Throwback Thursday No. 40: Birthday Blasts #TBTmemory

A happy belated birthday to Lauren, who celebrated hers last week. Appropriately, her topic for TBT is "Birthday Blasts."

What’s your earliest birthday memory? Earliest would be my 11th birthday, which was the one after Dad died. I got a clock radio, and a friend of mine gave me the single of Herman’s Hermits’ "There’s A Kind Of Hush"/"No Milk Today."

What was your favorite birthday and why? Mom’s birthday was the day after mine and we would celebrate them together. The year I turned 38, she turned 62, which made it our joint 100th birthday. Mary suggested we fly in to Chicago and celebrate it, so we did.

What’s the best birthday present you have ever received? Mary gave me a guitar for my 21st birthday. I still have it, too.

Did you ever get money as a birthday gift? Pretty much always.

What did you like to do on your birthday as a kid? Eat cake. What do you like to do now? Eat cake. Some things never change…

Did you have birthday parties with friends or family parties? With family…

Did you get to pick the food for your birthday? Sometimes. Did you prefer to eat a home cooked meal or to eat out at a restaurant on your birthday? Go to a restaurant.

Did your family have any fun birthday traditions? Not really, other than dinner. Since I don’t have any kids, obviously I didn’t pass them on.

Did you ever get to take the day off school on your birthday? Only when it was on a weekend. As an adult did/do you take the day off? I’m retired, so now they’re all days off.

Love that song… Bruce was the lead singer of Starbuck.

Have you ever had a surprise birthday party? No, sorry!

Bonus Question: If you had a million dollars to spend only on your next birthday, what would you do? Invest the million and buy a cake. It’s my birthday, I can do whatever I want, right?

See you next week!

Tally-ho and away we go!
See you next week with a brand new show!

#TBTMemory No. 39: Reading And Books

Maggie chose this week’s prompts on the subject Reading Culture And Books.

Who were the readers in your family? To an extent, all of us were. Dad read a lot, mostly mysteries like the Nero Wolfe books and the Inspector Maigret ones. Grandma Holton, Dad’s mother, read quite a bit. She an her sister Florence walked to the Rogers Park Branch of the Chicago Public Library, which was kind of a hike, I think at least a half mile. She liked to read mystery novels and also historical biographies. I’ve talked a lot about Mom and how she believed that, if you could read, you could do just about anything. She wasn’t that much of a fiction reader, though. She read the newspaper and Time magazine (in the days when it was actually worth reading) and magazines like Better Homes & Gardens and Good Housekeeping, and would read popular novels like The Thorn Birds and Airport, mostly when she was on vacation. My stepather liked thrillers like the Ken Follett and John LeCarré novels. My brothers and I did a lot of reading for school. I can only speak for myself: in high school, I read MAD magazine and a few music magazines like Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy, and Circus, and Sports Illustrated, an annual gift from my Aunt Florence. I was also the kind of music fan who would put an album on and read the album jacketgetting as much information as I could from it, things like the composers of the songs. the name of the publishing company, personnel on each track, name of the producer, recording engineer, remix engineer, cover designer etc. Why? I dunno…

Were there some people who did not like to read or could not read? I didn’t know any.

Did your family subscribe to the newspaper? We subscribed to the Chicago Daily News when I was in high school, then to the Chicago Tribune when the Daily News folded. Mary and I subscribed to the Chicago Sun-Times for a while, and to the Atlanta Constitution and Marietta Daily Journal when we moved to Atlanta.

If you did get the paper, was your Sunday newspaper considered special? What part did you enjoy? We would buy the Sunday papers (Tribune, Sun-Times, and Chicago Today) on Saturday night and read then for the rest of the weekend. I enjoyed the "funny papers," the Sports section, the Entertainment section, the magazine, and the TV books. By Sunday night, usually out of sheer boredom, I’d read the rest of it.

Did you frequent the library at school? Only when I had to.

How about the local community library? Did you have a library card? We didn’t go to the neighborhood library much in Chicago, and Northfield really didn’t have a library. Winnetka did, but I didn’t know where it was.

What was the first book you remember reading? A Golden Book starring Howdy Doody.

Did you have a collection of books (Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Happy Hollisters, etc?) The Hardy Boys (the pre-politically coorect ones) and a lot of books by Leo Edwards that had belonged to Dad and his brothers in the 1940’s (Jerry Todd, Poppy Ott, Tuffy Beans etc.).

Did you read comic books? If so, what titles? Yes: Superman, Batman, Dennis the Menace, Archie, and a few others. (When we were sick, Mom would get some comic books, usually a Superman or Batman and a couple of Archie comics.) And MAD, if you consider that a comic book.

Did you end up a bookworm, a casual reader, or someone who read only when required? A little of all three…

Is there a book from your childhood you would like to read again? If so, what book? There was a book called Alvin’s Secret Code by Clifford B. Hicks that I took out of the St. Ignatius School library every year. I have a Kindle copy of it and read it from time to time.

What book or books have been extremely meaningful or influential in your life? The Golden Age Of Chicago Children’s Television, by Ted Okuda and Jack Mulqueen. I grew up in Chicago during the Golden Age, and reading through it puts me back in touch with myself.

Sorry no GIF’s this week. I had a tiring day at the dentist’s…

Tally-ho and away we go!
See you next week with a brand new show!

Throwback Thursday No. 38: Doctors and Dentists #TBThursday

Lauren takes the wheel this week and tells us her prompt is Remembering Visits to Doctors and/or Dentists.

Where doctor/dentist appointments a regular part of your childhood? I believe we went to the doctor once a year for checkups, but other than that we didn’t go to the doctor unless there was a bone showing. I went to the dentist sporadically until high school, once to have all my baby teeth pulled to give the permanent teeth a chance to grow (Mom thought I needed braces), another time to deal with a tooth that turned out to need a root canal.

Did you go for well-checks or just when you were ill or in pain? As I said above, we went to the dotor once a year for school. Other than that, I went a couple of times with a broken arm, numerous times to get stitches (prompting Dad to say, "we’d better have another, this one’s not going to last") and I think one or two other times when I did something stupid.

Were you frightened by the medical professionals? If so, were there specific reasons? Not as frightened as they were of me…

Were your parents afraid of medical professionals? I really can’t say.

Was waiting in the exam room stressful to you? Not at all. Boring, more than anything.

Did your early visits result in your being afraid of needles? No. I didn’t like them, but they didn’t frighten me.

Does the sight of your own blood bother you? I’m OK with it.

Did you ever have the need to go to an emergency room? Oh yeah. See above.

Did your early experiences impact your current attitudes about medical care? Not at all…

#tbtmemory: Discovering Your Musical Taste

It’s Throwback Thursday once again, and today Maggie asks questions about our musical taste. Here are her questions…

  1. What music were you exposed to in your family home – genre, artist, or style.
  2. Did you enjoy that type of music or did you rebel against it?
  3. How did you listen to music in your childhood home? Radio? Record player? Television?
  4. Did you buy records, tapes, cassettes, 8-tracks or CDs?
  5. What performers were you drawn to most as an adolescent?
  6. Who did you go to see for your first concert? Who did you go with?
  7. What concert has been your favorite concert to date?
  8. When do you listen to music? In the car? At work? While studying or doing projects?
  9. Did the music you listened to affect your attitudes, way of dress, or view of the world?
  10. How has your choice of music changed over the years? What is your genre of choice at this phase of your life?
  11. Bonus Question: What band or group posters did you have hanging in your room? Extra extra bonus points if you can share a copy of it or a link to it.
  12. EXTRA EXTRA BONUS: Care to share a playlist from Spotify?

And here are my answers…

  1. All kinds…

    • “Beautiful music” (Mantovani, Percy Faith, Ferrante & Teicher…)
    • Dixieland
    • Singers such as Jack Jones, Andy Williams, June Christy
    • The Beatles and other Top 40 artists.
    • Allan Sherman
    • Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
    • Big Band (Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller…)
  2. I liked most of it. What I didn’t like, I ignored.

  3. Mostly records and TV. My folks really didn’t listen to the radio that much. Of course, when I got a radio, it was on damn near all the time.

  4. I bought records, cassettes, and CD’s. Never got into tapes (which I assumed mean reel-to-reel) and I thought 8-tracks were an abomination.

  5. Mostly the horn bands, like Chicago, BS&T, Chase, Lighthouse, and The Buckinghams. The Beatles, of course. Later, Loggins & Messina, The Guess Who, Grand Funk Railroad. I got into blues via the Butterfield Blues Band and Blues Project, then started going with the real thing, i.e. Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Luther Allison, Otis Rush etc.

  6. I’m assuming you mean ones for which I bought tickets and entered through the front door (we had this thing where we’d go to the Ravinia Festival and hop the fence). I think it was Chicago and Buzzy Linhart at Ravinia with Holly, who I sorta was/sorta wasn’t in a relationship with at the time.

  7. Muddy Waters at New Trier East (the other high school in the district). It wasn’t well promoted (I heard about it by accident). It was around the time that his band that played with him most of the time in the ’70’s came together, and I was impressed as hell. We got a whole lot of music for our money that night…

  8. Whenever I can. Usually when I’m at the computer or in bed getting my leg pumped out.

  9. Yes it did. When I got into a genre I really didn’t want to hear anything else. I blew off rock when I got into blues, blues when I got into jazz, jazz when I got into oldies, oldies when I got back into jazz…

  10. At this stage of my life, I’m listening to everything, even country of late.

  11. The one from Chicago At Carnegie Hall. This picture doesn’t do it justice.

  12. How about my Top Songs from last year? If you can’t get in, let me know.

That’s all for now, and for those of you that like my animations…

#TBThursday: Things I Don’t Miss

Lauren tells us that this week’s prompt is "Things I Don’t Miss."

I’d like to keep it light and fun to look back on some childhood/young adult things you don’t miss having in your life. It could be an activity you are glad you don’t have to do, a place you are glad you don’t have to go, a habit you’re glad you no longer have, etc. Write about one thing or write about a few.


They weren’t this bad, but still…

Early Bedtime

We were told to go to bed at 8:30 one Friday night because Mom was tired… No lights, no reading, no radio… and this in the days before the Internet…

Gym Class

It was pretty much this…

The Nuns

“What was that you said, Mr. Holton? It didn’t sound like nothing to me…”


I think we had a major project to do every weekend in sith grade

This was fun!