Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Past - "You're going to shoot your eye out kid!!"


1940 Montgomery Ward Winter Catalog courtesy Joel baumwool

Who remembers Red Rider, the famous BB gun, Ralphie, and the sight/taste of Red Lifeboy Soap?

Wow, $2.95 was big money in the 1940s. A thoughtful Santa Uncle Gordon gave me one and I had years of fun with it until it went to Toy Heaven. It was the last present of Christmas and was hidden behind the davenport. 6mm lead BBs are now plastic in many colors and sell for around $5/1000. The Red Rider BB guns are still available new for around $40 and kid's eyes are still at risk.

Photo Credit Jim Veitl

This 1945 picture is Dale Allen, Me and Jim Veitl. Our other companion, not shown, was Jim's dog Nugget a white and brown spotted water spaniel. He was over barking in a barrel. The more he barked the more it rang his ears and that made him bark more. We were a nerdy bunch and hardly smarter than Nugget.

We all had BB guns and enjoyed playing war games on the hills surrounding Deadwood 4thWard, Wabash and Rodenhaus Streets. Many days we would trek to Devil's Cave to drink ice cold water squirting out of a pipe leak from a near by spring. Sometimes we would work up our courage and venture into the spooky cave but didn't always have a flash light. We usually had our guns in case of trouble. High on a far away hill, we could see Angel's Cave from a certain outcropping above Devil's Cave. We never were able to find its entrance.

Jim's Dad Albert was always around telling us interesting stories, encouraging our daily projects, and hill side adventures. Albert was an engineer with a keen mind for technology and life in general. Both Dale and I become engineers, so he must have planted seeds for our careers. I think he did and I remember him often. Sadly, Albert died not many years after this Brownie Camera picture.

We also spent a lot of time laying on the hill side in the sun and watching the clouds roll past. Nugget was always with us where ever we went. Those were golden Deadwood years and memories for us.

The Christmas House still lives . . . select the word link!


Florida Beach Basics said...

Good story - great picture. Do you keep in touch with Dale and Jimmy? marge

DickD said...


I do stay in touch with Jim and Dale. People seem too busy when they retire. As of the September 2007 Reunion roster snapshot, there are over 900 DHS Classmates still living. I try to stay in contact with focal point classmates. Morris Toppila will soon announce final plans for the informal DHS mini-reunion on September 2009.

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