Wednesday, January 07, 2009


I was driving through the old neighborhood with my friend Kim last night.
“Hey , you remember the Gibsons Department Store that used to be there?”
“Yeah, what was next to it?”
“Man, I don’t remember. Oh yeah, a Myers 5&10 Store”
“Right, I bought my first record there. A 45 of “Incense and Peppermints”. I was 12 and the Cashier was 16 and she said “Great Song” as she put it in the bag for me and I thought maybe she might want me, like as a lover after that and I would go in there a lot to buy records. After a while, she never said anything about my choices and I lost interest.”

“Probably because you weren’t buying good records” says Kim.
She knows how to hurt a guy.

“No, “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron” was a classic. So was “A Boy Named Sue” and “Theme from Hawaii 5-0. Maybe I shoulda gone with "The Rain the Park and Other things”.
“Right, Steve” as she rolled her eyes.

Anyway, that was back in the day before Strip Centers and Malls. Gibsons was the early day equivalent of Walmart and it was the only place in town you could go and buy everything from Underwear to Fishin’ poles to Car tires and appliances.

Kim says:
‘Yeah my Dad bought me my first bike there. It was pink, with little pink and white streamers from the handlebars, sparkly wheels, and a decal of Barbie on the frame. It had a little bell you rang with your thumb that went "Ka-ching".
I looked at it and frowned.”
“I hate it” I told my Dad
‘Why honey? He asked.
“Because it doesn’t have a Banana Seat” and I started to cry.
Mama snatched me up and spanked my butt. I tried to cover up with my hands but she was really mad.

Mama said
“Your Daddy worked extra hours to get you that bike, its not Christmas and its not your birthday and you better be glad to have it.
We ain’t exactly the Got-rocks you know.”

So I asked Kim if she ever got to liking that bike.
“No, I still hate it.” She said.

My experience was kinda the same. I saved my money up mowing yards one summer and the day before Dove Hunting Season, Mom took me to Gibsons where I bought a Double-Barreled Shotgun for $60.
I could hardly wait for Dad to get home to see it. It was a big Side-by-Side 12 gauge and had some scroll work on it and I loved the way I might look trudging through a field with it.

Dad got home and at supper I pulled it out.
“Look what I got Dad!”
Dad took one look at it and we loaded up the car and went back to Gibsons where he added $120 to the kitty and we exchanged my Double-Barrel for a 12 Gauge Remington 1100 Semi-Automatic.
It was a major upgrade from a cheap scattergun to a Top-of-the Line Firearm any Sportsman would be proud of.
“There’s what you need boy” and Dad grinned down at me.
All I could do was frown and bite my lip.
God, how I wanted that side-by side 12 gauge Double –Barreled Shotgun.

I still have that Remington Model 1100.
I haven’t fired it in 20 years.
I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world, but I might trade it for that big Double-Barrel.


Anonymous said...

I remember those stores. I had a bike with a banana seat as well.

Mike said...

There was no way to be cool without a banana seat.

Angela said...

You won`t like this, but I could never understand why all you American guys are so crazy about weapons and hunting and shooting beautiful animals! I`m glad you never used the one your Dad bought you (I hope no other, either!). Frowning-at-you-Angela

Barbara said...

Boys and guns -- ughhh! What did you shoot at?

valentinegirl63 said...

Thanks this is so AWSOME! I love the things we talk about and love it more when you blogg it!!!

Angela said...

Did you take a taxi yet? How many ladies have called you?

bulletholes said...

i never owned a bie with Banana Seats...or sting-Ray probably won't believe me but I'm real 'Traditional" that way.

Angie and Barb- I should have known this might offend some of my milder friends...let me assure you that the bullets i used only put the little birds to "Sleep" and when they woke up, they were in a better place, their souls anyway.
Their Mortal Coils were, well, they were on my grill.

Val- It was your story that makes this one, I think. You make a good friend.

Angie- I loved your taxi post...
For my friends...Angie knows a Cab Driver that collects phone numbers and then plays matchmaker for his riders. He has seen some success and says he loves his job.

Mother of Invention said...

I never got a barbie doll but I guess I never really wanted one. I got a Betsy Wetsy doll that wouldn't wet though!!! We returned her to SEARS for one that did!