Prize Fighting

IM000744.JPGI never got cereal prizes because I had a great mother and 3 siblings.

My mother was concerned about our nutrition, so she never bought pre-sweetened cereal – the good stuff with the prize. Instead we were treated to Shredded Wheat and Special K – they never had prizes. Plus – having 3 siblings, there would be no way we would share the prizes without a fair degree of bloodshed. Continue reading

Walk-ins Welcome

Warm Friend on a Cold Day is available as duvet cover, pillow, prints and more on Fine Art America.IM000777.JPG

My only grandchild lives 1500 miles away. He is six years old. My husband and I went to visit him last month – this is how it went:

ME: May I speak to Andre?

PERSON ON THE OTHER END: Is he expecting your call?

ME: No.

PERSON ON THE OTHER END: Whom shall I say is calling?

ME: Grandma. Continue reading

Fried chicken anyone???

Humble Gratitude

Humble Gratitude

This original has been sold. Purchase prints at Fine Art America.

I got straight D’s in Home Ec, back in the days when girls were required  to take cooking and sewing and boys were required to take shop class. Back in my school, girls could not take shop and boys could not take home ec even if they wanted to. The good old days weren’t all that good in that respect.

Anyway, back to the D’s. It wasn’t that I can’t cook (even though it’s not my favorite pasttime), its that I am a visual cook. I can see how much oregano to add to the spaghetti sauce by the color (even then I was the artist.) Besides, I could care less how many teaspoons go into a tablespoon because I have the whole set of measuring spoons. You can buy a set at the dollar store even today, so I imagine measuring spoons were only a few cents back in the day. Continue reading

45 Records

45-records-1 For those of you who may need a bit of a review, a “record” is like a big vinyl CD and was how really old school people used to listen to music. (a CD is how old school people listen to music)

Back in the day, old school people heard a song on the radio, then went to the record store and bought the record (see previous paragraph). A 45 had 2 songs – the A side (which was the song you really wanted) and the B side (which became popular simply because it was on the flip side of the hit song.) If I remember correctly, 45s cost about 75 cents. Continue reading

Lunch Boxes

The first school that I attended had no busflipper, no gymnasium and definitely no cafeteria. The kids that lived close enough went home for lunch, but I lived to far, so I ate my lunch in the classroom, so my lunchbox was an important part of my school day.

I still remember my first lunch box, it was a Flipper (you know, the dolphin). It was metal and had sort of a hook thing on the inside to hold the matching Flipper thermos.

That thermos was quite a feat. It had a plastic cup on the top that screwed off. That was the easy part. The hard part was unscrewing the inside cap which was always screwed on very tightly. You had to be especially careful because the thermos liner was made of glass and it would break if you dropped it. Continue reading

New Shoe Dance

Simply Styled Girl's Kristina Black Mary Jane

Back in the day, this was the time of year for the new shoe dance. Mine was a combination of a tap dance and the twist. This dance was done when I put on my new school shoes.

Just about everyone I knew had 3 pairs of shoes – shoe shoes, play shoes and dress shoes. This time of year was time for new school shoes and since we only usually got one pair per year, we did the new shoe happy dance when we put them on.

Buying shoes back in the day was very different, almost a ritual. Continue reading

As Long as there are Bubbles, the World will be OK

IM000816.JPG

I will never sell this piece because it is very special to me. It is one of the first portraits I did and it was of my grandson a few years ago.

There are no video games at grandma’s house, but grandma has bubbles. Like fragile dreams that are easily popped, he can continuously breathe life into thousands of bubbles and become mesmerized as they slowly ascend, carrying troubles with them if only for a few brief moments. He and his friends spend hours with grandma’s bubbles, giggling and chasing them through the yard.

This picture hangs next to my television set and I often find myself looking away from the evening news, looking away from stories of mass shootings, ISIS and politics, looking into the innocent eyes of my precious grandson and making a mental note to buy more bubbles and somehow make the world alright.

R.I.P. VCR

Say it ain’t so. The largest VCR manufacturer in the world announced that it will cease production at the end of this month. OK, I am probably the last person in America who still owns a VCR, but I can’t seem to find the time to convert my “Fraggle Rock” collection to DVD. Oh–yes, I still own several DVD players as well.

You are reading OLD SCHOOL Lane, what did you expect?

I really thought I had arrived when I bought my first VCR. It cost over $500 and I was proud that I did my research and decided that VHS was better than Beta. My VCR was my personal declaration of independence from the networks. I could tape Phil Donahue and watch him at midnight if I wished.

I had power in the form of a remote control. I no longer had to listen to “plop, plop, fizz, fizz” unless I wanted to (it was a catchy tune.) I had a fast forward button.

I haven’t been this distraught since AOL stopped sending me 10 floppy discs a month….

High Handle Bars Banana Seat

IM000812.JPG

OK, I’d admit that this wasn’t the smartest way to ride a bike but we all did it…and somehow survived. My grandmother used to say “God takes care of babies, old folks and fools.” Not sure which one we were, but we didn’t have helmets or knee pads in those days. I’m not sure we would have worn them if we had.

But – we had high handlebars, banana seats and (if you were really cool) high sissy bars in the back. My bike was turquoise with streamers on the handlebars, a basket AND a bell. My brothers clipped a clothes pin and a baseball card to the spokes in such a way that it sounded like a motorcycle. Oh, if they had only kept that Roberto Clemente card…