Only in my family would the words Hookers & Vacation be combined into something you reminisce about.

In 1976 we took a family vacation by car and one of the stops was Washington D.C..  After a full day of sightseeing in both D.C. and Virginia we checked in to our hotel and my mother always being prepared, got out the AAA Guide Book for the city to find a place for dinner.  We of course also had a AAA triptik prepared for the trip and a full complement of paper maps – which my father could fold correctly.

A restaurant was found that seemed nice enough but not too fancy given I was 14 and not into fine dining.  If I remember correctly it was called the Steak Joint and turned out to be one of those stand in line, place your order then wait for them to call your number type steak places SOOO popular in the 70’s.

We didn’t take any of our multitude of maps along because my father had been in the military in the early 50’s and stationed for a short time in D.C. so he assured us he knew the area and where we needed to go.

It didn’t take long after we left our hotel in the Capitol Hill area that we were in a less than desireable area of D.C. which back in the 70’s meant one block off any major thoroughfare dominated by government buildings. 

We came to the intersection where the restaurant was located and realized we had passed the pay parking lot that was most convenient to the restaurant.  We of course circled the block in our metallic blue 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix with a white vinyl top.  It turns out going down one of the streets previously, we had passed a group of streetwalkers (hookers) hanging out.  I don’t know if we noticed them but they must have been watching us and when the car came around the block again, this time much slower so we didn’t miss our turn, they started running after us. 

 They thought we were “Cruising Them” and they had work!

They were beating on the car and running up to the windows – imagine their surprise when they finally looked in and saw the Ultimate White Bread Suburban Family looking back at them. 

They ran off laughing.

AWW – Family Memories.

No wonder Huggy Bear didn’t scare me a year later.

As always – 

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc 

cs

It Ain’t Calphalon

February 20, 2010

Circa 1970's Cookware

Have you seen these pots before?

Maybe your mother had them.  Maybe you got some from your mother. 

Kitty Foreman on That 70’s show had them.  I’m Not kidding, watch a few episodes you’ll see them.  So it is possible you have seen these on TV.

It seems like everyone I show these pots to who grew up in the 70’s still owns or remembers them.

Growing up in Tampa Florida it meant your mother shopped at Winn-Dixie.  Which at that time bore the tagline – “The Beef People”.   In addition to beef, people were apparently buying lots of cookware from there.  I think they offered a different piece each week at a VERY LOW price with like an $8 minimum purchase.

My family did buy their beef at Winn-Dixie.  They didn’t buy their beef at Publix because it was too expensive and had something done to it which caused it to be labeled “proten” and included a little pat of butter.  Pantry Pride was just gross and was mainly where they bought beer and store brand soft drinks (click here for more details about my parents drinking habits).  In other words,  grocery shopping was “sport” during the recession wracked 70’s.  You drove from store to store in your 6 – 8 miles per gallon car to get certain items at the “best price” at 3 – 4 different stores.  I remember thinking one of my friends was RICH because their mother ONLY shopped at Publix.

These are the remaining three I have at my house.  I know at one time there were more.  Sources included my mother, my mother inlaw and a friend’s mother.  Today they are kept as backups in case the stainless steel or Calphalon is dirty.  All the lids are missing and the handles fell off the large pot probably 20 years ago.  I think my mother finally got rid of the last of hers.

So the next time you think you are so poor during this recession – look in your cabinets.  Does your cookware include any Calphalon, LeCruset or comparable brands?  If it does, then shut up.  Our parents bought their cookware at the grocery store.

As always – 

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc 

I Have An Addiction

February 16, 2010

My addiction is not to drugs.  The picture on the left  is a symbol of my addiction to “Sweet Tea” (I’ll explain in a second).  If you live in Buffalo, New York or some other Yankee type place like south Florida and really don’t know what sweet tea is, here you go.  It is simply Iced Tea that has had COPIOUS amount of sugar added just after it has been brewed while it is still hot.

The picture is symbolic of my addiction because the “Gangsta Rap” name bestowed on me by a former coworker is “SWEET TEA”.  If you live in Atlanta I believe it is mandatory that you have a gangsta rap pseudonym/nickname and mine was given because of my addiction to…… (if you don’t get it now you are not very bright)

Now I have been asked by people “how do you make this sweet tea?”  Actually, I really don’t know.   I buy mine from McDonald’s every morning like most people start their day with coffee.  It costs $1.00 for a 32 oz. serving in a great styrofoam cup which makes it last a long time.  Yeah I know it’s not environmentally friendly, but I like it, so – shut up.

In addition it is served at EVERY restaurant in Georgia – except for a few real Hoity Toity one’s that I am too poor to visit anyway.

Some good alternatives to obtain sweet tea include – Chick Fil A, theirs is very good but it costs more than McDonald’s and sometimes gives me heartburn.  Publix sells it by the gallon as do many fried chicken places including Mrs. Winners. 

THE TEA HOWEVER MUST BE BREWED – PROCESSED ALTERNATIVES LIKE NESTEA OR LIPTONS IN A BOTTLE OR HEAVEN FORBID A CAN ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE!!!!!!

I don’t need to know how to make it – I buy it when I am out.  At home I drink Crystal light Lemonade from the mix.

If you want to know how to make real sweet tea at home for some godforsaken reason – check out my friend Kathy Drewien’s Facebook Page that includes a recipe (click here for recipe) or chat her up on Twitter – @kdrewien

As always – 

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc 

cs

The Pickle Truck

January 15, 2010

My best guess is that very few people had a “Pickle Truck” selling pickles across from their school.

I did.

Being a child of the 70’s I was part of the great social experiment called “Mandatory Busing”.

It was an appropriate concept to address and remedy school segregation that was ludicrous in its execution.  In my area it included being bused to a “7th Grade Center” that was at a traditionally or should I say formerly minority school.

In my case this school could at best be described as being – in the ‘hood.  80% of the students were bused in from the suburbs and the remaining 20% came from the immediate area.

My biggest complaint about the school wasn’t  the the bus ride or location it was the LACK OF AIR CONDITIONING – IN FLORIDA.   That school was a total and complete sweatbox.  The only room I ever was in on a regular basis that had air conditioning was my homeroom which I was in for about 15 minutes a day.  It had air conditioning installed the year before because it was the chemistry lab, but my science class got to use the lab maybe once or twice during the year. It was probably some time in the 1980’s that the school district finally passed a bond issue to raise the money for air conditioning all the schools in the district.  Prior to that I guess they spent all their money on buses, drivers and gas.   

I don’t remember any security issues inside the school but it was a fairly common occurence to have to get down on the floor of the bus as we left to avoid the rocks and eggs thrown at the buses by the people and students in the immediate surrounding area.

Every single day as we came and went to school on the bus there was one primary thing we passed.  The Pickle Truck.  It was parked across the street from the main entrance of the school and was a local neighborhood gathering spot.  Since neither I or any of my suburban friends ever frequented The Pickle Truck, I have no idea if they sold anything else like chips or soft drinks. 

It was a common everyday occurence to see the non-bused students walking through the halls or in class with a whole dill pickle wrapped in wax paper which did not seem to have been purchased for eating.  The pickle was apparently purchased to bite the top off of and then the pickle juice be sucked out as desired.  These things, based on how late in the school day they were seen could last most of the day. 

I know some people who went to this same school read this blog.  Please leave a comment verifying that what I have just written is accurate.

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc

cs