Pima, AZ - The very first car I ever drove, at eight years old, was our old orange Volkswagen station wagon which looked like this one (only orange). Mom and dad bought it from a Highway Patrol officer when we lived in Pima and then drove it to Henrieville when we moved. I use to drive this all over our lot when we lived on the edge of town in Henrieville. I got to be a pretty good driver, a stick shift to boot, at eight years old. I even drove it into town to the store a couple of times. Good thing the local law enforcement wasn't so local.
Henrieville, UT - One of the scariest moments of my life was when we lived in Henrieville and Brandon, Karen and I walked to the Paria River during a raging flood. We were standing on the bank throwing rocks into the fast moving current. All of a sudden the bank lifted and dropped off into the water. Brandon and I were able to jump clear but Karen fell into the flood along with the bank. I ran along the bank keeping my eye on Karen, who spent a lot of time under the water. At one point I was able to get to a low enough spot to grab at her. I managed to grab the top of her head by the hair, and a couple of her fingers and pull her out of the water. We were very lucky that she was not taken away that day. As serious as that was, I can look back now and chuckle because Karen was covered from head to toe in mud. It took a very long time for us to walk home because she weighed a ton!
Pima, AZ - When we lived in Pima my friend Doug and I would stop by the Tastee Freeze on an almost daily basis in the summer to get a soft serve ice cream. It was here that I saw a cone dipped into chocolate for the first time. I was always amazed that the ice cream didn't fall off into the chocolate pot. It was also the local hang-out for me and my friends.
Pima, AZ - The very first movie that I remember watching in a theater was "The Sunshine Boys." It was with dad at the Safford theater.
Pima, AZ - When we lived in Pima I had quite a collection of Sad Sack comics, which were my favorite. Seeing this made me smile because it brought up a memory of traveling somewhere with Grandpa and Grandma Redd in the old green Ford pickup. I brought along a few of these comics to read along the way. Good memories.
Mesa, AZ - When Gordon and Sandy got married I was the gift taker at the wedding. I wore a little red bow tie like this one. 'Nuff said!
Chandler, AZ - One of the most embarrassing moments of my young life was probably one of the most traumatic as well. For several days when I walked home from Galveston Elementary I would stop at a lady's house and raise the red flag on her mailbox. One day she was outside when I did it and she yelled and pointed a pistol at me. I got very scared and ran the rest of the way home. I told mom about it and she called the police. We sat out in the front yard for several minutes before the officer arrived. He took me in his patrol car so that I could point out the lady's house. He brought me back home and then returned to talk to the lady. After a while the officer returned and informed us that the lady had been outside painting some trim and had a paint brush in her hand when she yelled at me. Boy, was my face red! The officer told me to leave the mailbox alone too. I was nearly killed by a paintbrush!
Henrieville, UT - I remembered an incident in Henrieville that made me laugh just because of the images in my head. Kathy, Brandon, Karen and I were riding our bikes very quickly down the dirt road between the wash and the "three bears" when Kathy lost control of her bike. As a visual, picture her bike; wide handlebars, banana seat, and a "sissy bar." Between the speed and the spread of her handlebars she couldn't keep it straight. Her handlebars started to shimmy a little and then quickly escalated to violently shimmying back and forth. The picture of that part in my mind makes me laugh to this day. It was cartoon crazy! Then, she totally lost control and crashed hard all over that dirt road. She was hamburger! Poor Kathy was just a mess and had to be taken to the hospital, after walking the rest of the way home with us. The doctor picked gravel out of her belly and chin for quite a while.
Pima, AZ - The first time I ever remember getting scared at the movies was while watching Jaws at the theatre in Safford when we lived in Pima.
Mesa, AZ - When I was in Kindergarten at Franklin Elementary I use to walk from our house on Central Avenue to the local Jack-in-the-Box once in a while to get lunch for mom and I. She would make a list, give me the money, and I would walk right up to the outside window (before indoor seating) and read my list to the cashier. They knew me there and would even say hi to me when they saw me walking home from school. It was only a couple of blocks and times were a lot different back then. It may sound trivial but those times made me feel big and responsible for a five year old. Plus, there was a bonus. If you got a "kids meal" you would get a collectible JIB figure. I had all of them and at that time they were my most prized collection (see picture below)
Pima, AZ - Along with Sad Sack, this was was my other favorite comic book series.
Pima, AZ - Brandon will love this. In Pima we lived next door to a police officer who also grew hay locally. He had a huge hay bale pile (semi truck size) behind his house, and his son and Brandon made a cave in it to play in. Brandon decided that they needed a fireplace so he got a metal milk crate and placed it on a bale of hay inside the cave. They got some paper and wood for their fire and Brandon lit it. This picture is not of the actual event, but depicts the scene very accurately. Brandon was five years old and was already being interviewed by the police and fire departments. Brandon and his friend slept out by the hay that night to watch for flare ups. Luckily we lived two houses away so checking up on him was not a problem. We won't go into the Bryce fire incident, will we "Pyro"
Chandler, AZ - I don't know if these were unique only to Arizona, but we use to have a cereal called Freakies and there were collectible figures in each box. Like my Jack-in-the-Box figures, I collected these as well. My favorite one was called Boss Moss (the green one pointing up). They had cartoon commercials on television and a real catchy jingle. It was my favorite cereal when we lived in Chandler.
Sandy, UT - Nearly every Saturday when we lived in White City (Sandy) Brandon and I would walk or ride our bikes a couple of miles down to the Grand Central and hit the "gumball" machines that had the little plastic NFL football helmets in them. I think we nearly had them all, but it was strictly luck of the draw. We would also go to a place called Yummies and get an order of fries. They were so good! We needed our energy because the trek back home was uphill. We lived up by Eastmont Middle School, which I attended.
Pima, AZ - My very first fight at school was in the 4th grade at Pima Elementary School. Naturally the fight was over a girl, my girlfriend! This new kid named Scott decided that he wanted to be her new boyfriend and I was having none of it. We brawled outside on the playground. Miraculously I never received a blow. Scott was not as lucky. It turned out later that Scott was an okay kid, but I got the girl. I don't think I got into another fight at school until junior high. I am a lover.....whatever!
Gila Bend, AZ - I had the distinction of being the only boy in my school in Gila Bend that could jump "double dutch" and I was very good at it. It made me pretty popular with the girls, even though I was only in 1st or 2nd grade. As noted earlier, I am a lover! He really is. I could have gone pro if it wasn't for the accident.
Pima, AZ - Kathy will appreciate this. When we lived in Pima I use to keep a small transistor radio under my pillow that I would listen to at night while in bed. One of the most popular songs back then was Rick Dees' Disco Duck. It is a dumb song, but it is one of those things that gets stuck in your head because it is so dumb. Some of my most powerful memories are tied to songs. Pima was a good time and place to be a kid.
Chandler, AZ - When we lived in Chandler I had a great dog named Rookie. Rookie was a big Black Lab and was my best bud. Rookie is tied to one of the sadder times in my life. He was always out in the back yard and he would get very aggravated with some brothers that lived behind us. These boys would cut through the field behind us on the way home from school and throw dirt clods at his head. Even though dad and mom would talk to their parents it continued for quite a while. Eventually Rookie started to have problems with his eye sight, because of the dirt clods, and snapped at somebody. He had to be taken away by Animal Control because of that. That hurt me quite a bit. I loved that dog!
Sandy, UT / Henrieville UT - I remember (not so fondly) two 8-track tapes in particular from my childhood. Rod Stewart and the Carpenter's. I remember dad singing that load of crap "...If you want my body, and you think I'm sexy, come on sugar let me know..." by Rod Stewart, while driving in the old Caprice Classic when we lived in Sandy. Rod Stewart, sexy, and dad singing are not a good mix! :) The Carpenter's were a whole other story. Grandpa and Grandma Allen had one of their 8-tracks in Henrieville that Kathy and I would isten to quite often. It was funny because it would drag a lot in the player. It sounded like they were having a stroke when they sang. We were all very glad when cassette tapes came out.