I grew up in Strongsville, Ohio. At the end of my street, about four hundred feet from my driveway, there was a Sohio gas station. In 1977 I started to hang out there. Times at the gas station were much different back then. You would pull up to the pump, a bell rings inside and the “gas station guy” would come out and fill up your tank. When no one was wanting gas the “gas station guy” would work on a car that was in need of service in the garage. I was thirteen. I thought this type of atmosphere was great. I soon discovered the evils that permeated the gas station.
They had a cigarette machine. I had a bunch of quarters in my piggy bank so I started buying packs of Vantage. I didn’t know ya had to inhale so I could have experienced the same thing by just being inside aa burning building. They had stacks of porn. I thought it was cool but in hindsight it’s a bit disturbing to imagine a man in his twenties passing the time at his job by reading Penthouse forum. They had weed. That’s right. Smoked a joint before I ever tasted alcohol. Thirty-eight bucks for an ounce of Columbian Gold. At this point in my life I sincerely thought I landed on Fantasy Island.
Mom put a stop to me going to the gas station when she caught me with some H-100’s. H-100’s are equal to a quarter stick of dynamite. I bought a gross of them for forty bucks at where else????? The gas station!!! For FUN us kids would go into the woods and put H-100’s in freaking trees and we would just laugh as a ten year old maple eviserated into a pile of mulch. Who needs a video game when you can enjoy the great outdoors while blowing shit up?? Gas stations sure are different today. You can get a freaking latte’, some lottery tickets, a ham sandwich and a snow brush except you pump your own gas. They now refer to this place as a “convenience store.” I will always remember what it used to be before it went through rehab. It was the portal to temptation. It was and always will be…..the GAS STATION!!!!
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These are turbulent times my friends. I took a moment to shut off the news and reflect upon my journey in life. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. I have become much more aware of that fact as life continues to pass on by. I was an only child and I was a handful. I challenged everything someone would say….a trait that continues today. I had wonderful parents…thankfully Mom is still alive today. Times were different back then. There was no such thing as “time out.” Each of my parents had their preferred punishment weapon. Dad liked the belt and Mom knew how to work that wooden spoon.
I still shudder at the sound I would hear from the kitchen when I would push Mom too far. The opening of the drawer beneath the microwave…then the sound of her fumbling through the kitchen utensils….suddenly the noise stops…..she has found her weapon of choice….THE WOODEN SPOON!!!
She spins like Wyatt Earp at the OK Corral….we make eye contact….she raises her weapon (which oddly enough was being used to stir spaghetti sauce just twelve hours ago) and makes her approach to “teach me a lesson.” I immediately run towards the circular dining room table. I use the table like a blocking sled to stay away from her boisterous advance. Suddenly I trip in my “stocking feet.” Mom straddles me like a LA cop. All of a sudden I feel like “Rodney King Light.” Good thing I ran Mom around the dining room table to tire her out. She only beat me for about ten minutes. Then she stood up and said “I’m gonna reheat yesterday’s spaghetti…want some?” Compared to 2020….that seems pretty normal to me.
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Danny is at the doctor or hospital at least once a week. Monday he was there for some tests and has a great story to tell. 💉💉💉 Why did Danny have a master key to his high school? 😂😂😂 A phone call to the Tempe Police Department to ask about their arrest of PENIS MAN! Click below and share with a friend please. 🚨🚨🚨
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All kinds of stuff happening in this episode. Tensions are high in Richmond, VA as there is a big gun rally planned for Monday. The Governor likes to wear blackface. Danny calls the governor’s office to ask why he doesn’t like black people🙄🙄🙄More problems for the Cleveland Browns🤣🤣🤣Radio is near death and some very good and talented people are out of work this week😫😫😫The latest on the clown parade that is the Democratic Party😜😜😜and much more!
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Death. It encompasses so many emotions. Sadness, grief, anger and fear to mention a few. This past weekend I lost a dear friend to death as he passed away suddenly at the young age of fifty four. Ironically we had a conversation just three days before passing. We laughed at our differences in political beliefs, jointly expressed our distain for Anderson Cooper and had a conversation about death.
Three years ago this September I came as close to death as one can. I was in a coma for six days and being kept alive by a series of machines and cables. I saw things so beautiful and peaceful that there are no words to provide them justice. I am not penning this piece to urge you to go to church or sell all your belongings. I can tell you without doubt that are journey does not end here.
When we cry at death but to who are those tears actually flowing for? I know it is natural because one that you love and care for so much has left this level. IF only we had the strength and courage to know that we will see our dearly departed again on a level that is incomprehensible in our present world.
I am not a church goer or a bible thumper. I am just a regular guy that happened to see the next step in our journey that is truly amazing. This doesn’t mean we should live a care-free lifestyle. On the contrary we should take time to observe and listen. Don’t be so quick to get angry with someone you disagree with. Try to learn something new every day. I truly believe that life is quite similar to when you were in school. We are handed many challenges and hurdles every day that don’t make sense yet they all serve a purpose. It may take days, years or a lifetime to figure them out but the answer is there. You have to put aside your emotions and open your mind and heart and pray for understanding.
The test will end someday my friends and I believe with all my heart that is when we are ready for the next level. Take solace in your loss and heartfelt pain in knowing your loved one is in a much better place watching you as YOU learn what they already know. Thanks for reading and look for your lesson that will appear before you today.
When I was a kid (some will argue that I still am) I looked forward to going on class field trips. You would miss a half a day of school; get to take along a sack lunch filled with junk food and fight to sit in the back seat of the bus. In elementary school it was fun to sit in the back seat of the bus and make faces at cars that stopped behind you at a red light. In high school those that sat in the back seat usually smoked Marlboro Reds, carried knives and now are either working as bouncers or have been featured on episodes of “The First 48.”
Most field trips were educational and served a purpose. We went to the Natural History Museum, the local fire department, the zoo and the art museum. I’m not saying that being in fifth grade and looking at a Monet was exhilarating but it got me out of playing crab soccer and trying to climb the rope in gym class so I’ll gladly take the former.
There was one field trip, however, that both traumatized and confused me as to what the intended purpose was supposed to be. One day my fourth grade class piled into the yellow school buses for our trip to the Strongsville Pumping Station. If you are confused about what a pumping station is and what purpose it serves allow me to enlighten you. Sewer pumping stations (also called lift stations) are used to move wastewater to higher elevations in order allow transport by gravity flow. Sewage is fed into and stored in a sealed underground pit, commonly known as a wet well. In common speak we ventured to the spot where all the shit water from the city comes together.
I remember descending down a spiral staircase with my classmates until we were probably five stories beneath street level. There we were able to view the raw sewage flowing like we were stuck in a tropical storm in a Third World Country. My conscious mind is still scarred with the indelible tattoo of seeing cigarette butts, toilet paper, turds that looked like Lincoln Logs and a red rubber ball. Not exactly a Kodak moment or a suggested tourist attraction (although it does parallel a visit to your local water park).
Looking back I did learn two things from our field trip that day. People in my hometown don’t chew their food and I understand the need and popularity of bottled water.