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Roving Around

Drill sergeant call scares the wits out of me

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Sometimes it just doesn’t seem that we live just right. I’m thinking about Thursday evening of last week after I had fallen asleep in my big easy chair. It was about 9:30 p.m. when son, Jimmy, called out for me to wake up, sounding all the world like a military drill sergeant.

I jumped after that loud awakening and had a hard time getting myself together. I nearly fell over trying to get awake enough to get out of my chair without falling headfirst.

I got to the bathroom, but in the process, I knocked off one of my hearing aids. After taking off my eyeglasses, in order to wash my face, I placed them on a high chair behind me. A few minutes later, and still in a quandary, I forgot where I had placed them and sat on them, knocking both lenses completely out of the now twisted frame.

I gathered up the pierces and Jimmy got a No. 10 envelope and placed the twisted remains and lenses inside. He tried to put the pieces together Friday morning but soon gave up realizing that job was for the experienced.

We then drove out to my eye doctor, Rick Munz at My Eye Doctor, and I was glad to see my favorite repair technician, Jennifer, ready to jump right into my problem.

I sat down in the waiting chair and figured this repair would give her deft hands a workout for quite some time. But I was wrong. Instead of a long wait, I was surprised to see her come out of her office in a few minutes holding my glasses all put together and fitting me perfectly.

Wow! That is what I call a first-class technician. I really appreciate her, and I hope others like her as much as I do.

Memories of the past

I wrote last week that I would give you some more things that happened in the ‘40s, but I will start with the ‘30s.

On my fifth birthday in 1934, my folks gave me a really big party. We had just moved to a new home on a farm in New Jersey after our family had lived in Florida for eight years. We had the party in one of the vacant barns. I’ll never forget that party.

I always loved cars, something I picked up from my dad. When my grandmother, whom I called Nanna, gave me a toy airplane, I forgot my manners and said, “But I wanted a car!”

I learned from that experience: even if you aren’t pleased with a present, pretend it is just what you wanted. This will pay off in the long run.

In 1939 I got my first two-wheel bicycle when we moved after my dad died.

My older brother, Bill, started a bicycle shop in our garage there with one of his close friends, Bill Stein, who lived close by.

The used bike I got had something wrong with it. In order to start pedaling, you had to stop, slowly move the pedals to where you wanted them to start you again. And then, carefully (and without undoing any pressure), you could start pedaling.

Oh, yes, it was bothersome, but I was so happy to get a two-wheeler, I didn’t let it bother me.

Well, that is until I pestered my mother so much for a new bike, she broke down and bought me a brand new one at the Firestone store in nearby Woodbury. I was shocked because I never thought I would get the particular bike I craved. All the carefully laid out plans finally worked, including pictures of the new ones I found in catalogues and had placed strategically.

I will never forget this: After we got the bike from our car, the first one to ride it was my brother, Bill. I had to wait, awfully impatient, for my turn.

But it was well worth it. I fell in love with that bicycle on the first ride.

I rode that bike for many years. The red paint was beginning to fade and I decided to spray paint it red again with a hand pump sprayer before I could sell it. I knew a spray paint job would look a lot better, if I went to the trouble of taking wheels off it and hanging up the bike in our garage. I prepped the finish with some light sandpaper and proceeded to spray paint it with a fly sprayer. Oh yes, it was tough going, but I wanted the bike to look good before selling.

It worked! I sold the bike after riding it for seven years for the exact price my mother paid for it: $29.95. Sometimes it pays to do a little work before you attempt to sell.

Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, invites comments at 984- 235-7394 or