Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hello again ... yet another attempt at maintaining a blog

We are in the process of getting new laptops and iPhones at the Reading Eagle. The laptops are pretty amazing and much faster than the desktops we had been using. I thought our internet connection was slow but it was just the five-year-old processors bogging things down. ...
I've had my own iPhone since November so I'm already pretty familiar with how wonderful they can be. I have the iPhone 4 and can't wait for a year to pass so I can upgrade to the 4s and finally get to speak to the temptress Siri. I haven't blogged in a while and want to get back in the habit so this is a first attempt. I intend to start posting my columns and stories from the Reading Eagle along with any personal insights I take time to share with you. I don't know if anyone actually reads this thing, but it's a good writing exercise for me. Talk to you soon. Young Dan

Taking my licks before I turned six

I only remember bits and pieces from the first six years of my life in Delanco, N.J. There is the one fuzzy memory of a nun washing my mouth out with soap after I dropped my lunch in the coat room at St. Joseph's Elementary School and uttered a mild expletive. This being a family paper I can't repeat it here, but it rhymes with whoopee. Then there's my Mitt Romney moment when I conked my friend Ricky Conlow on the noggin while shaking my Etch A Sketch on the front stoop of my house at 410 Larchmont Drive. I got old Rick with the corner and it split his forehead open. He had to get a couple stitches and became an instant celebrity.
I was unimpressed, having gotten stitches a year earlier when a toy dump truck I was pushing hit a crack, sending me hurtling chin first onto the driveway. A year earlier I got stitches in the same spot when I fell down the basement steps while trying to prevent Big Caesar, my Roman galley toy, from going over an imaginary waterfall with 100 red and yellow plastic souls aboard. I distinctly remember having the good fortune of getting bitten by the Softees' nasty little mongrel, Lady. Mr. Softee's real name was Michernick, but he bought an ice cream truck and after one season the whole family became the Softees. They had a big dirty blue-and-white ice cream truck parked next to their garage all winter. It cleaned up nicely in May and went chiming and tooting through the neighborhood until we went to school in September. Dootaly doot dah doot dah doot, the Mr. Softee song goes. Anyway, I was riding my bike past the Softees' house when Lady, who looked more like the Tramp, ran out of the front yard and bit me on my Achilles tendon as I tried to pedal away. I got a ride to the emergency room at Burlington General Hospital in the ice cream truck. Mr. Softee gave me a vanilla cone on the way to the hospital and a chocolate cone for the ride home. Bobbie Softee, Mr. Softee's big oaf of a son, beat me up a few days later. He said his dad told him Lady got sick from biting me and she had to move away to a big farm in the country to convalesce. My mother had a party for my sixth birthday in November 1964, a few months before we moved to Norristown to be closer to my dad's job at the Western Electric plant on Allendale Road in King of Prussia. My best pals, Ricky, Billy Silucci and Cubby Vigikowski, were there along with two other kids whom no one in my family can identify today. They were standing right next to me in one photo, and I have no idea who they are. When I look at all the pictures taken at the party it strikes me that everything in my parents' house looks like it is from the 1950s, including me.