Posted tagged ‘childhood’

The Return of Uncle Will

November 1, 2021

This is another mostly-true Day-After Halloween story.   I thought you might like to know what came of me and Uncle Will.

When I was fourteen … fourteen years three months, to be exact … I took a sudden interest in the contents of my father’s top dresser drawer.   It started simply enough.   Dad caught me smoking.    My Newport cigarettes, cleverly disguised in a Band-Aid box, went in the trash and the Zippo lighter I’d bought with 12 week’s allowance went in his dresser drawer.  I didn’t really like smoking all that much but the lighter was very cool with a dragon emblazoned on the side in red and black.    So, one Saturday night when I was baby-sitting my brother and sister, I decided I’d get it back.   And I discovered a treasure trove of my father’s keepsakes.    There were medals from the war and real bullets.   There was a (more…)

A Halloween Story – Uncle Will

October 31, 2021

I wrote this story for a Halloween meme back in 2010.   As they say in the movies these days, it is Based on a True Story.  Of course I took a little artistic license.  You know what that is, right?   Lying to entertain. Enjoy if you dare.

We’re going to see Uncle Will tomorrow. I hated those words. Uncle Will was my father’s uncle, a disabled veteran. He lived in one of the ramshackle brick residential buildings at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, which was about an hour’s drive from our house in East Haven. Visiting Uncle Will was worse than boring … it was creepy. His room was painted a pale institutional green but under the yellow light of the single incandescent bulb in the middle of the ceiling, it looked more like pea soup. The hallways smelled of hospital cooking, urine and disinfectant. His room added stale tobacco and an old man’s sweat to the mix. He’d be waiting for us in his wheelchair wearing khaki pants, scuffed military-issue shoes and an A-style undershirt, yellowed at the armpits. He’d force a smile when we walked in. Hi, Frank, he’d nod to my Dad. Hello, Florence, to my Mom. Who’s this big guy?, to me, every time, and I’d have to tell him, I’m Buddy. Frank’s son. As if he didn’t know. He’d extend a hand to shake, skeleton fingers covered with papery skin that I’d try to touch (more…)

A Halloween Story – Buttface Billy

October 30, 2021

It’s a tradition here on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog to tell a spooky tale from my childhood on Halloween.  Like my stories Uncle Will and Good Will Haunting, Buttface Billy is based on events from my childhood and is entirely true … except for the parts that aren’t.

halloween sceneWhen I was I was in fourth grade, we moved to a new neighborhood in East Haven, Connecticut. My Dad had worked two jobs from virtually the day he got out of the Army to scrape together a down payment and would continue doing so to make the mortgage. It was a small nondescript ranch on a wooded lot in a neighborhood of nearly identical homes. Most everyone was the same age and from some degree of what my Mom called middle class. From where I sit now, it was all lower-middle class but back then it was heaven, particularly for 10 year old boy.  Behind our house was a hayfield ideal for pickup baseball or football games and beyond that, several miles of woods. And best of all, there were other kids, mostly boys and mostly my age. Yeah, there were some 12 year olds who liked to push around us younger kids, but back then, nobody talked about bullying unless someone really got hurt. Besides, at the end of the day, we all got along … pushing and shoving one day would be teaming up for a game of football the next. (more…)

Friday Favorites 5/9/2014

May 9, 2014

DSC03703I think that some people would say that, for a man, I love flowers just a little too much.  For some reason our society does not regard liking flowers as an especially masculine trait.  If you listen to the local sports talk weenies, you’ll hear them urging you to call 1-800-FLOWERS to send Mom a bouquet for Mother’s Day but for Father’s Day it’s tool or a fancy camera.  Of course, once Dad has that fancy camera, you may catch him in the garden, taking pictures of (gasp) flowers, since their colors often make for stunning close-ups.  And, of course, artists like Monet and Van Gogh painted flower for that very reason.  True, the same weenies who think that a man shouldn’t love flowers often see art as not very manly either.  If I listened to those guys, I’d be a dull man indeed. (more…)

Friday Favorites 4/18/2014

April 18, 2014

bradley stThis will be a do it yourself Friday Favorites.  No, you won’t have to bring your own Favorites, you’ll just have to choose from the Favorite things hiding in this nostalgic ramble.    My family moved to East Haven, Connecticut the summer before I started fourth grade, which would make it 1952, I believe.  My Dad worked two jobs to purchase a modest ranch style house on Bradley Street.  Behind the house was an unused hayfield and beyond that, The Woods, as in, Mom, we’re going to go play in The Woods.  In my memories it seems like there were miles of woods but I know from personal experience how the scale of things changes when you go back as an adult.  In my running days, I was visiting my Dad and Mom (yes, in that same house) and decided to take a run to downtown East Haven.   It had seemed like a long way on my bike at ten but I hadn’t even broken a sweat when I ran there in my forties.  The point being, when I went to Google Earth to see how far The Woods extended … it was under a mile. (more…)

Friday Favorites 11/26/2010

November 26, 2010

When I was a boy … I don’t know exactly what age – think 12 years old, if you need specifics … I seem to remember that I loved to read.  I don’t know whether I was told that somewhere along the line or just assume it’s true because I loved to read in high school.   By then, my mother had subscribed to Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, giving me a continuous supply of novels.  But I can only remember one book from my younger years, Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion.  Maybe we were poorer than I thought.   Maybe The Black Stallion was my only book and that’s why I read it over and over.   Truthfully, it was the perfect adventure fable for a twelve year old boy in the days before wizards and aliens and high-tech gizmos were a necessity. (more…)