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It was Flag Day 1987. I was opening the mic for the first time as a new announcer on KTBB AM 600. It was the early part of my radio journey, and I was excited to be moving up in the industry.

When I was a kid in the early 1970s, the Fouke Monster was around every corner. At least, that was how I saw things as a 10-year-old.

I don’t know whose idea it was to make the sweet substances that graced the biscuits of my Southern upbringing, but when I meet them in Heaven I’m going to shake their hand.

The old question, “Where would you go first if you had a time machine?” is an easy one to answer for me. I’d visit all of my favorite long-since-gone childhood cafes, diners, and restaurants.

You meet people in the South who like spring, summer or winter, but virtually everyone below the Mason-Dixon Line loves fall.

Malls were the beginning of the end. Although, in the 1970s when Texarkana welcomed its mall, those of us who lived in the area were all too busy being excited about having a mall to see that by shopping there we were hurting our neighbors.

PET Milk was a kitchen staple in most Southern homes in mid-20th Century America. It had as many uses as a coffee can full of bacon drippings.

I used to pay little attention to the world’s little idiosyncrasies, but now they seem ever present. And it’s more than slightly annoying.

As a kid, I hated the vegetable garden. If you stood on our back porch, it was to your left. It took up the entire corner of our large yard.

I don’t recognize toys anymore. Our grandkids are coming from out of state to visit, and I can’t find anything to get them as a surprise.

Small town life is slower. I’m reminded of what I traded when I left Ashdown for big city life. Here’s a message I received this morning:

One of my fears is that I’ll die and my family will throw out, or sell cheaply, my things that have value.

This space is usually relegated to discussions centered on fried baloney sandwiches, classic TV shows, and the like. But today, I’m venturing into Dear Abby territory.

When I was a kid growing up in Ashdown, Arkansas, we picked up three channels — ABC, CBS, and NBC. PBS existed somewhere else near big cities. We’d heard of it, but didn’t pick it up off the antenna that was attached to the side of our house. This was the same antenna I was sent out to turn …

The things people use on a daily basis mostly go unnoticed. A watch, knife or Bible typically doesn’t have a lot of actual value. That is until the person who owned them is gone.

Buying a loaf of sliced bread is something we all take for granted these days, but it has been available commercially for less than 100 years. It was first sold in 1928.

It’s hard to beat pie. You can go to any fancy restaurant and order a $20 item from the dessert menu, but it won’t be as good as a slice of my momma’s chocolate pie. Or pie made by any respectable lady who grew up in the South — which is anywhere below Little Rock.

At Shur-Way, my parents always carried a ticket. Shur-Way was our local grocery store in Ashdown, Arkansas. On the front of the building, it proudly said, “Our Meats Are Better.”

My grandfather was driving us back from Broken Bow. It was late on a Saturday night. At least it was late for me. My bedtime was usually 8 o’clock. It was at least 8:30, and I was tired.

People used to drive over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house each holiday season to give thanks, eat, visit and play games.

My first car cost $500. It was a 1966 Ford Mustang, white with red interior. Thanks to my father, I could work on it.

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My sister and I couldn’t read yet, so even though the TV Guide sat next to my father’s chair, we never had any idea what was coming on TV during the weekend.

It wasn’t so long ago that people who could afford to decorate the outside of their house were limited to a few strands of Christmas lights. Sometimes, it was all they could afford. Other times it had to do with a dad’s patience.