Sometime in 1952, the Brown family went on a trip to Ft Worth and there I saw my very first TV. There is a photo of me watching with intensity a black and white TV dressed in my wool tweed suit that would itch my legs with a vengeance. I hated wearing that suit. I had to wear it. It was the only suit I had because later that day we were going to the TV studio to see Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody. I was part of the Peanut Gallery - a very big deal for a kid like me!
In that day and time, we improvised with our games and toys. We used soda straws and spit balls, rubber bands and paper wads for fighting. Football was played in the street with the help of my dog Skippy. When I was the quarterback and threw the ball Skippy would always go long. My sister's pig tails were the reins I used to run my pony, much to her chagrin. Swimming was enjoyed in the San Felipe Creek. My father's car was waxed under the overpass bridge; it was the coolest place to get out of the sun.
The Ice House was a building with a high vented tower where water was pumped to the top and cooled on the way down. A person could stand on the leeward side and become chilled to the bone.
In the summer I wore only a pair of shorts, no shirt or shoes. When school started I got a new pair of tennis shoes. (Pronounced "tenny" shoes). My "tenny shoes" were labeled "Flyers" and "honest Indian" I could jump higher and dive deeper than any of my friends using those shoes.
I had a paper route and delivered 165 papers daily on a bicycle. My route started on 7th Street, west side of Main and all the way up the hill to Junior High. Many of my school friends lived on that side of town. The bicycle did double duty, going to school as well as the paper route. Once a week was my Boy Scout meeting, I was permitted to stay out until 8:30 but biked home in time for bed at 9:00. I only had one blowout in all the miles that I rode.
I shot my first deer at 8 years old and brought the heart and liver back to Mother as Daddy instructed. I still have that .22 single shot rifle. I have many treasured memories with that rifle. I can remember shooting ducks out to the air as they circled the tank.
If we needed anything special that wasn't readily available in Del Rio, we would travel 150 miles to San Antonio or 150 miles to San Angelo. Gas was 19¢ and during gas wars I remember 17¢. I remember going to San Angelo to purchase a complete garage that my dad loaded on his 1950 Ford pick-up. When we took the car, my sister and I played in the back seat across the hump. Air Conditioning meant the windows rolled down. Sweating on a trip was not even thought of as a problem. Winters were different, the folks in the front were comfortable with the heater. However, my sister and I shared a blanket.
Those were the days my friends - Hard to believe I am 77 years old.
Del Rio Wildcats Class of 1962