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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Saturday, February 18

Cracker Jack & Old Movies

Rosalie and I were discussing a childhood treat, Cracker Jack, and she told me they sold Cracker Jack at Ace. So I told her to bring some home because I wanted to see if it was as good as I remembered. It wasn’t. What I remembered was the little box it came in, the caramel taste and crunch along with the peanuts, and the prizes, oh yeah, the prizes. Mmm good. What she brought home, in a bag not a box, was dry, not very caramelly, and with almost no peanuts, and the prize was some dumb little paper thing you could stick on a pencil. How disappointing. I remember the thrill of finding some small treasure at the bottom of that Cracker Jack box, little plastic people or animals or little metal cars. But then, almost nothing is as good as we remember it or tastes as good as the junk food from our youths. I remember going to movies in our local theatre, The Mascot, and filling up on popcorn or Cracker Jack or push ups or fudgesicles, all at a cost of about a nickel apiece. But considering that the movie ticket was only about a quarter, the nickel treats were reasonable. And for only a penny one could buy from the popcorn shop a small container of old maids. Just the thing for us youngsters to break our teeth on. Even the movies seemed better back then. They probably weren’t, but they seemed so in the mirage of my remembrance. Our theatre ran an "A" picture Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays, then a "B" picture Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. And on Saturdays, a double feature, usually some western backed by a horror flick. At any movie showing, we got warmed up with a variety of shorts, mostly cartoons with Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, or The Road Runner, or Dudley Dooright and Snidely Whiplash. Sometimes we saw a short called “Behind the Eight-Ball” with Joe McDoakes, or a Three Stooges, or an Our Gang. And if we were really unlucky, we had to sit through something called a Travelogue. Oh, yuck! I and my buddies could go to a Saturday matinee around 1:00 and get out just before supper, probably still too gorged on that old-time junk food that we didn’t want any supper. It was always called "supper" in my youth, never "dinner. The westerns were Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, or Hopalong Cassidy (remember the sidekick Gabby Hayes?). And the horrors were things like The Mummy or Dracula. My memory links Gunga Din and King Kong as one of the double billings, but that can’t be right, since both those films would have warrented a "B" billing, and maybe even an "A" for Gunga Din, with a young Cary Grant and an old Victor McLaglen, a dapper Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and a lovely Joan Fontaine. Oh, and all the Johnny Weismuller Tarzans. How could I forget them? And his mate, Maureen O’Sullivan, and his buddy Cheeta. Oh, my wasted youth. Where of those days in my past has the Cracker Jack gone?

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