Aging Well in the Gorge June 16th 2021


I’m confused. Most of you are reading this column on the 16th, but I’ve been writing it since I finished my last column because my wife and I are driving to California for my son’s college graduation on Saturday. But as I’m writing this, that will be this coming Saturday – but for you, it was last Saturday! I feel as if I’m in an HG Wells time machine, not knowing which week I’m in, mine or yours!

I need to start writing early because I don’t have that newspaper reporter talent of writing clearly on a short deadline. It takes me a while to be coherent. And although I do have several ideas cooking, I have nothing ready to pull out of the oven.

So what can I write about on such a short timeline? I usually try to include a few thoughts about aging, provide an encouraging word or two, and offer a few bad jokes. (I think they’re funny!) But now since you’re waiting and the main course isn’t ready, how about a little dessert instead, something more sugar than substance:  a trip down memory lane of expressions we seldom hear anymore. (I once thought it would be fun to start using the word “groovy” as in the hit song titles “A Groovy Kind of Love” or “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)”. Remember those? But after five minutes of questioning stares as in “What DeLorean time machine did you step out of?” I realized “groovy” doesn’t quite have the same appeal it once had.

So get out your paper and your Sheaffer pen. It’s time for a “pop quiz”. See how many of these ten words from “days gone by” you still remember. I suspect you will recall most of them, but words, as with certain smells and tastes, can bring back forgotten memories – those pre-teen years when the opposite sex was just a distraction, or conversations on the playground during recess, or just silly adolescent pranks. So, give it your best shot. And for your immediate gratification, the answers will be included below.

1. What were “cooties”? a) Tiny cookies, b) Earrings, c) Prizes in cereal boxes, d) Imaginary infestations. 

2. If a woman was “stacked”, what did she have? a) Too much eye makeup, b) Beehive hairdo, c) Large breasts, d) Tall stature. 

3. What was a “flattop”? a) Skateboard, b) Haircut, c) Table, d) Stupid person. 

4. If a girl had a reputation as “fast”, what was she? a) Skinny, b) Goodie two shoes, c) Sexually active, d) Reckless driver. 

5. What were “dibs”? a) Nerds, b) Candy, c) Claims, d) Hairstyles. 

6. What was a “spaz”? a) Cold cut, b) Russian astronaut, c) Uncoordinated person, d) Candy mint.

7. What was a “blast”? a) A dance, b) A Coca-Cola and Seven-Up mixture, c) A television commercial, d) A good time. 

8. What were you if you had a lot of “bread”? a) Uncool, b) Fat, c) Rich, d) Smart. 

9. If a person were to “go ape”, what would they do? a) Dance funny, b) Become angry, c) Dress sloppily, d) Date an ugly person. 

10. What was a “pad”? a) Residence, b) Notebook, c) Article of clothing, d) Paid advertisement. 

(Full discloser: These questions were forwarded to me by someone at some time from some website.)

The secret Jim Lowe was looking for when he sang “Midnight, one more night without sleeping, watching till the morning comes creeping” was what was behind the Green Door. (Next week I’ll also mention those who responded to last week’s question.)

Growing up in Indiana during the early ’60s, I dreamed of “getting around” with a surfboard strapped to the top of a “woodie” wagon (even though I was 2000 miles from a California beach!) inspired by the music of this band.  For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the five-member band known for their vocal harmonies and musical ingenuity, and epitomized the “California Sound”. E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with the album “Pet Sounds” one of the most critically acclaimed and influential albums of all time.

Well, it has been another week cautiously looking behind the curtain. Until we meet again, perception is everything.

“People who throw kisses are hopelessly lazy.” – Bob Hope

Answers: d,c,b,c,c,c,d,c,b,a


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