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12-13-2016, 04:20 PM   #31
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12-16-2016, 06:47 PM - 1 Like   #32
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Does anyone remember Fizzies? You put them in plain water and made a sweet bubbly drink resembling soda. It was awful!

One of the last wooden schoolhouses in New York City was on the next block, at the end of my street.
Before I started school it was torn down, but the empty lot remained vacant for many years.
It was where all the neighborhood kids played. I drove by recently and it's all condos now.

There was a factory a few blocks away. Neighborhood kids would break in at night and explore, sometimes on a dare. IIRC I visited once.
Though it was commonly referred to as "the fur factory" all I remember seeing were molded plastic parts for toys, bingo cards and balls, etc.

Chris
12-17-2016, 09:18 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Does anyone remember Fizzies? You put them in plain water and made a sweet bubbly drink resembling soda. It was awful!
My favorite was the root beer flavor Reminds me of a little prank we played on a teacher in school. He used to sip coffee during class - one day he had to leave the room for a few minutes. While he was gone, we dropped a Fizzie in his coffee cup...and then trying to control the giggling while watching his reaction to the tainted coffee .
12-18-2016, 01:27 PM   #34
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crackerbarrel restaurants carry fizzies from time to time

and, yes, root beer was the best

my wife had never heard of letting a fizzie dissolve in your mouth...soooo

12-18-2016, 04:04 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by robtcorl Quote
We made our own fireworks from saltpeter, charcoal, and sulfur.
my father had zero patience for stupid

way before the internet there was the public library
in the main branch, in the basement, in the corner were the really good books...guns and knives and things that went boom
I was too young to check them out but they let you read pretty much whatever you wanted

black powder...so easy
except for the part about granulations and wet mixing...oh, static electricity
anyway between my chemistry set and a older neighbor's visit to the drug store I had what I needed

it would explode but not nearly as cool as a real firecracker

this is America and i'm a guy (albeit a very small one)
if a little is good, a lot is better and by god it was...major BOOM!

I hadn't been caught yet so I used the last of it to show off with
a handful on the floor of the garage and a sledge hammer

my friend got my mom who must have revived me..newton and physics again
as far as I know she didn't tell dad but with the lump on my forehead and the scorch marks on the floor
I was heading to the bedroom for some serious reeducation

you would think that would be the end of it...but no

years later i'm sitting in a bar
the usual "you're jim's kid aren't you?" happens
for once I admitted it

this guy tells me about how he was on a phoenix line crew and my dad was on an unlocated crew out of Denver
they were setting poles and had hit a serious bit of rock
so it's dig, hammer, drill, hammer, dig....
apparently the arizona crew brought dynamite
dad had used it on the farm and in the army and they had the hole..so...

remember the bit about if a little's good a lot's better?

in one of my less inspired moments I asked dad if the story was true
it was
so I asked him why I got a spanking for a knot on my head when he'd made a hole big enough to put a boom truck in and got to drink beer while telling the state cops about HIS explosion

all I got was THE LOOK
12-18-2016, 06:03 PM   #36
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There was a soda fountain and diner in town with a classic counter, big mirrors behind, twirling stools, and few dark wood booths with tables that had facing high-backed cushionless bench seating. Sometimes my dad would take me in on a Saturday. Soda in a tall thick, fluted glass, scoop of ice from a bin with a slide up and back cover that was below the counter. Squirt of syrup from one of five pumps operated by the heel of the hand, then seltzer water from a tall stainless steel spout with a pull-back bakelite handle at the top. Quick swirl with a long-handled spoon, stick in a straw and there you are. The syrup was always thicker at the bottom of the glass. It never tasted the same as Coke from a little green bottle at home.
12-18-2016, 06:21 PM - 1 Like   #37
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I was a city kid so when I got to visit my grandparents' farm it was sometimes bad news. I remember trying to teach a couple chickens how to fly.

Let's just say they're slow learners.

Grandma didn't make it obvious but we coincidentally had chicken for dinner a couple nights in a row.
12-18-2016, 09:08 PM   #38
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Calcium carbide! We used to buy cans of it at the gas station. Drop a few pellets into an old oil can, add a little water and a lit match. Wheeeee! (I didn't see any use for eyebrows anyway.) and blasting caps! I loooooved blasting caps. and bottle rocket wars. Does anyone remember a plastic globe about the size of a baseball that separated in middle with a nipple on opposite sides so that a scoop of ice cream could be inserted and then one of the nipples were stuck into a bottle of pop and the pop was drunk through the plastic globe and around the scoop of ice cream?

---------- Post added 12-18-16 at 08:12 PM ----------

And anything moving became a "pet". We had countless squirrels, skunks, a racoon, a three legged deer, snakes lizards, turtles. crows, an owl....

12-19-2016, 04:52 AM   #39
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We had a kit with plastic molds arranged like an ice-cube tray, but each depression larger and elongate. There was a cover with holes for little wooden dowels. Put any flavor soda into the molds, fit on the top with the dowels, into the freezer and next day we'd have frozen Coke or root beer on a stick. The water and syrup tended to separate, so if you went at it carefully you could suck out the syrup leaving nearly clear ice on the stick. Worked sometimes, but not if it were too hot. In that case you had to eat it quickly or the sickle would melt along the stick, getting your hand gooey, then it would slide down the stick and be in danger of falling on the ground.
12-19-2016, 09:40 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
We used straight pins, bent with pliers, as fish hooks. Without a barb, the fish commonly would escape. Later the little store a nearby started offering Eagle Claw hooks that were within my allowance.
a few years ago I was working on a project
a large part of it was fabricating hooks from found materials/objects

long straight pins that were neither too soft nor too brittle (just right) made very effective hooks as long as you got the knot right and kept the pressure on your fish
I use barbless anyway so that lesson had already been learned

the really soft pins could have an eye formed
then a fly pattern tied on
the head acted as a stopper
the ultimate catch and release...though catch part was of extremely short duration

the surprising thing was finding that needle manufacturing was generally the precursor to hook production
same tech just a moneymaking offshoot
12-19-2016, 09:50 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by gifthorse Quote
And anything moving became a "pet". We had countless squirrels, skunks, a racoon, a three legged deer, snakes lizards, turtles. crows, an owl....
We used to catch crawdads (crayfish) out of the storm drains. We'd attach a small piece of baloney to a paper clip "hook" tied to a string. We'd drop the hook & string into the storm drain, wait about 20 seconds, and pull up the crawdads, sometimes 2 or 3 at a time. Then the real fun was letting them swim in the bathtub .
12-19-2016, 09:59 AM   #42
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My brother and I rescued an abandoned duckling at our condo complex pond and it bonded with me. For the summer everywhere I went the duckling would follow. I had to wade in the pond to take her for a swim and actually met a great, lifelong family friend doing that when he drove by and wanted to take some photos of the "duck boy". He later gave me that ME Super that was my first SLR when I was in highschool.

---------- Post added 12-19-16 at 10:05 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Tako Kichi Quote
When I was a kid we used to make 'spears' out of 6ft bamboo poles from the garden with a carving knife taped to one end, dustbin (trashcan) lids were used as shields ('Zulu' was the big movie at the time). We used to throw them at each other too!

We also used to play 'splits' where two people would stand opposite each other and one would throw a knife into the ground close to their opponent's feet and the other had to move their closest foot to the knife. That person then got to throw the knife at the first person's feet. Failing to reach the knife with your foot or falling over was considered a victory to the other side. A knife throw that didn't stick into the ground was considered a fail and the non-thrower would be allowed to resume a feet side-by-side stance for their next throw. I was hit in the foot a few times playing that game!

When you look back at some of the things we used to do as kids it's a wonder we are still alive today!
My older brother loved to get me into those dangerous games with his friends. We played Splits (barefoot!) and also the card game Bloody Knuckles. I don't quite remember how the game was played but the loser had to receive hits on the knuckles with the edge of the deck. He might have just made that one up as an excuse to abuse me a little.
12-19-2016, 10:13 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
....Then the real fun was letting them swim in the bathtub .
we had neighbors who caught huge carp and catfish out of the river over the weekend
our rivers are quite silty consequently fish caught in them tasted like mud sandwiches

so they would dump thirty or forty pounds of fish in their bathtub
change the water as it muddied
by Friday the fish were dinner

that Saturday the tub was free
baths were taken
sunday thanks given and more fish deposited

my mom grew up where water was not a commodity to be wasted
I swear she approached baths with an almost religious fervor

there was no second baby fish in her tub

I have no idea where my folks got the money but one day a large fish tank appeared in the basement
and that is where all of our captives could go
which is where we discovered garter snakes eat fish
12-19-2016, 10:43 AM - 1 Like   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
My older brother loved to get me into those dangerous games with his friends. We played Splits (barefoot!) and also the card game Bloody Knuckles. I don't quite remember how the game was played but the loser had to receive hits on the knuckles with the edge of the deck. He might have just made that one up as an excuse to abuse me a little.
You had a brother like that too huh!? Mine was 10 years older than me and took great pleasure in making my life miserable. He used to pick me up and bang my head off the ceiling or grab my belt/waistband from behind and then pick me up and carry me around like a suitcase until he got bored and literally dropped me to the ground. He thought it was funny, me less so! My life changed dramatically when he left home to get married!
12-19-2016, 10:55 AM   #45
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Our sledding hill had several large trees, so you learned to control your sled rather quickly.
So did our Suicide Hill bike trail, and I once bent a front wheel 90 on it with no major injuries.
I can still hear my friends laughing at my aerial somersault off the bike.

It was always great fun to ride in the back of a station wagon and make faces at the folks following us.

Our soda fountain was in the drugstore.
My favorite was a cherry Coke.
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