Archive for August, 2007

The Little Red Store – part 2

August 29, 2007
By the time I hit Jr. High, I was getting my own movies from the back and renting them with my own money. Of course in high school there was too much going on to really be interested in rental movies at home with your parents, so it was always just sort of there. I don’t remember exactly when the gas pumps stopped working, but I do remember that it was ridiculously overpriced when they did. Like a whole $1.00 per gallon my sophomore year. Anyway, I didn’t interact with it very often anymore but it was still the setting for more than a few odd/interesting little stories. 
 
A few worth pointing out:

~My parents house is at the top of a blind hill. Most yo-yo’s took this blind hill at somewhere between 70 and 80 mph. Luckily for the subject of this story, he wasn’t. The cows behind our house (not ours) had gotten out one summer afternoon. More than once I have looked out the window to our front yard only to be greeted by a herd of bovine meandering across. That means it’s time to stop what you’re doing, call the neighbors who left their *!@# fence open, put on some boots you don’t mind getting “dirty” and herd them back where they belong. As the family posse got started, one made its way to the road just out of view of that blind hill. This is a bad thing. Sure enough, before we could coerce it back an unlucky fellow topped the hill. I’m not sure how fast he was going, but had he been going any faster we would have all become vegetarians very quickly. Fortunately he saw it in time to get out of the way. Unfortunately, he swerved hard to the right and into our ditch, overcorrected and went back across the road and turned a 180 onto the center of the circle drive at the store.  He, his car and the cow were all unharmed. But for the grace of God go idiots.

 
~There were two rather large oak trees out front of the store. One morning after a really bad thunder and lightning storm we were all amazed to see one split down the middle and laying across their driveway. About 75 yards from our house.
 
And finally… 

It’s a white truck. It will be a black truck and half melted by the time this story ends.
 
He pulled up to B&B to see what the smoke coming from under his hood was. Turns out it was an oil leak which caught fire not too long after he stopped the truck. Before the fire spread too far, this guy at least had enough sense to get in, put it in neutral and push it AWAY from the gas pumps. By now it had attracted plenty of attention from the neighbors and we were all settled in our lawn chairs with our popcorn enjoying the show (you might be a redneck IF?). The store owners were very interested by now and had called the fire department. The fire took off pretty good and when your vehicle is on fire, there’s really not much that can be done but wait. But not our intrepid hero. He went around to the back of the store and reappeared with a water hose. A nice thought, but this was an oil fire. That’s the last thing you do because you’re just going to spread it with a water hose and not put anything out. Picture the flames licking the side of the car from under the front left fender. Now picture a grown man with a water hose bent over at the waist spraying the hose into these flames while looking in. The flames got bigger and he took the hint, stepped back and waited. Eventually the flames died down when the oil burned up and there was nothing but thick black smoke coming off a medium-well S-10 pickup.
 
The good ol’ Whertheheckahwe volunteer fire department showed up about a half hour later.

 

The Little Red Store closed not too long after I graduated high school. The owners passed away a few years apart from one another and it more or less sat there while the bahaya grass consumed it and it became just a background eyesore.  One visit home from college I was shocked to see it cleaned up, the doors where open and it was BLUE!  A family had purchased it and had moved in a mobile home right behind it and are currently using it as storage (I think).  So while it doesn’t look anything like it used to, it’s nice to know that its still standing and being used.Hope you’ve enjoyed a few of my random childhood memories.  

J

The Little Red Store – part 1

August 27, 2007

Back when I was a just lowercase j. . .

 

I grew up on Hwy 449 in Whertheheckahwe, TX.  Directly across the road from my house was what was known as The Little Red Store.  The little red store was, in fact, a little orange gas station by the name of “B&B Moccasin Creek Store”.  Why it was called the little red store is beyond me, that’s just what I remember.  In front of it was a circle driveway and 2 old gas pumps.  That good old kind you could finish fueling, turn off at the pump and still squeeze another 10 ounces of gas out of.  It provided a great landmark for directions to our rural abode, assorted junk food, movie rental (all VHS), video games (8-bit Nintendo) and my first experiences of a Donkey Kong arcade game.  I frequented this store nearly every day since I was allowed to cross the street on my own.  After begging someone for a couple of dollars I’d trot over with youthful exuberance to rent entertainment of some kind and the nice lady running the place usually threw in a bit-o-honey or something for free.  She was a sweet old gal (in the eyes of a 9 year old).  She also had a husband who ran the store sometimes who I thought was funny.  He didn’t say funny things or have that old energetic spark of life.  Quite the opposite actually.  He had this odd way of moving in slow motion no matter what he did (a common impression by myself and other local tots… all 3 of us lol).  And boy did he talk funny.  His words always slurred together and he kind of looked like he was sleeping all the time.  Silly old man.  Of course later on I realized he had spent the entire years of my childhood completely hammered.  Nevertheless, the little red store is always in the background (quite literally) of all my childhood memories. 

Next Post

August 23, 2007

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to let y’all know I’m still alive, I’ve just been crazy busy.  Work has been steadily getting more and more involved and intense and so my evenings have become more and more about doing nothing but recharging.  And this miserable weather doesn’t help.  The sky has been gray and dreary since Sunday and I’m very tired of it.  The only good thing is it has dipped back down the to 60’s and I’m loving that.  Winter just can’t get here fast enough for me.  Tonight I’m going to see King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters and I’m really looking forward to it.  It’s a limited release movie and I never got to see those growing up cause they never came anywhere near Hallsville, TX.  This should be a fun, quirky way to spend an evening and might salvage this crazy week.  Plus, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be playing poker tomorrow night.  Games have been a lot more frequent lately which has been a blast.  It would be even more of a blast if I won every now and then lol.Well that’s it for now I suppose.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

– J

NYC – 1, J – 0

August 8, 2007

Well my luck finally ran out this morning.  Thus far a power outage in the Bronx: Shuts down several train lines – but not mine; a steam pipe blows up in midtown: Got off the train at my stop right after it happened; It rained: flooded most of the subway lines – including mine.

It’s a good news/bad news situation and overall it could have been a heck of a lot worse.  I decided (since it was raining) to get up and go workout since there would most likely be less people.  This means I take the same train I always take, but I get off halfway to work, go to the gym, and then return to the subway and then on to work.  Once I got above ground at Lexington Ave, it had stopped raining.  This was good news for me, since I had a return trip in the near future.  During my workout, I saw on TV several train lines, buses and shuttles had been halted or seriously delayed due to flooding – again, not the one I take.

After a good run and a mediocre workout, I got showered and presentable and then headed back to the train just in time to see people pouring out of the entrance all looking very disgusted with life in general.  Yep.  No trains at that station.  At this point lines for buses were thrice as long as usual, the odds of me catching a cab were about as good as a Republican getting the presidency next year and I wasn’t sure what other stations were still open.  So I just walked to the office from the gym.  10 blocks south and 7 avenues over.  About a 30 minute walk for all you non-city folk.  The way I see it though – A) I could have not gone to the gym and been stuck in Queens and B) it could have still been raining during that walk.

You know, I hate to agree with mass media and popular opinion, but this is getting a little ridiculous.  A steam pipes blows up, and yes it’s unfortunate, but I don’t think it a symbol of the decline of America.  However.  If it rains real hard one night (one, mind you) and the whole subway system floods to the point it is not functional then something is clearly wrong.  This is the best city in the world.  We can bounce back from terrorist attacks and blackouts but we can’t handle RAIN.  Sheesh.  And if Bloomberg insists on forcing everyone into the subway with his little congestion pricing plan, then he dang well better make sure it bloody WORKS first.

OK, I feel better now that I’ve got all that off my chest.  Y’all have a good one.

– J

Personal Note: I think that is the first time in my life I have ever used the word “thrice” in a written sentence.

Blankety Blank Blankin’ Blank Blank. Blank.

August 1, 2007

HORRIBLE news, gang.  Trip to AC has been called off on account of God hates me loss of transportation.  The car we were going to take broke down yesterday and he was the only guy who could drive in the group.  SUCK.

There’s a bus we could take, but it would take way longer and I’m not sure if he’ll still be interested what with having to pay for car repairs and all.  Guess I’ll just have to go see The Bourne Ultimatum this weekend instead.

There is some good news though – my head cold is completely gone and I can work out again.  Yar!!  

Y’all be good,

J