In the Rear View Mirror (Redux)

Yesterday was nice around here, a post wich turned into pretty much nostalgia amongst friends, although with some lessons. We will be referring to some of the comments later, but for today let’s stay in the past a bit longer. They were good days, and we deserve to remember them, and learns some lessons from them, as well. Enjoy!

Well, it’s been an interesting week, hasn’t it. But it’s Saturday and we’re going to forget about it for now. Remember back when we were in school, and the closest we came to paying attention was hearing that somebody’s older brother had been drafted and hoping they wouldn’t be off for the Nam? Pretty good days they were. I grew up in Northwest Indiana, yeah the part of the state called the Region, Yup, like a few other bloggers you might know of, I’m a Region Rat, and we were and are damned proud of it too.

It was called that because of our heavy industry, you wouldn’t be wrong if you read that as the steel mills. We all knew people who worked at USS, or Inland, or even at the new Bethlehem works. I can still smell it in memory and I can still see the flaring stacks lining the lakeshore, there was little like it west of Pittsburgh. Where I grew up you could watch the coal drags come in on the Pennsylvania Railroad, and if you knew where you could see the ore ships come in from the Missabe on the lake. If you didn’t know, that what the Edmund Fitzgerald was.

And that was what a lot of our folks did for a living, steel, American steel. Most of it went to Detroit, to make American cars, first by rail and finally by what were called Michigan Trains, semis (doubles and triples, mostly) that couldn’t go anywhere else other than that piece of I 94 between Gary and Detroit, because they were so heavy that they would destroy any other road. Out where I was, was a bit too far out to commute, mostly though in those days.

My first ride

My first ride

Most of my buddies were and are farmers, the other great Indiana industry, once clay tile had been invented and the swamps drained. Before it was dredged the Kankakee river had occasionally flooded itself 20-40 miles wide, and it made wonderful farmground in the floodplain, once it dried out enough to work.

But none of that mattered to us kids, sure most of us worked, usually for our parents at least from junior high on, but there was time for sports, girls, and fun. Given that this is Indiana, the sport was basketball, and specifically high school basketball. Texas may love high school football but, Indiana high school basketball was the closest thing to a secular religion any body was ever going to see.

My high school was a good example, we were one of the waves of township consolidations in the early 60s, when I was there, our enrollment was about 250 or so in high school, our gym seated 2300 and had never not been sold out for a home game. Of course, it helped that we were pretty good, in the first four years of that gym, we lost two home games, both in overtime, by a total of four points. And every year we were the Sectional runner-up to Michigan City Elston, the largest school in the state, one year by 15 points. they won the State that year, Indiana didn’t used to do effete snobbery like classes in basketball.

If you’d like to know more about that, find the movie Hoosiers, it’s based on a true story, the 1952 Milan team, who beat South Bend Central. By the way, if you do, that fieldhouse they’re paying he final in, it’s the Hinkle Fieldhouse at Butler University, and it was built mostly for the State finals. Once the tournament moved beyond the Sectionals, it was all held in College venues, Purdue, Indiana, and Notre Dame among them. Tickets were simply unavailable. And if that wasn’t enough, there was always Branch McCracken and the “Hurrying Hoosiers” or Purdue alum John Wooden, out at UCLA.

And after those games there was often a sock hop, and while sometimes there was a DJ, there was always a live band, and some of those DJ’s you’re going to meet here today. Why? Because Chicago was a huge music center in the 60s. You see in those days we all listened to AM radio, FM barely existed, and even 8 tracks were uncommon (and expensive). By the way did you know that for a few years you could buy a record player that mounted under your car dash-they actually worked pretty well, too.

But those AM radio stations, in Chicago there were two who did what we would call top 40 now, although then it was more just plain current rock, both 50,000-watt clear channel stations. Anybody that was around can tell you about WLS and WCFL even all these years later. They were part of our life, back and forth we went, second button on the car radio was usually LS and third CFL. Like all the early American call letters, they meant something, WLS stood (originally) for the World’s Largest Store (Sears Roebuck and Co.) and WCFL for the Chicago Federation of Labor.

The clear channel thing meant that in North America there was no other station on that frequency, 890 and 1000 Kilocycles/second (hertz) respectively. Especially at night, you could hear them from Pittsburgh to Denver, and down to the Gulf of Mexico, depending on some variables. And those bands I mentioned, I’ll be you’ve heard of some of them, here, let’s let them talk for themselves

But like Bob Sirott said there, it didn’t last all that long, when I was in college we started listening to the FM album-oriented rock stations, although like he said, Chicago came with us, that was about it, although that was a lot.

This is what it sounded like

But like all good things, one afternoon the music died, here’s Superjock, Larry Lujack himself to officiate

Good days they were

 

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About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

22 Responses to In the Rear View Mirror (Redux)

  1. Liked by 2 people

    • the unit says:

      Swiss, I would say your video is appropriate here with the reflections and images in the rear view mirror. And the ghost like figures fading. Memories are sometimes sad. I saw these things for a long while after the tragic death of my oldest son 23 years ago, closed casket.
      I didn’t know Meat Loaf, guess I was absorbed in my career at the time. Looked him up and know he very successful rock star. Close to me in age actually, but a little younger.
      Oh well, that’s life. Wife going to Hawaii in 10 days, leaving me for two weeks. I’ll be loading up on Mrs. Stouffer’s Meat Loaf for dinner for that time. Hope to find the tomato paste sauce instead of brown gravy. But whatever. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • NEO says:

        Salisbury steak and lasagne aren’t bad either, for a change. I know the feeling, I’m a bit better, but dad was an expert on bacon and eggs (scrambled, no matter what he thought he wanted!) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          I agree wholeheartedly. I make do with a bacon and egg sandwich on fried buttered toast on these occasions very gladly 🙂

          Like

      • The Unit, I can relate, We all Have our own Graveyard. Sometimes even want our place right here right now, a survivor thing.
        Then there is a way to hang on to the past, where something is left alive like a memory, a scent, a sound..
        God Bless You.

        Like

  2. the unit says:

    Interesting your memories in Indiana. Heavy industry and the rest. We must all have them particular to our area.
    Being born barely six months after Pearl Harbor, I have too many memories to post in a comment. So just a short short.
    No heavy industry where I was in North Central Mississippi. But may surprise some. Old Joe, a black man, raised watermelon and corn on dad’s acreage, won’t call the 80 acres a farm. We had a few milk cows. A big gulley ran through it, you could shout and hear echoes from the shout.
    But about rear view mirrors and all. Me at age 4, I was allowed to ride with Joe in his one mule drawn wagon, produce on board, to town to sell it. Joe paid with some harvest at harvest time, which mama canned.
    And point is I was at 4 safe with Joe. Back then we really knew each other and knew to…old song…Trust and Obey. Not trust but verify. Yes, good days they were.
    P.S. is that a ’65 Riviera? And living on the Gulf Coast in my teens, yep I could listen to those radio stations, particularly late evenings and night. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      That was about all it was, we knew each other and trusted because we had verified.

      Close, It’s a ’64, when I got it, one of my buddies said, “a Corvette​ with a back seat!”. Good days, my friend, too easy to forget. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mom and dad use let us three older kids walk to the theater or downtown Lafayette by ourselves. Nobody ever bothered us doing the walks downtown. We even took the alley way and nobody bother us. I remember Max’s tenderloin restaurant on Wabash Ave. near the railroad tracks. Nobody made a better tenderloin sandwich then Max did. I still think none compare to Max’s tenderloin sandwich to this day. I remember my cousin and me use to go in the bar next door to Max’s place. the owner of the bar gave nice shape liquor bottles so we could burn candles on them. My cousin and me thought it was something to watch the wax from the candle run down the shape of the bottle. My dad worked at National Homes when I was a baby. They (National Homes) made prefab houses. Around the end of the 70’s, I started to work there for a few years. These are few of my memories of Indiana.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      I seem to remember someone taking me to Max’s once or twice as well. It was just as you say. There was an old bar down by Deac’s, where I hung out some. I know only a bit of National Homes, but I remember getting football tickets and a tour from Duncan Meters out on 52. We used their meters exclusively​, and they would buy a lot of Boiler tickets for customer executive (only one game a year though, usually Band Day).,

      Liked by 1 person

      • Duncan’s is still there. I been to a Boilermakers game> My great Uncle Harry took my cousins, brother, and sister to a game. I knew nothing of football but I loved it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yep, and out here, I see some of their stuff still, although not quite the same since Landis and Gyr bought ’em out. I think I (and Dad) liked the marching band even more than the football, although seeing Bob Griese in ’67 was something – so was the Rose Bowl (on TV sadly!) 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • The Purdue band was something to see even during the parades.So was my high school band but i am prejudice, lol.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Mine wasn’t too bad, either, lol!

          Liked by 1 person

        • 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          😉

          Liked by 1 person

        • lol

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Ike Jakson says:

    Top writing, Nebraska. I put it way up there; for me there can be no doubt that the next best one cannot go higher than 2nd place. IkeJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Thanks, Ike! 😉

      Like

  5. Pingback: My Article Read (7-20-2015) | My Daily Musing

  6. Pingback: Sharing A Street Called Memory Lane | My Daily Musing

    • NEO says:

      An outstanding remembrance of what sounds like a wonderful childhood. 🙂

      Like

  7. Pingback: Sharing A Street Called Memory Lane (Repost) – My Daily Musing

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