829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Good Old Days

It's snowing.  Again.  For like the seventeenth time this winter.
And winter isn't even a month old.  Well, maybe not the
seventeenth time, but it does seem as though it's been
snowing alot lately.  Seems like anymore we get one or two
storms a season, and after them the snow melts and
you can see grass the whole rest of the time.  I can't
remember what grass looks like.  Again, an exaggeration
but hopefully you get the point.  The dog (not this one)
has given up looking for a green patch to poop on and
simply goes wherever she deems fit.

It kind of reminds me of the good old days
(not the pooping part) when I was young.
If it was winter, there was snow. Plain and simple.
There was always snow outside, and we always played
in it.  Flexible Flyers, aluminum saucers, cafeteria trays,
skis, snurfers, shovels, toboggans.  Hell, we even took the
wheels off of a soapbox derby car and nailed old skis onto
the ends of the axles.  And there was always ice to skate
on.  You could play hockey any time you wanted.  And 
we had some bang-up games for sure.  On the Metedeconk,
teenagers used to drive their cars on the ice, it was so thick.
They built raging bonfires and drank kegs of beer out in
the middle, then jumped in their cars and did crazy, high-
speed donuts.  Back in the good old days, when you could
drink lots of beer and then drive your car recklessly on a
frozen river and nobody would bother you.  I even took my
Flexible Flyer and using broomsticks and a shower curtain,
fashioned a mast and sail and tried to go iceboating.  Didn't
work.  But if two people wearing skates took a bedsheet
 on a windy day and held it between them, they could fly!   

Imagine all the cheap, clean, honest fun we had in the winter!
There was no MTV, Gameboys, Playstations, or Facebook
back in the good old days, when I was young.


  1. Um, look, I like to wax hyperbolic and get all warm and fuzzy as much as the next guy, but what part of Philadelphia did you grow up in?

    (Sorry to end a sentence with a preposition, but "in what part of Philadelphia did you grow up?" doesn't really sound that much better, just a lot more pretentious.)

    I remember about two or three 'big' snows per year, with a lot of slush and glare ice that would hang around for about a week afterwards and then you could see the potholes again until the next storm.

    The potholes were really a lot more predictable than the snow. If anything, they were the stuff my winters were made of - sorry, I mean, "of which my winters were made."

    We didn't really want snow to hang around for more than a few days, because with all of the dirt and air pollution, it would first turn brown and then black. Then it would melt, splash all over everything and become a winter wonderland of green eggs and ham.

    Maybe you are right and I am just delusional, but, at my age, my delusions are all that I have left.

  2. In southern California did I grow up. (is that correct?). Or maybe I never grew up, but I mispent my yout in that locale.

    We had snow twice. No - not twice a year. I mean twice in two decades! As my parents had a half acre with a slope, everyone in the neighborhood came over to sled and even ski in our yard. We made snow forts using red flyer wagons as molds for walls and had one hellova snowball fight.

    My father was not amused. He grew up in Buffalo and moved to California so as to avoid ever seeing snow again in his life. He later succeeded by migrating a second time - to Hawaii.

    I'd love to hear Bill Cosby on soapbox cars with skis.....

  3. Baydog, is that with Maxie that you're playing?

  4. Mojo, this the type of errant pedantry up with which I will not put.

  5. Right, let me re-phrase that...

    Baydog, is that Maxie that you're playing with?

    (Free at last--from prepositional pretentiousness!)

  6. BTW, Baydog and O Docker, since we're 'waxing' nostalgic and all, did you happen to see this today the paper in?

    Vinyl Spinnin'

  7. I suppose my brain chooses to remember that there was always snow. And that my backyard was as big as an NFL football field. And that crabs literally jumped into our crabnets as we lowered them to the water, always shooing the younger ones away and allowing only the keepers to be caught. And these were not merely keepers, but 6 and 7 inch beauties. Softies as well! Ah yes, the banks of the Metedeconk were teeming with abundant sea creatures. Blowfish, eels, flounder, sea robins, oyster crackers, crabs, piss clams, seahorses, garfish, killies, spearing, minnows........jellyfish. The Lenne Lenape would paddle up to the shore, offering furs and pelts to trade for Horlacher beers and Marlboros. The good old days. Maxie would tolerate the dark-skinned warriors for just so long before he would charge their birch-bark canoes and force the proud natives to shove off and paddle back up river to Cedarcroft and points West.

  8. O Docker - good correction.
    Panda - sorry
    Mojo - yes then no, and the only wax I will spin is yours.


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