Category Archives: Memory Monday

Memory Monday – Wallets

There’s nothing that’ll make a little kid feel like a  grown up like that first wallet!  I’m guessing I was in 3rd grade when I got my first one.

It was a black wallet with velcro fasteners… and I thought it was cool.  I filled it with what little cash I had and tried to make it seem more impressive with my library card.

For a time in 5th grade, I moved on to what I thought at the time was the coolest wallet ever; a wrist/sweatband, watch, and wallet combination.  It was grey with blue terrycloth on the part that touched my wrist and had a zipper to open it to stash your cash.

Thinking back now, the idea of a wallet like that sounds somewhat silly.

By the time I hit high school I upgraded to a black leather wallet.  It didn’t have much cash in it and the library card was replaced by my driver’s license and ATM card.

In college, I experimented with a foldable money clip style wallet.  It worked but I never really did like it all that much.  These days, I carry a simple brown leather wallet.  It works but it’s nothing special.

So why the walk down wallet memory lane?  Well, I’ve been looking for a new one lately and stumbled across a style that I think should really be a perfect fit for me.  If everything goes according to plan I’ll be sharing a review and a chance for you to win one.

Did you think your first wallet was cool?

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Memory Monday – The Coldest Hockey Game Ever

Growing up in rural Iowa I really didn’t have much of a connection to the sport of hockey.  The closest I really got was seeing a random game on television… and playing floor hockey in gym class.

That changed my junior year in high school.  I was working part-time at a local radio station and our sports director was also the public address announcer for the Waterloo Blackhawks.  He knew there would be times he’d have to miss a hockey game due to covering high school sports on the radio so he asked if I’d fill in for him.

The idea of being on the mic in a sports arena was appealing… but I was a little nervous since I knew absolutely nothing about hockey.  He assured me that I’d do fine and pointed out there would be two guys keeping stats and running the scoreboard that would help me out.

He also explained that the job wasn’t that hard.  Announce the starting line-ups.  Mis-pronouncing an opposing team members name was fine but he gave me a crash course in the hometeam’s names so I had that down.

Whenever there was a score I’d announce the time of the goal, who shot it, and who assisted.  The only other part to the job was calling out program winners.  “Blackhawk fans, turn to page “whatever” in your program. If you have a red star in the pizza ad bring your program to the announcer’s booth to get your prize.”

Yep.  I passed out prizes.  That’s also how I got paid.  I didn’t make any money.  My payment was getting to keep any prizes that went uncollected.  Over the course of the two seasons that I filled in, I walked away with lots of free pizzas, movie passes, bowling, and similar freebies.

My favorite part of that job was at the very beginning of every game.  After warm-ups, the team would leave the ice, have a little pre-game meeting/pep talk and then come back ready to play.

As they skated back on the ice, Gun’s N’ Roses “Welcome To The Jungle” would blare from the loudspeakers and I’d take to the mic. “Here come the Blackhawks!”  The crowd would go wild.  It really was quite a rush.

By now, you’re probably starting to wonder why this post is titled: The Coldest Hockey Game Ever.  It all goes back to my very first hockey game and my very first time announcing.

I wanted to fit in so I thought I’d wear team colors.  I chose a red t-shirt and black vest to go with my jeans.  Go ahead and laugh but vests were popular then.

Perhaps you noticed the flaw in my wardrobe selection.  I forgot to take into consideration that I’d be sitting on a slab of ice for two hours!  Adrenaline kept me warm for the first part of the game but by the 3rd period, I was frozen.  I got in my car and blasted the heat at the end of the night.

It was a lesson learned and after that, I dressed warmer.  A lot warmer!  That was one of the most interesting and fun part-time jobs I’ve ever done.

What’s a fun/interesting job you’ve had?

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Memory Monday – Blue Lights, Cassette Deck, And A Sunroof

Think back to your first car.  What was it? What do you remember most about it?

My first vehicle was a 1982 Chevy Cavalier.  It was a blue, 4 door with a four-speed stick transmission.  I loved that car.  Mostly because it was mine.  I did everything I could to personalize it, too.

Since it was blue, I stuck with that color scheme.  I had a blue shoe string dangling from the rearview mirror.  Hanging on that shoestring was a Leonardo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figure.  He was the turtle with the blue bandana.

I also took a page out of my Dad’s playbook. He shared how he put lights under the seats of his first car.  They would glow in the dark and look cool.  I found some rear back-up lights with blue covers and mounted them under the seats of my Cavalier.

A lighted blue switch on the dash turned them on and off.  My Dad was right.  They did look cool.  Plus, it made me keep my car clean.  After all, who would want to shine a blue spotlight on floorboard trash?

That first vehicle of mine came with the standard radio. Not cool when you’re 16.  I wanted to play my music when I wanted to.  While I had the dash apart putting in the floor light switch I swapped out the stock radio for one that had a cassette player.  Pretty fancy for the time.

The other modification that I made to that first vehicle was one that I couldn’t do myself.  I saved up my money to have a local auto shop install a sunroof.  That sunroof was awesome.  Popping it open was the first thing I did when I got in on nice days.

I’m sure today my kids would think a 1982 Chevy Cavalier is a dorky vehicle… but I thought it was cool back in the day!

What did you do to make your first vehicle “yours”?

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