Light/Breezes

Light/Breezes
SUNRISE AT DEATH VALLEY-Photo by Tom Cochrun

Monday, June 26, 2017

LIKE DELINQUENTS

 A California Central Coast bouquet for all who survive 
hooligans, delinquents and stupid kid tricks.

because they blew up
      It was a tough summer for my mom, suffering through a troubled pregnancy. Dad was on the road most of the time and my brother John and I were jerks. It was nothing mean, we were just boys. I was almost 6 and though 22 months younger than me, John was my size and soon would be bigger. (From birth John was a brawler and big. He went on to lead the county in tackles and was a helluva football player).
      Later mom would say we spent most of the summer in a rumble, from the front yard to the back yard, through the house and leaving a trail of aftermath everywhere. Despite the lectures about me being the big brother, and my protests "look at him, he's as big as me" I was under the gun to keep our behavior in check and I wasn't doing a very good job of it.
      It was 1951 and one of our modest treats was a bottle of Coca-cola. The real thing, before cans and flavored coke. We'd buy a carton of those little 6 1/2 ounce glass bottles. John and I would split one, always eyeing, carefully, that each fruit juice glass was poured evenly, exactly even, accounting for the foam too.
      A side trip for a moment. Like most kids we collected pop bottles for the redemption pennies from the grocery store. In that line of work a kid will discover a lot of things, especially sorting through trash and burn piles in the alleys of our side of town. We saw breasts for the first time in a partially burned copy of Confidential. I think it was Kim Novak, but honestly, who didn't matter. We also learned that some of the neighbors apparently didn't know the good deal on pop bottles because we found some that were broken and that led to a discovery that eventually led to big problem.
      The alleys were cinder, as in burned coal. Behind some places there was a little gravel and a few folks had poured a cement burn ring, on which sat their incinerator or burn barrels. (Remember this is 1951 and the EPA were only letters in the alphabet that crowned the backboards in our class rooms.) John discovered the best thing to do with broken pop bottles was to break them a little more. It was a youthful sense of justice. You cheat me out of a few pennies by breaking the pop bottle, I'm going to finish the job for you on a cement burn ring.  Wow, could those bottles really explode.
      Fast forward to a rainy summer day when mom, who is basically bed ridden tells us to play in the basement. Oh boy did we! The specifics are lost in the haze of history, but somehow we learned that those empty Coca-cola bottles exploded wonderfully when dropped from the top of the basement steps. They made a great exploding sound and the glass cascaded like something from the movies. Well,... If an empty bottle was so spectacular, just imagine what a full bottle would do. We had no imagination, but did have a few full bottles. Man! Seeing a full bottle of Coke explode in foam and spray and flying glass is a sight of a lifetime.
       More fast forward, through details---why would we willingly waste good Coke, the painful process of cleaning up shards of sticky glass that littered our basement, the waste of money for a family on a tight budget, mom's further distress--cut to--my understanding why corporal punishment in that summer of 1951 was the right thing.
       

     further exploits of man child
    That California bouquet above? That is also for all American citizens. The delinquents in this administration continue to set new lows. 
     The "games" of the press briefing is simply childish and has no positive upside-none. It is punitive and juvenile. Ditto and double jinks on the president's tweet storm about the Obama administration going easy on the Russians over the attack on the presidential election. At least trump has finally acknowledged it. As a friend said it is the normal trump hypocrisy of criticizing Obama for a problem that he-trump-never admitted existed.
      I thought the Obama response was too reserved, but I also understood there's a lot more to such complicated diplomacy than meets the eye. We find out now Mitch McConnell was creeping around the wood pile threatening to accuse Obama of using the CIA to help Clinton. McConnell is one twisted and evil, racist. He is a political "intellectual-pedophile" and arrogant little donnie trump's small brain and outsize ego is McConnell's boy toy.

helping out
      Our Cambria Church and Dinner Fellowship completed a project that will help, but it also stimulated thought.
      We assembled emergency personal care kits that will be used by disaster victims or refugees in the US and around the planet.
      Hand towels, wash clothes, bandaids, soap, tooth brushes, combs, nail files, etc. The next time you reach for the soap, or go to brush your teeth, think about  how convenient it is- how accessible is water, shelter, something as simple as towel. We take a lot for granted. As wars create more refugees, as nature ravages, as the climate continues to change more fellow citizens of this planet are facing breaks in that kind of gentle and comfortable routine. 

     because they blew up
an epilogue
      By the way, brother John and I continued to gather pop bottles from the alley ways and continued to learn about life.
      There was one house that had the good sense to stash their magazines for a couple of days before filling their incinerator and lighting it up. That is how Tom and John learned about Stag Magazine, True Detective art work and Jayne Mansfield!

     See you down the trail.

10 comments:

  1. Glass bottles were so much more fun than these plastic ones we have now.

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    1. And I suspect better for the planet as well.

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  2. It's hard to believe the colors of those flowers aren't enhanced in some way. Gorgeous.

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    1. Natures palette is marvelous and enhanced by the wonderful light of California.

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  3. Great blog today, Tom......my favorite coke cola memory is as a family of 5 kids, the treat was quite rare....so my brother and I would often hide a bottle and then a week or so down the rode would amble through the living room drinking said coke and cause a huge rumble (and tears on my part if Bill was doing the ambling) and admonishment from my mother....thanks for doing all you do and speaking a clear, strong and truthful voice.....BTW have you tried to new coffee house Seed & Soul? Great vibe...just like the old Lily's....and GREAT coffee!

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    1. Isn't it amazing that in our era it was a treat and something special. That was a point Dad made emphatically as he corrected us. "Money doesn't grow on trees!" We were also without that precious treat for a few weeks. Thanks for the tip on Seed & Soul.
      See you around.

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  4. It was around 53' or so, that Coke came out with the large bottles, what were they, a qut or liter? Don't remember, but the were a quarter. I somehow got that sum and walked the blocks to Piggly Wiggly, and drank it on my way home. So very sick I was.

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    1. 6 1/2 ounces was just right. One day on our honeymoon after we had spent hours walking around Paris and were dead beat we stopped at a sidewalk cafe near the Eiffel Tower and ordered a small bottle of coke and to our delight learned that it had been bottled with lemon flavor. It was such a pleasure we ordered another.

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  5. Wow, you Indiana kids had us south Florida kids beat by at least two corn fields. We just played around with scorpions and coral snakes.

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    1. Steve, that explains how you were able to co-exist with some of favorite old Cambria
      curmudgeons and right tilting tennis gang! Our biggest worry was spiders and yellow jackets.

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