Rose’s Five and Ten (History)

Rose’s Five  and Ten

I was born in 1938 so I spent my teenage years in the 50′s. Recently, I was chatting with a friend who was talking about someone who had bought his reading glasses at a Dollar Store. What memories that brought back to me as I remembered that Uncle Frank, Aunt Myrtle’s husband, always bought his glasses at Rose’s Five and Ten in my hometown, Clinton, South Carolina. “Five and Ten.” Now that’s a term that is “gone with the wind” if ever there was one. I remember as a child loving to wander through Rose’s Five and Ten, looking at items I wanted and being fascinated especially with those that I couldn’t afford as the most I ever had with me was a quarter. No television then, only radio. Not even direct dial, which came later when I was in college. As the “Archie Bunker Show” proclaimed, “those were the days.” Well, today I do love the Dollar Stores, the 21st century replacement for the old Five and Ten’s. I go there for shampoo, for greeting cards, for cheap Halloween candy, but not for my reading glasses.

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The Mothers in my Life

Today is the day when we celebrate mothers. When I was growing up, Mother’s Day was a day when we went to church wearing either a white or a red carnation, depicting whether or not your mother was still alive. My birth mother died a age 40 of cancer. I didn’t realize how much I loved her until after she died. The next mother in my life was Emma, my mother-in-law. Emma was of Italian ancestry and epitomized the typical Italian grandmother—large and jolly. She was to become a perfect grandmother to our children. Helen, my wife and the mother of Boh, Todd, and Robin, had mothering instincts that I believe have made the children the successful parents they are today. Florence, my step-mother, although not a warm and wonderful person, was a helpmate for my dad. Finally, there are now three mothers in our family who have given me three awesome grandchildren: Luke, Gracey, and Carli. Thank you, Lord, for the mothers who have had such a powerful influence on my life.

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Our Little Kitchen “Ladybug”

When I realized that our trusty can opener was no longer working, I was frustrated The can opener we had been using was excellent. It would open the smallest or the largest can (including the coffee holder). Immediately, we began shopping as we had no backup. We found that replacing the identical one that had just stopped working was going to be a challenge as that particular model was no longer available. What does one do when one is frustrated by not finding what he wants on the internet? He goes to Walmart, which is exactly what we did. There, we found that the best looking can opener in our price range was the Red Tornado, a strange looking can opener that looked a bit like a ladybug. When we got home and took it out of its packaging, we sat it on top of a can we needed opening, and it began to whir and slide around the edge before stopping. When we checked, it had indeed circumnavigated the can, but the can was not open…or so we thought. Checking the rim again, we found that the can had indeed been opened with no visible ragged edge. We have now had it for over a year and couldn’t do without it in our kitchen. When you need a new can opener, look for a Red Tornado.

Red Tornado

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Let It Snow (History)

When I was growing up in South Carolina, one of my dominant thoughts during the winter months was: is it going to snow? I had never seen a very heavy snowfall and dreamed of the possibility despite the meager record for snowfalls in the Piedmont region of the state where I lived. I studied cloud formations and frequently was certain that snow was imminent. It seldom came. Instead, we had overcast skies and temperatures in the 40s–cold, but not cold enough to snow. In January, 1961, I decided to enlist in the U. S. Navy and see the world. I was given the option: boot camp in San Diego, CA; or boot camp in Great Lakes, IL. I chose Great Lakes. Why? Snow, of course. Did I ever live to regret that choice? The winter of 1961 in Great Lakes was one of the coldest on record while, ironically, the heavy snows of that winter fell in the Northeast. I was chilled to the bone, so chilled that I raised my fist like Scarlet O’Hara in “Gone With The Wind” and vowed, “As God is my witness, I’ll never be this cold again. If I have to cheat, steal….I’ll never be this cold again.” So ended my romance with snow and guess what, Reader…my last Navy duty station was in Pensacola, Florida.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 470 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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Hug-Hungry

At this time last year, my partner and I had to make a choice regarding our traditional Friday lunch at Taco Bell. We decided it was too important to forego, just because of a pandemic. When we arrived, the decision to go indoors or go through the drive-through had been made for us—no indoor seating. Here it is, one year later, and our Taco Bell just reopened to inside seating with masks required to enter. We are ecstatic. Things are getting back to “normal.” Even the CDC is changing the rules and making them less restrictive. My partner and I have both had two shots of the Moderna vaccine and are not complaining about the continued requirement to wear masks when indoors. We can now whip them off outdoors. That’s a biggie. We are also being allowed hugs among vaccinated friends. We are all hug-hungry. It’s been a long year, and patience has begun to wear thin. We have achieved a level of 30% of Americans who have had both vaccinations so we still have a long way to go before herd immunity takes over.  It’s nice to have the world reopening.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 470 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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Mr. M Patient

If you have been following my blog, you know that Dimitris and I have been together now for several years. We have grown, little by little, into a married couple. He continues to become more and more special in my life. When you are spending your life together every day, you learn the positives and the negatives of the relationship.  The M Patient is my own designation for what ails me–impatience. Although Dimitris and I don’t always agree on the way to do things, I have learned that he is one of the most patient people I have ever known. He is patient to the point that he wants others to be patient as well. When he is at the post office, those behind him need beware. He is going to ask a million questions, put on the required postage with his own stamps (which he puts on one by one), and he is going to “take his time.” Meanwhile, I’m standing waiting, being asked by customers if I’m in line or not. Thank you, Lord, for sending “Mr. Meticulous” to teach “M Patient,” patience.

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Not Yet a Star, but Rising

I have always been fascinated by the theater. As a child in a very small town in South Carolina, I went to the “picture show” as often as possible. In high school, I was in a couple of plays and dreamed of being a movie star. In college, I became a singing waiter at a resort hotel  in Lake George, New York. While I was in New York, I received attention from a Broadway producer who said that southerners were “in.” When I contacted him later, he was on the west coast and never responded again. After my stint as a singing waiter, I was courted by a supper club in Charlotte, NC. Since I was still in college, I had no idea how to make an entertainment career happen while going to school. Realizing my life was not going to be spent on stage, I made it my goal to see as many Broadway plays as possible, and I did very well. I saw Ethel Merman in “Gypsy.” I saw Barbra Streisand in “Funny Girl.” I eventually saw plays starring Paul Newman and Julie Andrews. I saw “Les Miserables” in New York City. The most recent play I saw and loved was the musical, “Billy Elliott” with Faith Prince, one of my favorite actresses. Now I have my grandchildren expressing love for the theater. Could it be that my dreams come true through them? Today, Dimitris and I are driving down to Naples so that we can see Gracey, my granddaughter, in the new musical, “Anastasia.” Go, Gracey.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 470 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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Down to Size

As I write this morning, I am remembering the recent confrontation of Stacey Abrams by Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana. In the hearing regarding the voting rules that have changed in Georgia since the election, Sen. Kennedy obviously thinks that he has the upper hand over this neophyte black lady from Georgia. His intonation indicates his goal: to demean her in front of the committee. What happens is Sen. Kennedy is obviously unprepared for Ms. Abrams list of items in the Georgia bill to which she objects and reads them to the senator, one by one.  He evidently doesn’t realize that this lady is always super-prepared and ready to do battle, regarding the rights of the American voter. My partner, who is Greek, is forever reminding me that “in Greece, we have a saying.” Sen. Kennedy’s behavior reminds me of two South Carolina colloquialisms from my childhood. One of the sayings is that Sen. Kennedy is “too big for his britches.” The other is, Ms. Abrams “took him down to size.”

Watch the Kennedy/Abrams confrontation:

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Thom or Ted? (history)

1968, my first year of teaching English at Northeast High School, was a most challenging year. There were two of us neophytes–Ted Dahlem and myself, Thom Cooper. It was my first year dealing with high school students who proved to be not quite as unmanageable as junior high students but still a “handful.” However, I was determined to be a good high school teacher, employing many of the techniques I had learned from my high school English teacher, Frances Sheely. It was she who had been my inspiration for becoming an English teacher. I remember the beginning of that school year when almost everyone on the faculty knew each other while Ted and I knew no one and awkwardly learned new names and faces as quickly as possible. Our department chairman was a man named Bob Rodgers. I looked up to him as he had years of experience behind him and was evidently a master teacher. When, at the end of the year, Bob came up to me and began to compliment me, saying, “You have done such an enviable job this year. I know it was a challenge coming from junior high to high school and facing the daily challenges. I just want you to know that I think you have done an exceptional job, Ted.” Bob Rogers died the next morning in a house fire, and I never was to know whether the compliment was actually meant for me or for Ted Dahlem.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 470 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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Universal Maintenance

I have always had a maintenance contract on my air conditioner. When possible, I request the same technician to come every six months to check on the condition of the A/C. For the past few years, that technician has been Jim Fowler, a middle-aged man who has been working on air conditioners for years. Not only have we come to rely on Jim’s expertise, but he has also become a friend, enough so that, when he comes to do the maintenance, he usually hangs around and chats. In January, I knew that it was about time for the maintenance check-up to take place so, when I found a message on my answer machine from the air conditioning company, I planned to call back and schedule the visit. Before I made that call, the company called me, and I set up the time for an appointment, reminding the caller that we wanted Jim to do the work. When the day came and I opened the door to the serviceman, it was not Jim but someone else. When I asked his name, he said it was James. It was an unusual situation, but I figured Jim couldn’t come, and they had just sent someone to replace him. However, when I glanced out the window and saw James’ truck, the name on the truck was not the name of my air conditioning company. “Have you guys bought out Bay Air?” I asked. “No, sir,” he replied. It was then that I realized that this serviceman was indeed from an  air conditioning service but not mine, the one with whom I had the maintenance contract. I promised him that I would write him a check. After all, he had done the work. When I called my company and explained what had happened, I was told that it is amazing how often something like that happens.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 470 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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