Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sleeping all day was not an option! 50's and 60's

Busy Teenagers

I am going to change tact here and instead of talking about specific events in my life I am gong to discuss typical days and how I filled the time.
I didn't sit in the house staring at the TV unless my shows were on and of course sports . I was a big football,baseball and tennis and swimming and track and field events and bowling and just about any thing that was a sport.
If I was not watching sports I was playing them.Our side yards in the homes in which I lived were the gathering point for area kids. We got out there in the grass and sand spurs and played tackle football with no pads. I loved defense and I also fancied myself a kicker and spent hours practicing. I could kick a nice spiral and worked on distance hitting 40/50 yards sometimes. The fact was I was good only in my own mind,I lacked sufficent leg strength to be good enough.
I was hurt one day playing football,no not by another player but by a bush--a Japanese Bayonette Bush with 1/2 inch spikes backed up by rigid 1/8 inch thick leaves. I leaped to catch a pass and fell into that bush and the prongs went into my chest and side -think it made a 10 on the pain meter.
There were benefits to playing football in the side yard on Howell Branch road. We attracted the sisters who lived behind our house and right in the middle of our game they showed up on their roof in their underware. Our attendance at games increased after that as did the appearences of the show off females. Their mom must have caught them cause that came to an end lol.
If I wasn't playing football I was on my bike riding the narrow Winter Park roads sonetimes lookin for good fishin spots often bringing home good size bass draped over my handal bars. I was taught well by the greatest fisherman in the world my, dad and rarely came home empty handed..
In central Florida there were over 2000 lakes and also canals,plenty of water to investigate and fish.
I also took classes from Coach Varner the Rollins College tennis coach,after that I spent time practicing and looking for games.I did all this while holding jobs from the time I was 14,that does not count my lawn mowing business. I had all the customers I could handal.
I think my Grandfather Campbell and dad for instilling a good work ethic in me. Dad believed a boy ought to be workin. He did when he was young. His own father left when he was 7 and never returned his mother divorced Benjamin Sr. and never remarried.
I started out bagging groceries in the Food Fair but dad said that was not an educational enough job. Dad got me a job at his friends gas station and from then till leaving for the Navy in 1965 I worked gas stations among all my other pursuits LOL.
These were the days of cheep gas 28 cents a gallon and service ,checking under the hood for oil and water and brake fluid and power steering fluid and belts etc.
Dad knew I didn't like mechanics much so he wanted to make me learn about the subject so I would have a knowledge lol.
Everything I did I tried to do it the best I could and since I really liked people I gave very good customer service. Mixed in and around all this work and play I managed to run track and water ski and date and go with the family to South Florida to visit the Grand Parents when they were there in the Winter.
I also bought everything I needed,cloths etc. I remember telling mom I didn't like a shirt she bought me and she said I could buy my own and I did. I liked to dress well. I didn't realize at the time that I was following" an Old family Tradition" as Hank Jr.said,my Grandfather and his dad were considered cloths horses-because they were in the mens clothing business. This was something I learned much later in life when I worked on the family history.
I also ironed my own cloths--why cause I told mom I didn't like the way she ironed my shirt LOL! I had a girlfriend who taught me the proper way to iron and I went to town after that. She even taught me to sprinkle water and to dampen them and put them in a bag in the refrigerator and it would make it easier also she taught me in the use of starch.
Mom was so impressed she rewarded me with the familys cloths to iron,was't that nice of her !
At this time I was also in the Explorer Scouts,my friend Richard got me into this organization,Reinis Fox was our President and Jim Evans now passed was our leader.
I was also in the Civil Air Patrol an auxillery of the Air Force and was a search and rescue organization.These activities were on different nights . I was one busy teenager but preferred it that way and never felt over worked or stressed out.
These activities were not all I did back then. I was in Jr. Cotillion and went to formal dances at the various country clubs and the officers club at the base. The base was the Air Force Base in those days and the entrance we used was right at the end of Lakemont ave.
Someone suggested the Jr. Cotillion and a formal invitation was sent to our house. I dont know who did it to this day but it made me feel very comfortable around famous and wealthy people refering to the adults present at these occasions because there were always receiving lines to go through to meet them. Often we would have senators and generals etc .
I was also a member of the Winter Park Methodist Church and MYF-( Methodist Youth Fellowship).We went to a summer camp in Leesburg Florida and always had great places that we made trips to.
THe schools in those days were very aggressive in extra curricular field trips and concerts with the Orlando Symphony.
Ya may wonder how I worked with al these things to do. When your dad is friends with your boss hours can be worked out. I put inmost of my hours on the weekend and if I had an activity to do I got the hours off. The Codger Rick G

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