whom told me derisively: "no matter how hard you try, you're never gonna be older than me." Nowadays, I occasionally remind him that he will never be younger than I.
when people were not afraid of offending others by telling the truth.
seeing a new VW beetle with a price of $1499
the VW ad on a billboard (before they offered an automatic transmission) that read: "after a while it becomes automatic."
when self esteem was something you earned.
when the best kids were picked first and the worst kids last for every pick-up game of sports in the neighborhood - but everyone played.
playing baseball in the gravel alley with a ball wrapped in friction tape.
declaring "no chips on windows."
Dad sending me two the store for two packs of Camels - 52c including tax.
the TV repairman who came to the house. Watching him work and hoping he would not say: "I'm sorry, it has to go in to the shop."
buying a cherry coke and a bag of Snyder'* potato chips at the drug store for a dime.
drinking vanilla phosphates at the same drug store.
meeting the girl who would become my wife at Hank'* frozen custard and hamburger stand. She was in a '64 Mustang with three other girls, and we chased them for a half an hour in Ray'* '56 Ford before catching up with them at the Keystone gas station. She foolishly gave me her phone number.....
going outside to play with all the other neighborhood kids and having to come in when the street lights came on.
hitchhiking to the junction swimming pool in New Brighton to spend the afternoon.
doing my first body work ('58 English Ford), my first head gasket and engine overhaul ('61 Renault 4cv)
driving the fastest car I ever owned: a '68 Impala convertible 427 4-speed
the thrill of hearing the engine in my '49 Plymouth start and quietly run after sitting silent for more than 25 years, following a year of restoration.
when most folks knew what a past participle was and how to use it. (Maybe I shouldn't have went there - I'd hate to offend anyone