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Archive for the ‘Inner Sanctum’ Category

A Game Of Golf

Posted by LOTGK on December 22, 2012

a game of golf

A Game Of Golf

I woke this morning to several inches of snow on the ground. One of my first thoughts was about my father who passed away four years ago today. My next thought was the time Dad challenged me to a round of golf at Mill Creek Park golf course. Dad was an avid golfer who’s skill was at a level of a scratch. (A scratch golfer always shoots around par or better) My level was, well, let’s just say that I get my moneys worth.

In an attempt to lesson my beating I accepted his challenge but changed the terms of the game. Instead of playing the long hole course which was close to professional level play, I suggested the Mill Creek short hole course. My long ball is horrendous with my tee shot unpredictable. Once my first shot went awry and targeted the parking lot. Another time deep into the park woods. Even another time my ball smacked into a tree and came careening back towards me. I instinctively put my hand out and caught the ball, dropped it back on the grass and took another swing. Yes, my long ball was that bad.

My Dad agreed to the terms and we got in the car and went to the park. I parked the car and opened the trunk for Dad to get his clubs. i didn’t have clubs, I just rented the clubs at the sign up area. For short holes, you only needed a putter, a nine iron, and 7 iron. My Dad only selected his putter from his golf bag. I asked why only the putter. he replied that was all he needed to beat me.

We paid for 18 holes and I selected my clubs and the cashier asked my Dad if he needed any clubs. My Dad replied, nope, my putter will do. The cashier looked at him quite peculiar like and replied thank you back to him.

On the first hole Dad allowed me to go first. I used my 9 iron for the 90 yard or so hole. My swing was true and the ball stopped rolling about 20-25 feet from the pin. I smugly looked at Dad and said to beat that. Dad slowly walked to the tee, placed the ball on the grass, looked over at me and back to the back and swung away. The ball whizzed down the fairway barely traveling more than an inch or two above the grass. (I think I actually heard the whizzing of the ball) Several seconds later, the ball stopped about two feet from the pin. Dad just looked my way and began walking toward the pin.

It took me three putts to get the ball to drop while Dad tapped his in with one putt. Score for the first hole, Me a four, one over par, and Dad a two, one under par. For the rest of the game, Dad beat me at every hole. With. Only. His. Putter.

That was a long time ago but I still remember Dads smile, his laugh, his feel for the game, his zest for life. Dad said the key to golf was to have fun but play within your abilities. He also said that about life as well. I listened.

Rest In Peace Dad.



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Boots Bell – Video Killed The Radio Star

Posted by LOTGK on August 17, 2011

Boots Bell

And now we meet in an abandoned studio.
We hear the playback and it seems so long ago.
And you remember how the jingles used to go.
Video killed the radio star.

The Buggles had the pleasure of being the first rock band with the very first MTV music video airing August 1st, 1981. (30 years ago today) With that video, it ushered in a new culture of music, a new British invasion, and FM radio was on it’s last legs. Today, in 2011, just try to view a music video on MTV. They don’t show them anymore. The technology and viewing pattern has again changed. MTV has become reality TV. Sad, very sad.

Nowadays, with the CD player, MP3 player, On-board MyGig systems, Jump drives, streaming audio and video, and Youtube, is it any wonder that the FM radio disc jockey is almost extinct. Does anyone really listen to the radio anymore? To Kasy Kassems weekly top 40 hits? Does anyone out there know what I’m talking about?

In the 1960′s and 70′s, in my home town of Boardman, Ohio, the cool music was played on W.H.O.T. 1330 AM radio and later switched to FM in the 1970′s. Boots Bell was one of the highest profile disc jockeys in the area. He was one of the “Good Guys” on the air at W.H.O.T. The rest of the good guys were, George Barry, Smoochie Causey, Johnny Kay, Dick Thompson, and Jerry Starr.

Each DJ, (Disc jockey) had their own style and tag lines and we would tune in to not only listen to the records they would spin, but also the one liners and jargon from the DJ’s. One of Boots Bells tag lines were, “Yes indeedy doody daddy.”

Top 50 Tunedex

Every week at the record store, Yes, back then people would actually go to a record store and buy their favorite 45’s and albums. At the check out counter would be the W.H.O.T. Fabulous 50 Tunedex hits of the week. The only complete, accurate, and official music survey in the Youngstown, Ohio area. The list on the left is for the week of July 26th, 1965.

As only befitting, thirty years ago today, video killed the radio star. Five years ago, Youtube and Reality TV killed the video star.
You can click on the picture on the left to enlarge so you can read the top 50 tunes, or just keep reading below if your browser doesn’t re-size or if you are to numbed from watching all the Teen Mom and Jersey Shore reality programs.

Top 50 From July 26, 1965
1. I’m Henry The 8th I Am – Herman’s Hermits
2. What’s New Pussycat – Tom Jones
3. Hold Me Thrill Me – Mel Carter
4. I Like It Like That – Dave Clark Five
5. Marie – The Bachelors
6. Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
7. Cara Mia – Jay & The Americans
8. Easy Question – Elvis Presley
9. All I Want To Do – The Byrds/Cher
10. Theme From A “Summer Place” – Lettermen
11. Sunshine Lollipops & Rainbows – Leslie Gore
12. Around The Corner – The Duprees
13. Seventh Son – Johnny Rivers
14. Don’t Just Stand There – Patty Duke
15. Save Your Heart For Me – Gary Lewis
16. Baby I’m Yours – Barbara Lewis
17. World Needs Love – Jackie De Shannon
18. I Want Candy – The Strangeloves
19. Sittin’ In The Park – Billy Stewart
20. You Turn Me On – Ian Whitcomb
21. Down In The Boondocks – Billy Joe Royal
22. Take Me Back – Little Anthony
23. Yes I’m Ready – Barbara Mason
24. Too Many Rivers – Brenda Lee
25. Unchained Melody – Righteous Brothers
26. Ride Your Pony – Lee Dorsey
27. Pretty Little Baby – Marvin Gaye
28. One Dyin’/It Happened That Way – Roger Miller
29. To Know You Is To Love You – Peter & Gordon
30. Moon Over Naples – Bert Kaempfert
31. Poppa’s Got A Brand New Bag – James Brown
32. You’re My Girl – Roy Orbison
33. You Better Come Home – Petula Clark
34. I’ll Always Love You – The Spinners
35. California Girls – Beach Boys
36. The Tracker – Sir Douglas Quintet
37. Same Old Song – Four Tops
38. You Tell Me Why – Beau Brummels
39. Gonna Take A Miracle – Royalettes
40. He’s Got No Love – The Searchers
41. Tracks Of My Tears – The Miracles
42. I’m A Fool – Dino, Desi & Billy
43. I Got You Babe – Sonny & Cher
44. The Loser – The Skyliners
45. Here I Am – Dionne Warwick
46. A Little You – Freddie & Dreamers
47. Ju Ju Hand – Sam The Sham
48. You’re My Baby – The Vacels
49. A Little Lovin’ – Dwain Story
50. Thru The Eyes Of Love – Gene Pitney


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Shot Of Vodka At Age 6

Posted by LOTGK on March 21, 2011

Way back in the 1960’s when I was a lad, my parents used to bring all the kids, (There were 7 of us, me being the youngest) to grandma’s house for a visit. Actually, it was more of a drop-off now, Mom and Dad would stay for a minute and then off to go shopping or some other important business matters. (Like go and make more kids) (Not a lot of private time in a house full of 7 kids)

Anyway, my grandmother Veronica was from Ireland, (Both sets of grandparents were from Ireland but that’s not the point here) and every Saturday she would prepare us traditional Irish meals for dinner. Now I’m sure grandma was an excellent cook, however, I was not accustomed to such cuisine. I was more of a meat and potatoes kind of kid. Blood pie (Yes, sounds exactly as terrible as you think) was not my cup of tea. Even her dog, Chrissy, wouldn’t eat the food I attempted to sneak to him from the table without grandma looking. Forced, I would eat as much as I could and move on to playing in the basement of grandma Veronica’s house.

The basement was my haven. Grandma had it decorated like an old-time Western saloon. Veronica called it a Pub, but I thought it was a saloon. Irish, American, Pub, Saloon, same thing. It had swinging doors, a full bar, counter, bar stools, and just about every kind of bottle of alcohol you could imagine. (Grandma Veronica was a heavy drinker and smoker)

The basement was also the place grandma read her magazines and made her phone calls to the local radio talk show host to set them right in their opinions. Veronica would always have a glass of something by her side all the time.

That one afternoon, after playing hard, I was sweaty and thirsty. I saw grandma’s mini glasses (Shot glasses) on the bar counter filled and asked her if I could have some for I had a powerful thirst going on. I assumed the liquid was 7-Up or some other clear soda pop. Grandma looked up and sternly told me that I could not, that the drink was for adults, not children.

I pressed harder. (Pretty please grandma thirty times in a row usually did the trick) After the 30th time, Veronica acquiesced and told me I could have one with one condition. Being thirsty I immediately agreed. Veronica poured me a drink from a clear bottle and then told me to drink it all as fast as I could, all in one gulp. (That’s how the grown up people drink it)

I grabbed the double shot glass and in one quick motion, gulped the drink down. Damn! It tasted like gasoline. Approximately three seconds later my tongue was on fire. The flames quickly spread to my mouth, teeth, throat, and then to my stomach. If it were possible, my ears would have been letting off steam from the heat my body was producing. I started running around in circles screaming and yelling hoping that somehow the flames would subside. They did not. (I seriously felt like my hair was on fire)

Veronica calmly walked over to where I was doing my little Indian dance and gave me a cookie and told me to eat it. I was skeptical of the cookie for the last thing grandma gave me set me on fire. However, Veronica insisted. I ate the cookie. Grandma then told me to get a drink from the water faucet. I think I had two gallons.

After I calmed down, Veronica told me about alcohol, and that only adults were allowed to drink it. She also told me that from that day forward, any time I had the urge to drink alcohol again, I would remember this day and how it tasted.

And grandma was right. I still recall that taste. That is one of the main reasons why I do not drink at all. There, you have now met an Irishman that doesn’t drink.
Alas, if only Veronica would have taught me the same lesson with blood pie.


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Breakfast Of Champions

Posted by LOTGK on March 4, 2010

I was talking to my friend Dave the other day and the topic of eating ants came up. (Dave is a former Special Black Ops Officer so many a bizarre topics come up in discussion) He said that on one of his missions he had no food provisions and he needed to look for alternative sources. He found an ant hill, stuck his finger in the hole and swirled it around until the ants attached themselves to his finger. He then quickly pulled his finger out and ate them. He said he would still be hungry but the protein in the ants kept him going.

Now I’m no Special Ops soldier but I did eat bugs once. A while back I was having breakfast at our old house. I found a box of Mini Wheats and broke out the bowl, spoon, and milk. I poured the milk and went to town on the Mini Wheats. I was very hungry.

About halfway through the bowl, I noticed that my cereal was moving ever so slightly. Upon further inspection, there were hundreds of tiny black bugs infested in the Mini wheats. And I just ate half of them. Did I mention there were hundreds of bugs.

Faster than any Olympic sprinter (Or Michael Phelps swimming towards a Ding Dong) I raced to the bathroom to puke up the nasty bugs. I barely made it throwing up my breakfast of Mini Wheats and hundreds of little black bugs into the toilet. I felt better straight away.

After a few minutes of dry heaving, I came out of the bathroom and immediately took the box of cereal outside and freed the rest of the black bugs left in the cereal box in the back yard. (I should have set the bastards on fire for ruining my breakfast)

Back inside, I called my sister Nancy who is a nurse and told her that I just ate a big box of bugs. She said why on earth would I do that. I told her I didn’t eat them intentionally, they were in a bad box of cereal. I asked if the bugs would make me sick and if I should have my stomach pumped or anything.

Nancy told me, “Whatever you do, don’t throw up! The bugs will latch themselves to your throat and pinch at your flesh.” GOD DAMMIT! Now I was in a panic. I told Nancy it was to late, I already threw up most of the cereal, milk, and bugs. What was I supposed to do now?

Nancy told me to calm down. Eating bugs wasn’t going to hurt me one single bit. Not even the large amount I ate. She said as soon as the bugs hit the digestive acids in my stomach they were dead and merely became food. Albeit not good tasting food, but food nonetheless. (I could hear in Nancy’s voice her holding back her laughter) I thanked Nancy for the advice and hung up.

For a brief moment, I laughed at what I had just done, and what my sister told me not to do. Growing up with four older sisters and two older brothers should have prepared me for Nancy’s advice. I was caught off guard. This time! In the future I will be set to Def Con 1.

BTW, I haven’t eaten Mini Wheats since.


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Like Pulling Teeth

Posted by LOTGK on January 7, 2010

I hate going to the dentist, but some times it is quite necessary. Like the time awhile back that my wisdom teeth were breaking through and i needed them removed. I made the appointment and went in for an exam to determine how the dentist was going to proceed. Dr. Frank, my dentist, after looking at my X-Ray reassured me that the procedure would be fairly simple. He prescribed some antibiotics to relieve the swelling and told me to come back on Saturday morning. So far so good.

Well, Saturday came and off I went. Actually my wife Patty drove me because Dr. Frank said I wouldn’t be able to drive home that day. I walked in and the dental assistant came out and took me back to the office room almost immediately. Very good service.

Dr. Frank came in and told me that he was going to give me novacaine to deaden the pain and also laughing gas. He said he didn’t want to put me under so I could communicate with him during the procedure if I felt to much pressure. He said that would lesson the swelling and pain during the recovery period. He injected the novacaine and said he would be back in a few minutes to allow the medicine to kick in. So far so good.

Dr. Frank returned, and began. The big bright light was turned on and he bent over and told me to open my mouth. He tested a few teeth asking me if it hurt. When I said it didn’t, he proceeded. I felt some scraping and a little pressure and in about a minute, he showed me the first wisdom tooth extracted from my mouth. I thought this was going to be easy. A minute or so later, the second tooth was out. Halfway done in about five minutes. And then….

Dr. Frank then told me the first too teeth were the easy ones. The next two, however, were impacted. One on the top was coming in sideways and the one on the bottom was leaning forward. He said these two would be more difficult as he would have to do some cutting.

The next thing I heard was a loud “SNAP” inside my mouth. I could feel it shooting through my ears. I knew that was going to hurt later. Dr. Frank was breaking the tooth in pieces and extracting it piece by piece. He would cut a little and then “SNAP” and another piece would come out. He asked how I was doing and I gave him the thumbs up sign.

A half hour later and about twenty “SNAPS” Dr. Frank was stitching up my mouth and inserting gauze to stop the bleeding. He announced that I was done and for me to just lay back and rest and he would be back in a few minutes.

This wasn’t so bad. I could feel pressure but no pain. Dr. Frank returned with his assistant and they helped me get up and I walked to a chair. I was a little woozy, but not bad. I heard him giving Patty and me instructions, plenty of rest, a painkiller prescription, no solid food, maybe some Jello or chicken soup, do not use a straw, no rinsing when brushing my teeth, just sort of let the water fall out. Standard procedure for recovery.

I made it the car and we went home. I made it upstairs and was very tired. Patty went to the drug store for my prescription while I laid down in bed. When she returned, she asked how I was feeling. I responded that I was feeling pretty good all things considered. She asked if I was hungry for the prescription said I should have something in my stomach before taking it. I said sure.

Patty made me some chicken soup. Not to hot, not to cold. Just perfect. I made my way to the kitchen table, sat down, took my spoon in my hand, smiled at Patty, and then passed out. My face fell right into the bowl of soup. Patty came rushing over and picked up my face asking if I was OK. I nodded yes, and Patty let go of my head. A second later, my face was back in the soup bowl. I was out cold.

Patty again picked my head out of th soup but this time I just hunched over and fell to the floor. Patty freaked out asking me if I was OK. I was totally incoherent. She said I was talking jibberish and couldn’t get off the floor. She dragged me into the living room onto the carpet and got me a pillow for my head. She then called the doctor. Dr. Frank said this was normal, a reaction to the laughing gas and if she could get me in bed to rest.

Patty then got me a blanket, covered me, and sat with me for an hour watching me to make sure I was OK. In an hour, I was coherent enough to help her get me in bed. I slept the rest of the day and woke up Sunday afternoon. I was starving. This time, the chicken soup was pretty good.


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