Monday, February 2, 2009

Long Time, no blog

Sorry for delay, folks (I assume somebody reads this stuff), but have been busy editing Against the Odds for the next issue (25). If you like wargames, this is the avant garde mag for you. For everybody else, here comes more snow! (maybe, perhaps, possibly). The more I read the local news (Salisbury), the more saddened I become as the city slides into an abyss of partisanship and backbiting. Growing up in the 60's and 70's, Salisbury seemed like a magical place for a country boy with no income and no transbertation. I have mentioned subs around Salisbury before (and L and F subshop came up, a place I can't recall whether I went to or not), but what I remember most about Salisbury then is visiting it in cold weather. My mother and I would catch a ride with her friend and our neighbor Irene Bruce, who worked at Sunshine Laundry and her mother worked for a time a White's Jewelers downtown.
We would be dropped off right there at Division and Main St. and the adventure would start. Usually it was cooler weather because Mom worked late spring and summer either picking strawberries or in the canning factories. Conveniently, we lived right next door to McIntyre's. That's another story. Once turned loose in Salisbury, Mom and I followed a routine. We'd have a snack at Read's drug store (now Channel 47), visit Woolworth's and a couple of other stores, then spend the afternoon at the matinee either at the Boulevard or the Wicomico (where the library is now). In between, we'd usually have lunch at Woolworth's and walk down to the park, where we looked at the animals and I'd play with whatever toys I got at either Read's or Woolworth's. They were the usual boy toys for the time, soldiers, or airplanes or spacemen.
I got to see a variety of movies in those days, depending on what was playing. They ranged from the more adult (like David and Lisa and Operation Thunderbolt which I really liked) to Walt Disney, to even my first James Bond movie (You only live twice). I was hooked on Bond after that and had an assortment of Bond toys like a gun, a ring, a game, and even some fake James Bond business cards (I still have one). Around five,we'd meet Miss Irene's mom back at the entranceway to White's where it was a little alcove and protected from the elements and from there we'd get picked up and head home.
As I got older, the toys gave way to books after we discovered a little book and magazine shop near Read's. It was 1968 and I was buying Edgar Rice Burroughs paperbacks along with anything else that struck my fancy and Mom would let me buy, along with a few comics like Gold Key's Flying Saucers Serious Business. I remember picking up a sequel to War of the Worlds called Invasion of Mars and it was so engrossing to me that I read it as we walked to the park. I still liked visiting the animals and take the grandkids there when the weather is nice even now. At least once we walked all the way from downtown to the old Salisbury Mall.
The little book stall that I loved so much packed up and a new bookstore opened up in the mall, so I had to depend more and more on secondary places like Salisbury Drugs, Super Giant and the drugstore down by Safeway. Salisbury was changing, growing up and getting more sophisticated, and I was growing up too.

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