Tag Archives: memory lane

Oh, Those Little Crabs!

Patty and I used to do a lot of fishing in Barnegat Bay on our vacation. You get pretty good at it after a while. But one thing we never did get good at was using fiddler crabs or green crabs as bait.

See, you go to the lighthouse to stand on the jetty and fish for blackfish. But first you visit the bait shop and buy a little paper bag full of live crabs, the recommended bait. At this point your life begins to make less and less sense.

Each of the dozens of crabs in the bag is a living perpetual motion machine. They all want out of the bag and they’re not about to take “no” for an answer. So if you open the bag to reach in and get a crab, what you’ve got is 50 or 60 little crabs all trying to escape at once.

It wouldn’t be so hard if you had four or five more hands. Meanwhile, the Portuguese guys standing just a few yards away are pulling in one blackfish after another, all caught with crabs. They’re right there in front of us, but no matter how hard we stared at them, we couldn’t begin to figure out how they were doing it. We couldn’t understand how they managed to put one crab on the hook without all the others getting away.

Aaagh! They just won’t stop! The crabs are like an invading army on the move. Eventually there is nothing to do but let them have their way. No holding them back. If you’re old enough to remember that old video game, “Space Invaders,” and that point in the game where there are just so many monsters all advancing at once on your defenses, you’ll have a fair idea of what we went through with those crabs. I am also reminded of Mickey Mouse in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” with all those animated brooms sloshing buckets of water all over the place, completely beyond his control.

This is how you wind up using squid strips. You won’t catch any blackfish, but at least you won’t go mad.

‘TV Heroes: Robin Hood’ (2017)

Image result for images of richard greene as robin hood

“Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen…”

How many of you used to sing that? How many of you are old enough to remember The Adventures of Robin Hood on TV? I’m here to tell you it was very big in the Bronze Age.


I don’t watch TV anymore, I don’t know if there are any shows like this. It’s mostly superheroes and animation, right? Have kids today even heard of Robin Hood?

Great theme song, though…

Playing the Spoons

In case you’ve never heard anyone “play the spoons,” and wondered what it was, here’s a virtuoso street performer in Ireland.

My father played the spoons. We never knew how he’d learned to do that, nor did he teach us how to do it. I wish I’d asked. All we did was sit and marvel at him as he did it. He could also blind taste-test any pretzel and correctly identify what brand of pretzel it was. He was a connoisseur.

The Answer to the Trivia Question

So who was the only player to lead the American League in RBIs three times during the 1950s?

Not Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Ted Williams, or Rocky Colavito…

See the source image

Jackie Jensen did it in 1955, ’58, and ’59–a fantastic achievement, considering the quality of the competition–especially in 1959: Mantle, Berra, Killebrew, Colavito, Williams: sheesh!

Jackie hung ’em up early because the American League expanded and he didn’t want to spend yet more time away from his family–for which he deserves more than one hat-tip.

‘Shine, Little Glow Worm’

Suddenly I’m so tired, I could just plotz. Writing my Newswithviews column sometimes does that to me.

So I found myself whistling this ancient tune, Glow Worm. It was on one of those red plastic records kids’ parents used to buy for them in the early 1950s. It must’ve made an impression on me, for me to be whistling it all these decades later.

Listen to the lyrics. Feel the innocence. Nice, isn’t it?

I couldn’t find quite the rendition that was on my record, but here are the Mills Brothers performing it on The Nat King Cole Show, 1957. I remember it as being sung by Rosemary Clooney, but couldn’t find it on youtube.

Jimmy Durante: ‘Make Someone Happy’

What with all the dreck that’s out there in the news today, I felt the need to post something harmless, wholesome, pleasant, and totally disconnected from our troubled time. Obviously this called for Jimmy Durante.

If you’re too young to remember him–well, consider this an introduction.

Memory Lane: ‘Tombstone Territory’

Couldn’t resist this!

Every Saturday morning I used to run across the street to my friend Ellen’s house, and we’d watch this show: Tombstone Territory. I never forgot the theme music. (Psst! See if you can spot Leonard Nimoy before he grew his Vulcan ears.)

Well, that was the Bronze Age for you, tons and tons of Westerns on TV. I don’t even want to think about what the kids are watching now. Probably in today’s TV the marshal is the bad guy and the bank robbers and murderers are the good guys.

But what am I saying? Who’s even allowed to run over to a friend’s house anymore?

Come, Lord Jesus, come!


Memory Lane: My Turtles

My wife and I love turtles, and this video of someone’s baby turtles brings back happy memories. I always fed my turtles by hand, which made them very tame.

When I was a boy I had a big tank for my turtles, all babies–a baby snapping turtle, a very personable diamondback terrapin, a painted turtle, and a little musk turtle the size of a nickel.

One summer night I didn’t bring the aquarium back indoors, and we had a heavy rain which caused the tank to overflow. Come morning, there were no turtles in it.

Would you believe it? One by one, they all came back–even the tiny musk turtle. The snapper went wandering around for two weeks, but in the end he came back, too.

And I must add a salute to our painted turtle, Clemmy, who enjoyed a long career of sharing our suppers with us and also lived in hope that Henry, our cat, would someday feed him. I am happy to say that Henry never did anything more than watch the turtle.

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