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Ye Olde McDonalds’ Days by Ghostsniper

In 1970 at the age of 15 my first “real” job was working at the only McDonalds in the whole county.

Blue and white tiles and real golden arches.

To this day I remember all the prices and how to create all of the products. I’m 62 now, do the math. I could step into that old memory right now and run the full clinic, just like back then.

Day 1: I started “dressing buns”, that is, applying mustard and ketchup and pickles to the hamburger buns and from there, every 6 weeks, I rotated to another department, french fries, grill, milk shakes, etc., and after I had mastered every one of them I reached the honorable and greatly sought position of working on the counter, taking orders, using the cash register. WOW! It was not until AFTER I learned the entire system was I allowed to step right up front and represent the whole company to the public at large. (now, they stick the ugliest and stupidest people on the counter and just taking your order, with every convenience in the world, is almost more than they can muster – true genetic defects – individual and corporate)

Yep, each order – and there were hundreds each day, was written down in detail in little “ticket books” and get this, less than 60 seconds later the customer received their HOT order. The cash register was the old skool type where you had to type in the prices of each item and then hit the “Total” button that then printed a small receipt. No colorful pictures on the screen, no automated anything, all of it done by hand, the long way, but very fast and very efficient.

In 1970 McDonald’s full menu consisted of: hamburger 19 cents, cheeseburger 24 cents, dbl hamburger 29 cents, dbl cheeseburger 34 cents, big mac 45 cents, fish sandwich 35 cents, french fries 19 cents, coke, root beer, orange, sprite 19 cents small and 24 cents large, milkshakes – choc, van, straw 35 cents, apple pie 19 cents. There ya go, McDonald’s circa 1970 entire menu, complete.

There were no bells and whistles in that menu, just down and durty and fast! and cheap! A poor person could go to McD’s and get 5 hamburgers and with 4% sales tax added actually get change back from their dollar — and they had TV commercials touting that. Five members of a family could eat a hamburger for less than a dollar. Did such a thing ever exist? Really? Yes, I was there.

Now, some might balk at the “plain-ness” of a simple hamburger and say their kids would never be satisfied. In 1970 we rarely ever ate at McDonald’s, in fact, we almost never ate out at all. I never even SEEN a McDonalds until we moved to Florida in 1966 and even then it was 2 years before my dad took us all there for a supper one evening. We thought we were at Disney World! Eating at McDonald’s! Whoa!

In 1970 there were NO females working at McDonald’s.

Each shift had 2 full grown men in their 40’s or 50’s working as managers and they had hawk eyes on all sides of their heads, they seen it all. Every employee wore the exact same uniform every single day and was responsible for keeping them clean and ironed. White short sleeve button down shirt, black straight legged pants, black belt, black laced shoes, white apron, white paper head gear. No exceptions, ever. Appearance was everything and if you dropped the ball in anything you got the boot immediately.

For the first month, during 1/2 hour lunch breaks, every new employee was in the managers very small office in the rear viewing training films. Employees paid half price for lunch while working and nobody was allowed to drink anything while working.

There was no drive through of course and there were only 8 wall mounted stools along one side of the place where customers could eat and look through the “wall of glass” and see the food being prepared, by professionals. There were no tables any where, take out service only.

And this place was THE hotspot in Lee County, Florida on the weekends. Yeah, I said Lee. As in General Robert E Lee the county’s name sake. All the hot cars slunk through the parking lot, making the circuit. There was a drive-in restaurant named Jerry’s down the way on highway 41 and back and forth the cars roamed, from Jerry’s to McDs, over an over all night long. George Odells 67 Goat with a 389 and tri-power and a full race cam, Nicky Swartz’s 69 orange Camaro SS with a “Hooker Headers” decal across the rear spoiler, John Hesslers giant 396 Chevelle SS, Pancho Wilson’s 68 Cougar Eliminator, Ken Applebees red 69 Mustang Mach 1 with a shaker scoop, and on and on.

And the accompanying cheerleaders from Ft Myers High School and their awesome cheerleader legs and all-over tans. Yes sir, McDonald’s was THE place to be and the view was the best when you worked on the counter and you did that only after you mastered the whole enchilada.

Amazingly, very few people got fired from McDonald’s, everybody was glad to have the opportunity to work. Most that were in my age group simply moved on eventually. Me? After almost year at $1.15 an hour, I graduated from 2 different schools a couple weeks before my 17th birthday and received a job offer from the largest architectural firm in the county so I quit. My new job paid $1.45 to start.

I’ll never forget my time at McDonald’s and believe it was fundamental in forming the mindset to take on the lifelong journey of employment. The other side of this story was that 15 year olds in 1970 were raised completely different than they are today so the things I described above are in keeping with the time. Yes, things were better back then, I know it, cause I was there. No, it was not peaches and cream for everybody but it isn’t that way now either, and never will be.

In 1970 I believe there was still a strong sense of truth, honesty, and an attitude of hard work for reasonable pay, kindness and courtesy to others and a binding bond among extended family members. There was the belief that if you played the game of life in this template good things will come to you in time and with effort. Mom’s stayed at home, kids went to school, and dad went to work. Evenings were spent mainly at home and weekends were visits to and from family and friends and during the week kids did homework and rode bikes and after they went to bed at 8pm mom and dad watched Perry Mason and Johnny Carson on the black and white TV with curved screen – the only TV in the house. And the only time you ever seen a tattoo was at Thanksgiving when you asked the great uncle the navy vet to pull his shirtsleeve up so you could see the blurred out naked lady’s titties on his upper bicep, he would flex it and make her “dance” and all us boys screamed with laughter and my mom chastised him once again and he chuckled.

By ghostsniper in Well, perhaps not all the voters…. – American Digest

Sic transit gloria mundi:

Alert the Authorities!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Chuck November 18, 2017, 5:41 AM

    I didn’t even see a McDonald’s until I was 34 in 1973. The town where I grew up didn’t get one until long after I moved away and the town where I went to grad school and met my wife didn’t either. When we moved west for a new life, we drove a U-Haul across the plains of Kansas and stopped overnight in Ft Collins, Colorado. The motel where we stayed had a McDonald’s across the street. We had our first Big Mac’s and were amazed that we had a filling meal for two for under $3.00. Two days after we arrived at our destination in Utah, the Welcome Wagon lady brought us a basket of goodies at the bottom of which were two coupons for a Big Mac. We immediately took her to lunch and thought we’d gone to heaven; we now lived in a town that had its own McDonald’s.

  • Greg November 18, 2017, 5:50 AM

    Familiar story – saw my first McDonalds when we moved from West Virginia to Clearwater in 1960. Moving from rural West Virginia to Florida was a revelation on so many levels.

  • u.k.(us) November 18, 2017, 6:46 AM

    “….now, they stick the ugliest and stupidest people on the counter and just taking your order,”
    =======
    First off, your writing sucks.
    Second off, ….you must have unresolved issues, might want to work on those before puking up your next attempt at ….enlightenment.

  • u.k.(us) November 18, 2017, 6:56 AM

    In retrospect, is it possible to pull that last comment off the interwebs ??
    Would if I could.

  • Rob De Witt November 18, 2017, 8:10 AM

    Great stuff, ghost.

  • ghostsniper November 18, 2017, 8:12 AM

    Leave it, cause you’re right.
    Never cared much for writing, and I’m a strong advocate that people should do what they like, otherwise they won’t do it good. Sort of a rule of nature. Hated everything english in school and failed most of the time, though I was a rapacious reader. All that noun, verb nonsense, who needs it? Well apparently I need it cause 50 years in the future some internet dweeb will call me out on the skills I never professed.

    You’re also right about the unresolved issues. I have some. Can you point out anyone that does not?
    In my defense, though, it helps to have some context, so that I might better explain what I so poorly wrote. What precisely triggered you into targeting my unresolved issue(s)? Perhaps I can offer an explanation, and maybe learn something.

    Finally, it was a mere 10 mins between your posts, so no, there is not nearly enough “retrospect” in that brief amount of time. Since this is the innertoobz and they last for all eternity, yeah that – all eternity, shall be your penalty.

    Doesn’t anybody know how to “think” any more?

  • u.k.(us) November 18, 2017, 8:43 AM

    I took it out of context and worked myself up.
    Sorry for the bother.
    I thought I knew better.

  • Bunny November 18, 2017, 8:55 AM

    I enjoy your extended comments, Ghostsniper, especially the ones about the animal world. Keep ’em coming, please.

  • OhioDude November 18, 2017, 9:38 AM

    Thanks … nice write. Back in OH recently, had breakfast with my cuz; they lived about a stones throw from the first one in Lorain, and we stopped back in the orig for Egg McM’s and coffee. Decent food. Great prices … 50 years ago ! …. but hey, time stops for no one

    This morning, bought EggMcMuffins for daughter and friends. We were talking about the continued goodness of the EggMcM, and about Keatons work in ‘Founder.” He’s come far from his beginning.

    I get to the office and this was up. Small Universe. Indeed. Maybe Jung was right

    Mr V, a wonderful site, GS – thanks again…. a good holiday to you and yours

  • Uncle Max November 18, 2017, 11:10 AM

    I’ve always remembered the joy when I won a coupon for a free Big Mac at a cake walk our elementary school had. Big Mac’s had just come to our local McDonalds in ’68 or ’69 and I couldn’t have won a better prize. ( We almost never ate there because we never ate out at that time, especially fast food ) I was thrilled to get one free, and Mom of course, had to take all of us 5 kids there so it likely blew the budget that week for her. Good memories.

    Though I’m 8 years younger than ghostsniper, I have fond memories of working fast food places as a kid. Started as a car hop at a local burger place at 12! Can you imagine? I worked there 2 years part time. Orders hand written.. learned to make change,etc. Then Sonic as Car Hop. None of the big chains would hire under 16. So 2 years at Sonic, then when old enough, I busted into the big time! Long John Silvers! heh. Then Taco Bell!.. Then Pizza Hut!. From age 12 to 18. Good times and a great start. I am still baffled when I talk to people now who’ve never worked fast food as a kid. Some I’ve known, never had a JOB until after college. I can’t identify with that.

  • Vanderleun November 18, 2017, 11:16 AM

    On writing.

    What can I say? I’ve written thousands of blog posts out of which hundreds qualify as essays.

    Before that, as senior editor for Houghton Mifflin, I edited and published over two hundred books by other writers, talented and not so talented. I cleaned them up, buffed them up, and shipped them out to the world.

    In another life I was an editor for six different magazines and bought and edited and published over 1,000 articles.

    I sometimes think, examining my resources, that I should get back in the business of helping writers to improve and finish their books.

    In any case I think I can say I know good writing when I see it.

    “It ain’t bragging if it’s true.”

  • Casey Klahn November 18, 2017, 11:40 AM

    I’ll try to make a longer comment later. For now I’ll share that my kids (early teens) and I went into a McD’s in the city in the past year, and they got a life lesson. I said to them, “notice how everything in here is chaotic, and none of the staff are working towards the goal?” Further to the point, the front guy at the counter was a very young tranny, dressed like a girl and with pillows or some such for tits, and with gangly man legs and a very deep voice. Points to Mickey D’s for hiring diversity, but the comedic energy was so strong that no one on the staff could function and it was an appalling display, from a capitalist point of view.
    We also got a big lesson during the Obama years, watching McDonalds get handed the golden egg of economic downturn, and then pissing that away making social justice over fast food.
    And you wonder why I’m an anarcho-capitalist now.

  • u.k.(us) November 18, 2017, 11:52 AM

    All right, I’m gonna come clean.
    There are only a few authors on the internet that I read, and by read, I mean really read and try to absorb what they are saying, and right at the top of the list is Vanderleun.
    Despite my stupid comments.

  • ghostsniper November 18, 2017, 12:17 PM

    “And you wonder why I’m an anarcho-capitalist now.”
    ==========================

    I don’t wonder.
    But I do wonder why everybody else isn’t.
    It’s the natural way to be, and the simplest.
    Just be good.
    That’s all.
    What could be easier?
    All the other stuff out there requires a lot of effort – because it ain’t natural.

    If you’re over 50 think back to the way you were before you entered school, cause school was where the change started in you. They s l o w l y changed you to where 12 years later you were an all new person. A person built in their minds eye. And your poor lovong parents were none the wiser, after all, they went to school too.

    anarchist – absence of gov’t
    capitalist – produce
    Together they make ancap.
    Add free market to the mix and there ya go.
    Fremarancap. Memorize it. Live it.

    In the absence of gov’t you will freely produce and market yourself as you see fit and if you bring harm to the millions of hands in that market you will soon find yourself scorned, ostracized, banished, beaten, killed. In the absence of gov’t the free market is self leveling and everyone climbs the ladder as far as they can.

    The monopoly on force has been no benefit to the people but rather, it has stifled the people immeasurably. Absent the dead weight of useless parasites everyone soars to heights never imagined.

  • ghostsniper November 18, 2017, 12:20 PM

    “Despite my stupid comments.”
    ======================

    Enough of the self flagellation already.
    Rude comments are as welcome as non-rude, in fact, if it wasn’t for rudeness I would think I was in snowflakeland.

    BTW, I remembered blue but the tile was really red.

  • u.k.(us) November 18, 2017, 1:02 PM

    Thanks for letting me off the hook.
    The red/blue tile thing went right over my head.

  • KMM November 18, 2017, 1:26 PM

    This was very interesting. Brought back memories of early McD’s. Yes, change back from your dollar! And the great description of the inner workings of the business process was a great read. And yes, things were just different back then, showing up well groomed and dressed appropriately, pride in job, performing as trained, courtesy to co-workers and customers. Seems we could use a little more of that spirit in these times too, no? Thank you!!

  • u.k.(us) November 18, 2017, 2:26 PM

    Ever have one of those days when you just know the best option is to stay away from people, don’t say a word to anyone, and whatever you do, don’t comment on the internet.
    Its one of those days 🙂

  • ghostsniper November 18, 2017, 2:51 PM

    According to google maps the original McD’s was torn down sometime in the past and get this, reconstructed about 100′ south of the original location. So there is still a McDonald’s located at the intersection of Cleveland Av (Highway 41) and Hill Av, though it is the current style everyone is familiar with.

    Yes, THAT highway 41, the one the Allman Brothers mention in that Ramblin Man song. “I was born in the backseat of a greyhound bus, going down highway 41.” 41 south eventually ends up in Miami.
    41 runs north and south in that video. I took that Greyhound one time, when I joined the army in 1974.

    Directly across the street from McD’s is Hill Av and it runs east and west and terminates at that intersection. 2 doors west, and on the left side, of Hill Av is a small business building that housed “Signcraft Magazine”, a trade magazine for the sign industry, and my wife worked in that building from 1988 until 1996, when I designed a brand new building for them at another location, as the managing editor. When the business moved she started working at home and now, halfway across the country, is still the managing editor as well as running her own business.

    Further down Hill Av, to the west, about 2 more blocks is a small church that I was a member of in my yoot. I mentioned this before here. I was a best man twice in that church, my youngest brother, and youngest sister both got married in that church, and the pastor facilitated both my mother and father’s funerals. The pastors family lived across the street from us when I was a teen and the son was my best friend, I was the best man at his wedding.

    Continue down Hill Av to the west and it eventually terminates into McGregor Blvd, “The Street of Palms”. McGregor runs mostly north and south, from the heart of downtown Fort Myers to the north, down to the “Road to Sanibel” some 10 miles or so to the south. Going north on McGregor you soon come to the summer home of Thomas Edison and across the street is the summer home of Henry Ford. Next door is the summer home of Harvey Firestone. The triple threat heavy hitters of the era, late 1800’s early 1900’s. Those guys started the planting of the giant Royal Palm trees along McGregor blvd and they are magnificent trees, around 60-80 foot tall. Learning everything about Edison in my yoot he was very inspirational in my life. “Invention is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration”.

    McGregor runs parallel to the Caloosahatchee river and all the wealthy people live along it with the wealthiest living between McGregor and the river, waterfront properties. Mansions. I have designed a dozen or more homes along that riverfront.

    Anyway, the Fort Myers that was in the memories behind my original post about McDonald’s was as small as the prices on McD’s menu of the time. Now, it is a vast, sprawling metropolis that is very foreign to me and became so about 1986 when my wife and I packed and moved across the river to Cape Coral. I had lived in Fort Myers 20 years and then another 20 years in Cape Coral. Homes FM were not affordable for young families but in CC they were so we got us a home at the yacht club and then moved up several times over that 20 year period til we landed in our custom built dream home in 2002. By then CC had also become a vast sprawling metropolis and I could feel things closing in.

    Our new home was built in a vacant part of CC where no one had lived since the Caloosa indians in the 12th century. Miles and miles of solace, no people – the closest neighbor was 2 miles away, wild animals everywhere, and peace of mind. 2 years after we moved into our new home the largest home builder in Florida bought all of the property around us and started building cheap chinese drywall homes and importing immigrants from all over the country and giving them free loans to live in these houses. The death knell was tolling for us. 2 years later, in 2006, we sold our new home, my dream home, for twice what it cost us, at the height of the bubble, and moved to a distant land in the forest. I have never went back but my wife has been back several times to see our son and the grandbaby, Abby Rose. I will never go back.

    After breaking the rules on the Ed Sullivan Show and thus being banned from ever appearing on there again, Jim Morrison of the Door’s said, in response to being banned, “Ed Sullivan Show? We already did that!”

    I already did Florida.

    Over and fucking out.

  • TWS November 18, 2017, 4:13 PM

    Everyone had a great uncle or grandad in the navy in wwii. My uncle Tom had a parrot named sailor and a tattoo he’d keep covered when the ladies were present. It was a lady just like you describe. This post reminded me of my childhood in a good way. Thank you.

  • Howard Nelson November 18, 2017, 4:38 PM

    gs, your up top ess

  • Howard Nelson November 18, 2017, 4:47 PM

    gs, your up top essay about yesteryear is a word picture for me. Spins through my head and feels like what Norman Rockwell painted. The mood created and the meaning are all. Keep well.

  • Terry November 18, 2017, 5:41 PM

    Speaking of Norman Rockwell, how would he draw a bunch of million dollar clowns taking the knee at a football game?

    Great post ghost!

  • ghostsniper November 18, 2017, 6:30 PM

    Skinny ol Norman would let em take a knee to the nadz, and THAT would make an even better picture – suitable for the Saturday Evening Post!

    @Howard, your mention of the words “word picture” reminded me of a song I wrote about 20 years ago titled “Picture Book” that I sent to country singer Alan Jackson. While I was writing that song I pictured Jackson doing it. It’s written from the perspective of an old man sitting on the porch watching the day go by and thinking about the happenings in his long life. I don’t listen to country music, know very little about it, and barely know who Alan Jackson is, but I couldn’t shake the mental picture of him locked in my head while I was writing it. eery……

    No, he didn’t record it but he thanked me.

  • Eskyman November 18, 2017, 7:12 PM

    Fascinating story, Ghost, I liked it a lot!

    I remember McDonald’s in Woodland Hills, CA where I grew up… “in da Valley.” Don’t know exactly when it was built, but I remember going by it daily on Ventura Ave. on my way to & from high school in the early ’60s, and they had signs like “Over 100,000 Sold,” which soon turned into “Over 500,000 Sold,” and so on. It was always crowded, and it did have a drive thru- but I don’t remember if it always had one, or if that was added later on.

    If I’d had the money, I would have spent some time there, because it was like you said: a popular place for the cheerleaders, the football team, and all the cool kids. Sadly, I was only “cool” in my thoughts, and empty in my pockets, so it wasn’t often my hangout. Still, later on my first job at Uni was as a short-order cook ($1.35/hr, half-price lunch) so I feel like I’ve been along the same kind of path in a way!

    Any more thoughts you’d care to share, I’d love to read them!

  • Jim November 18, 2017, 11:12 PM

    I gave up on McDonald’s the day they allowed themselves to be blackmailed, by fringe religious and Nazi vegetarians, into changing their fryer oil from animal based to plant based.

  • ghostsniper November 19, 2017, 4:56 AM

    @Jim, there is one FF joint here in all of Brown County and it’s a McDonald’s and it is slammed all the time. I was last in there about 2 years ago and the service and product served were deplorable. In the mindset of someone that worked in a McD’s 40 years ago, every employee there including the management should have been fired on the spot.

    Where are the menu’s? They have been replaced by 6 big screen TV’s that show everything but what you need to see. It’s as if they believe ALL the customers already know all the products and don’t need no steenkin menu and people that want to know how much the items cost need to just hit the bricks, now.

    The first thing out of the counter persons mouth is always, “Will this be for here or to go?”
    WTF? No, “How ya doin’ today?” or any other polite introduction. And what’s with the tat’s, piercings, knotted up 3 color hair and the uniform that looks like it spent the night before on the floor. Just plain gross.

    After the order is placed and the HUGE bill paid, I join the group over there that are waiting for their order. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting. No shit, it took 10 mins to get it and get this. I had to become a McD’s employee in part but taking the empty cup over there and filling it with my drink of choice at appliances that obviously haven’t been cleaned up in the last hour. Again, gross.

    Finally, I get my order. Stacked all up on this brown plastic tray with a tiny piece of lettuce stuck to the edge. sigh Gross.

    We make our way across the crowded “dining area” and grab the only available seats and before we even sit down my wife uses a handful of napkins to wipe off the table and seats. Gross.

    We divvy the grub and open the boxes and were horrified at what lie there. Clearly this shit had fallen off the truck, and it backed up and ran over it again. The lid of the burger was off to one side and the cheese was off to the other and the guts were smeared all over the place. There was no way to pick this thing up without getting shit all over your hands. What a disgusting mess.

    The fries were scattered across that shitty tray and because some were on the tray itself rather than the paper overlay they were not edible. More wasted money.

    We ate the shit and sat there mostly disgusted with our $15 purchase.
    Yes, 2 Big Mac meals were $15.
    Contrast that with the menu prices of oldt.
    No wonder I had indigestion when we left.
    It’ll be a while, if ever, that I go back there.

  • u.k.(us) November 19, 2017, 5:41 AM

    Unless someone starts a mini internet war, I’m gonna have to go rake the leaves.
    Step it up folks 🙂

  • ghostsniper November 19, 2017, 6:54 AM

    The leaves, oh gawd.
    10 mins ago I used my Ryobi 18v cordless to blow them off the decks and they were as unreasonable as they always are but this time more so because they were drenched by overnight rain. The stems get caught between the deck boards and just won’t let go, then there are the ones that get “upside down” and sort of cling to the surface and only with up close concentrated effort will they move.

    I will attack the 2′ deep drifts in the yard in a few days after they’ve dried out some with my mean assed Stihl 200mph gas blower. With skill acquired over the years I can create a “wall of leaves” where about 8-10′ swaith can be sustained in mid-air and forced in the desired direction. Once I get then down at the far end of the yard maybe 200′ away I flip the blower around and put the BIG pipe on it and start mulching them up and then after snow lays on them for a few months they will be suitable for on the gardens in the spring. Oh yeah, before that, I’ll have to put the 20′ extension on the blower and blow out the 2nd floor gutters one more time. Fortunately, early one, I gained the bennefit of my favorite adage “If you can’t get out of it, get into it!”, and I like blowing leaves. Seems like a lot of visual progress can be made in a short amount of time. I like to keep our yard like a golf course and can’t stand it when there’s leaves all over it. Each year I spend about 4 hours blowing leaves yet at this time of year it seems there are always at least of few leaves on it. Never do they all fall down until the new leaves emit in the spring.

  • Anonymous November 19, 2017, 8:54 AM

    At my McDonald’s in Paradise they now have table service. You give them your order and they give you an empty cup and a little plastic tower with a number on it. You put it on your table and the McDonaldsPern brings you your burger and fries on a tray.

  • Punditatian November 19, 2017, 12:43 PM

    The best McDonalds I know was just outside of the small city of Blois, in France. The French people love McDonalds. They had fully automated ordering on large touch screens in any major language you wanted, and you could specify exactly how you wanted your food prepared. You pay by swiping your credit card, and they give you a number an deliver the food to your table. It was hot and fresh. And the kids working there hustled like the kids hustled when the story above took place, unlike the sloppy slow employees we suffer with in the States.

  • u.k.(us) November 19, 2017, 7:03 PM

    Leaf blowers are for wimps, to truly understand nature you need a rake.
    You can’t hear the sand hill cranes flying south when using a blower.

  • ghostsniper November 19, 2017, 7:16 PM

    Some day I’ll tell you about my bonding with a male sand hill crane (he was heart broken) in a place they had never been seen before, ever. Since the wildlife here is so proliferent a brief relief from hearing them is welcomed.
    I do the rake but as not much as in my yoot in Gettysburg. Blowers is better. Yes, I wrote the book.

  • ghostsniper November 19, 2017, 7:31 PM

    One thing I can say about American Digest and the diverse people that participate, they make me realize the colorful past I have lived, and I don’t doubt that all of you have lived similarly.

    u.k.’s mention of leaves brings back a plethora of memories spanning half a century that I might have never recalled unless.

    This is human communication, the greatest thing ever created.
    It’s not WHAT you live but rather that you DID live and did it on your own terms the way you see it.
    THAT is the American spirit and when you stop and think about it you should have a sense of pride in how you have lived. You are part of the American fabric.

  • Larry Geiger November 20, 2017, 9:41 AM

    The day after I turned 16 I started working at Hobb’s Pharmacy on Merritt Island, FL. Much the same experience as GS in the first job. I’m a couple of years older but many of the memories sound the same. I’m pretty sure that most all the guys GS knew had a boat and spent immense amounts of time in the bay fishing and goofing off? Merritt Island got a Burger King very early (Miami thing I suppose) and we mostly ate Whoppers. McD’s was ok but a different crowd went there. As you said, the cheerleaders and other such types. At the time no one cared how french fries were prepared. Any french fry was teenager food. The more salt the better. Late on Fridays and Saturdays we went to the Ranch House for pie. We were sort of an odd group I suppose. All the astronauts and truly cool people were out at Lee Caron’s Carnival Club hanging out and drinking. Good times. For a good time drive into the Moonlight Inn on US-1 in Titusville. Pull in, roll down your window and a courteous young lady will skate up and take your order. Burgers are good but I like the Chuckwagon with Tater Tots. Have fun.

  • u.k.(us) November 20, 2017, 9:42 AM

    Is it wrong to get pissed off at leaves ?
    They f’n deserved it 🙂

  • Casey Klahn November 20, 2017, 4:00 PM

    Ghost: “bonding with a male sand hill…” I stopped reading right there. There was a Sand Hill at Ft Benning, and in my day we weren’t *allowed* to bond with males there.

  • ghostsniper November 20, 2017, 7:05 PM

    @Casey, I did 3 weeks at Benning so I catch the drift.
    Regarding the crane, it was in our front yard bigger’n Stuttgart – easily 4′ tall, and I went out to assess and it seemed hungry so I gave it a few sheets of sandwich ham and it skarfed em up like it was the end of the world. Then it followed me to the front door and wanted to come inside and my wife would have none of that. It hung around for 2 days on the front porch, never leaving. I went out a couple times and tried to coax it out of there but it wouldn’t budge. A call to the nature center on Sanibel told me they will bond with a human if they encounter one, after it has lost it’s mate, especially if you feed it. wunnerful Day 3 it was gone and never seen again. They told me they have never heard of one this far south, Cape Coral, FL.

  • Paul November 21, 2017, 4:53 AM

    Years ago a successful businessman told me he learned everything he needed to know about business working at McDonalds as a teenager. Kroc had a great business model, and Jerry listened while he worked.