Dealing With Medical Issues

1) Were doctor/dentist appointments a regular part of your childhood?
When I was really young, our family doctor actually made visits to our house, but this stopped in the early ‘60s.  I had regular appointments for the dentist after I lost my baby teeth.

2) Did you go for well-checks or just when you were ill or in pain?
I do have to go for an annual wellness checkup, which is dictated by Medicare, but before this, I only went when I was sick or in pain.

3) Were you frightened by the medical professionals? If so, were there specific reasons?
Not at all, although when I was really young, I didn’t like to be naked in front of nurses.  One time a nurse told me to pee in a cup and it just felt weird with her being right next to me.  Another time my rear end was hurting, because I had a pilonidal cyst, and I didn’t enjoy the nurse seeing me naked while the doctor lanced it.  Since then, I have done a complete 180, and now I only like female doctors to see me naked and touch me.

4) Were your parents afraid of medical professionals?
dad had a scare with this one doctor who he finally determined to be a quack.  My dad had this large freckle on his chest and the doctor told him that he didn’t like the way it looked so he had my dad go for surgery to have it removed, but they determined that it was harmless, so this ended up being a waste of time.  This doctor then told my dad that he would like to have him have a spinal tap to diagnose certain health conditions.  My dad had the procedure, but after that he said that his back was never the same and then he stopped seeing this doctor.

5) Was waiting in the exam room stressful to you?
I never had a problem until recently, as I know that my doctor is going to take my blood pressure when she comes into the room, and if it is too high that will make her mad.  Waiting seems to stress me out, as I always arrive early for my doctor appointments and the make me sit in the waiting room.  Then they weigh me and put me in the exam room and tell me that the doctor will be in shortly.

6) Did your early visits result in your being afraid of needles?
I never had a problem with vaccines.

7) Does the sight of your own blood bother you?
I usually look away when my blood is being drawn, but it usually doesn’t bother me.

8) Did you ever have the need to go to an emergency room?
Yes, after my brother pushed me through a glass shower stall when we were taking a shower together.  We were probably too old to still be taking showers together, with him being 5 and me being 6, but I guess it saved time for my parents.  We took turns going under the water and while it was his turn to be under the water, I got soap in my eyes, so I tapped him on the back and told him to let me under the water.  He said it was his turn and we pushed each other, and I slipped.  I ended up getting 35 stitches in my back.

9) Did your early experiences impact your current attitudes about medical care?
I am not certain how to answer this question as I have nothing but respect for people that work in the medical field.

Written for Throwback Thursday #38 which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Lauren’s turn and her topic is “Visits To Doctors and / or Dentists”.

What I Listen To

1.What music were you exposed to in your family home – genre, artist, or style.
My parents listened to Lawrence Welk, Mitch Miller, Frank Sinatra and stuff like that.  We took cross country trips from New York to Wisconsin every year, so my mom could see her family and a lot of times we would all sing tunes while driving in the car.  The ones that I remember are ‘Ragtime Cowboy Joe’ and ‘The Three Little Fishes’ which were fun.  They did have Christmas albums that they would play during the holiday season and my favorite one was The Stingiest Man In Town.

2. Did you enjoy that type of music or did you rebel against it?
I was a product of my environment, only knowing what I knew.  Since I was not in charge, I embraced what my parents listened to.

3. How did you listen to music in your childhood home? Radio? Record player? Television?
We had radios in the car, a record player and many televisions around our house.  My parents enjoyed the Dinah Shore show and the Perry Como show, which were both popular in the 50s.  Later on, they watched the Andy Williams show and the Doris Day show.

4. Did you buy records, tapes, cassettes, 8-tracks or CDs?
My High School friends all had Corvettes or Chevelles and nice stereo systems, but I never had the nice car.  My grandmother died when I was in High School and she left me $1,500 in her will, so I finally got the nice stereo, which was better than what my friends had.  At one time I had about 400 albums and I had an 8-track player in my car.  I also had cassettes and I took my cassette recorder with me to several Grateful Dead shows, so we could listen to them on the way home after the shows that we went to.

5. What performers were you drawn to most as an adolescent?
I saw the Grateful Dead 35 times in concert, but I saw a lot of other groups like Mountain, the James Gang, the Rolling Stones, the Allman Brothers, the Band and others.

6. Who did you go to see for your first concert? Who did you go with?
The Grateful Dead and the first song they played was ‘Truckin’’.  The town that I lived in was filled with Deadheads, so we all went together.

7. What concert has been your favorite concert to date?
The 1973 Watkins Glen Summer Jam which featured the Grateful Dead, The Band and the Allman Brothers.

8. When do you listen to music? In the car? At work? While studying or doing projects?
I have a CD player in my car that I use a lot and Orlando has a pretty good Classic Rock station that I like on my radio.  At home I usually watch YouTube videos.

9. Did the music you listened to affect your attitudes, way of dress, or view of the world?
I think the music that I selected as my choice has affected a lot of my life.  I may not dress like a hippie anymore, but I still have that love, peace and live for today attitude, which will always give me a purpose for living.

10. How has your choice of music changed over the years? What is your genre of choice at this phase of your life?
I think that hosting Song Lyric Sunday has broadened my appreciation for different types of music, or it had at least made me more tolerant of different genres.

Bonus Question: What band or group posters did you have hanging in your room? Extra extra bonus points if you can share a copy of it or a link to it.
I had this very rare double-sided poster, which I don’t have any more.  It was sort of a one of a kind, because I never saw it anywhere else.  To me it was a Jerry Garcia on the front and an Eric Clapton on the back, but some people thought that I was displaying the wrong side.  The picture below is similar to the poster (without that Best Magazine on it) that I had and it is selling for $85 now.

EXTRA EXTRA BONUS: Care to share a playlist from Spotify?
I don’t have Spotify.

Written for Throwback Thursday #37 which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Maggie’s turn and her topic is “Discovering Your Musical Taste”.

Remembering Movies

When I was young, I remember my parents taking us (my brother, sister and I) to the drive-in movies.  These were shown late at night, so we were often wearing our pajamas and we brought along blankets and pillows to be more comfortable.  I do remember going to see Psycho, which is probably not the best movie for children to watch and I can still remember hearing my sister scream during the shower stabbing scene.  I am pretty certain that I fell asleep and never remembered much of the movie, but my sister complained about having nightmares for years after the movie.

My parents took me to see some indoor Disney movies, like Bambi and other classics.  I do remember them giving me money to see a triple feature at the movie theater when I was about 10 years old.  I went with my friends and they played Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Mothra versus Godzilla and the Manster.

A few years later, my taste in movies changed and I went with all of my friends to see Thunderball.

When I was in High School, I remember my friends and I all skipped out of school to go watch the Steve McQueen movie Bullitt.

Written for Throwback Thursday #33 which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Lauren’s turn and her topic is “Going To The Movies”.  Do you remember specific times you went to indoor movies or drive in theatres?   Do you remember the first time for either? Do you remember going with friends and not parents?  Please share one or more experiences about going to the movies.

What It Was

1.What kind of technology existed around your house as a child?
The transistor radio was invented the year that I was born.  We always had indoor plumbing, a refrigerator, a stove, a washer, a dryer, a vacuum cleaner and a television.  We had a coffee percolator and window air conditioners, but we never had a microwave.

2. What technology do you remember coming into your home for the first time?
I remember painting the ceiling of my bedroom with glow in the dark paint that looked really cool with a black light shining on it.  In high school, I got a cassette player that I used in my car.

3. What kind of televisions or radios did you have – post pictures if you can find them.
My dad worked for RCA as a television service technician, and we had TV sets all around our house.

4. How did music technology change in your lifetime? When was the last time you purchased music? In what form was the music?
When my grandmother died, she left me $1,000 as part of her will and I bought these McIntosh speakers with 12” woofers, a nice amplifier and a turntable that used diamond needles.  I did my best to keep up with the technology, as a lot of my friends were audiophiles.  I guess the biggest change that I saw was cassette players being replaced by CDs.  I purchased some music at the end of last year, which is 4 sets of CDs, of which I got the first set already, and the others will be shipped to me later on when they are released.  I received Dave’s Picks Vol. 41 on 1/28/2022.  Dave’s Picks Vol 42 will supposedly be released on 4/29/2022, with Dave’s Picks Vol 43 following on 7/29/2022 and finally Dave’s Picks Vol 44 should arrive on 10/28/2022.

5. Did you have a home computer? If so, what was it? Did you have a webcam? Did you stream content with it?
I got my first home computer in 1992 and it came with Windows 3.1, and I don’t remember the brand name.  It did not have a webcam and there wasn’t all that much stuff on the internet back then, but I did connect to it with a modem for email.

6. What kind of phone did you have? Do you have a landline today?
We had rotary dial table and wall mounted phones.  We never had a party line.  I do still have a land line in my house, as I only use my cell when I need it.

7. Did you have toys with integrated technology, robots, automation, etc?
I had a Mr. Potato Head, a Slinkey, Silly Puddy, Play Dough, a hula-hoop and a sting ray bicycle.

8. What technology ‘blew your mind’?
I am going to go with cable TV on this, as I was able to watch HBO, Cinemax and the Playboy channel any time that I wanted.

9. When did you get your first cell phone? What brand and model was it? Did you carry a pager?
I think it was 1995.  I saw that my hair dresser had one, so I figured that I could get one also.  I don’t remember, but I did drop it out of my pocket one day when I was walking my dog and a neighbor thought it was a turtle sitting on the sidewalk because of the way it was shaped.  One job that I had gave me a pager, because I was responsible for keeping all of the equipment running, but it only rang a few times.

10. Is there any current technology you refuse to own or have in your home?
Amazon keeps on trying to get me to sign up for their music service, but I don’t want to pay for it.

Written for Throwback Thursday #31 which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Maggie’s turn and her topic is Technology Influences.

Keep the Faith

Did your family attend services together?
My dad raised my sister, my brother and I as Catholics and my mom eventually converted from the Orthodox religion just before I graduated High School.  We went to Sunday mass without my mom who stayed home doing chores.  My dad enjoyed church although I thought that the chanting and the singing was boring.  He tried to engage in me in what went on at the service asking me questions about the readings from the Old Testament and the New Testament and the Gospel reading.  When I didn’t understand something, he would try to explain it to me.

Did you attend weekly, more than once a week, only on specific holidays, or some other designated time frame?
We only went on Sundays and after church we always went to the bakery.

Was everyone of the same thought as to what faith to follow?
I am still a Catholic, but I am not as much of a believer as my sister is, as she says the rosary every day.

Did you have friends specifically from church/synagogue/ temple/ mosque, etc.?
I don’t have any friends any more, except virtual friends who I will never meet.

Did your family practice religious ceremonies at home?
We said Grace before family meals.

If you chose to depart from what your family believed (and feel like sharing) why did you do so?
The more I learned about Religion, the harder it became for me to believe in it.

Written for Throwback Thursday which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Lauren’s turn and her topic is Religious Influences.

Sports and Extracurricular Activities

1.Did you belong to any clubs?
I never got involved in anything.  I never saw any reason to join any clubs in High School, and when school was out, I went home and played with my friends.

2. Did you stay after school for activities? If so, how did you get home?
I had to stay after school for detention and I got a lot of detention.  There was a transit bus that I could take which stopped in front of the High School and it let me off 2 blocks away from my house.

3. We’re you involved in sports? If so, which ones? Were you good at them, mediocre, or at least trying?
I was never any good at sports, but I did play sports outside of High School.  I liked playing golf and every year I would try out for the golf team, so I could play on the course for free.  I never made the team, but my High School was State champs in golf most of the time.

4. What was your favorite school related sports or physical activity?
I enjoyed playing Dodge ball in gym class and once I got over my fear of girls, I actually enjoyed the square dancing that we had to do, as long as I didn’t get a really ugly partner.

5. Did you hold any leadership roles in school?
I was the campaign manager for a kid that was running for Student Council Class President.

6. Did you play football, basketball, or some other sport or were you a cheerleader?
I didn’t play any of those sports in High School, but I went to a lot of the games to talk with all of the pretty girls.

7. Did you travel after school, on weekends, or in the summer for any activities?  Where did you go?
The only activity that I was ever involved in was the Senior Play and all the rehearsals were at the High school, but the play took place at another school that was close by.

8. Did you receive letters, awards, or certificates for your involvement?
At one time I was leading the detention list, having more detention than any other student in the school, which is probably something that I shouldn’t be bragging about.

9. Did you belong to any organizations that were not associated or sponsored by your school?
Nope, and I still don’t belong to any organizations.

10. Were you on any school committees such as yearbook, prom committee, etc.?
I went to my Junior and Senior proms, and I went on my senior class trip, but I never participated in any committees.

Written for Throwback Thursday #29 which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Maggie’s turn and her topic is Sports and Extracurricular Activities.

TV Memories

My dad was a television repairman working for RCA, so there was never a time in my life where there was not a TV set in my house.  My dad took advantage of the GI Bill of Rights after WW2 and he went to television school to learn how to repair them, as the old TV sets broke down quite often back in the day, before solid state circuitry (systems based entirely on the semiconductor) replaced vacuum tube technology.  Nobody wanted to watch a television set that was on the fritz, one with a scrambled signal or a fuzzy picture, so my dad chose a great career at the right time.  Early television was quite primitive, as there was no cable, no remote control and no color TV.  After World War II, around 1949 Americans who lived within range of the growing number of television stations in the country could watch, for some shows like, The Texaco Star Theater (1948), starring Milton Berle, or the children’s program, Howdy Doody and by 1951 there were 12 million TV sets and by 1955 half of all U.S. homes had one.

Before cable TV came along, people picked up their signal from broadcast antennas and picture quality was not always great.  People living in cities got better pictures, because they were a lot closer to the signal broadcast, but still it was nothing like we have today.  Pre-solid-state TVs were finicky, and required lots of fiddling, tube-testing and finger-crossing in addition they required many antenna adjustments.  Early cathode ray tube televisions were constantly grainy, fuzzy, foggy and out-of-focus and even distorted.  They broke down a lot and these sets always had to be repaired, so my dad was a very popular person that everyone wanted to know.  Television sets didn’t originally have remote control devices (what some people call clickers), so if you wanted to change the channel, you had to get up off of the couch and turn a knob.

Color sets started appearing in the United States by late 50’s, but the market was slow because they were expensive and hardly any shows were being broadcast in color.  We had one of the first color sets back around 1958.  I remember that there were only a few shows in color when we got that TV and color was still a novelty back then.  The shows that that were broadcast in color were the Diana Shore show, the Ed Sullivan Show, Red Skeleton Show, Wonderful World of Disney and Bonanza, but many of the commercials came on in color.  I am going to guess that the first color show that I watched was Disney and maybe the first movie that I saw on TV that was in color could have been The Wizard of OZ, which started out in black and white.  In 1964 color broadcasting began on prime-time television with the three major networks ABC, CBS and NBC.  Shows were forced to convert from black-and-white programming to color and these included, The Wild, Wild West, Gilligan’s Island, The Andy Griffith Show, I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched.  I think the first TV show that I got hooked on watching was The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and I also remember watching The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.

Written for Throwback Thursday #12 which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Lauren’s turn and her topic is TV Memories.

I Got a Name

I had a nickname in High School that came from the name I was given in Spanish class.  At first, I didn’t like it, but it grew on me and I accepted it.  It wasn’t the name that I disliked, it was the spelling as Jaime always made me think of Jamie Lee Curtis and I felt that it was a little too feminine for me, and since the robot on the TV show Get Smart spelled his name Hymie, that seemed to be much more appropriate.  The Spanish name Jaime is supposed to be pronounced as “HIE-me” and it could be used for the names Jacob or James.  My Spanish teacher gave the class an assignment that we would have to break up into groups and put on a skit, where everyone spoke in Spanish.  I being a Sophomore got grouped in with these two Seniors, Bill Butrico and Nelson Kissam.  I had no interest in Spanish and Bill decided that he was going to have fun with this, so he wrote the skit and we met at his house and rehearsed our lines.

I only had one line and I came in at the end of the skit and I said “si” which is yes in Spanish.  There was some dialog between Bill and Nelson, but I don’t remember any of their conversation, but I think they were talking about girls and I just waited for my cue.  They were stuck and they needed a ride and when Bill said, “Qué vamos a hacer” which meant “What are we going to do”, that was when I walked into the classroom.  When Nelson saw me, he said, “Válgame, Dios es Jaime” which translates to “Good heavens, its James” and then I said my one line to end the skit.  This skit cracked up the whole class and the teacher also liked it.  I have no idea how the three of us go grouped together, as Bill was an industrious student that was clearly headed for college, where I was a burnout with no ambition and Nelson was clearly from another planet.  Years later I heard that Nelson climbed up a flagpole naked after taking 10 hits of LSD and he really was an odd character, so I actually believed that story.

Nelson dressed weird and everyone knew that he was weird.  One day he walked into the cafeteria where I was sitting with my friends and when he saw me, he said, “Válgame, Dios es Jaime” which made all my friends look at me wondering if and how I knew this odd character.  Anyway, they all started calling me Jaime after that.  I didn’t start smoking pot till I was a Junior, but once I did, I started spelling my name as “High me” and then I thought it was a pretty cool nickname.

Written for Throwback Thursday which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie who alternate with this prompt and this week it is Lauren’s turn and her topic is Nicknames.

High School Memories

Who was your favorite teacher?
I had some teachers that I liked, but most of them I can’t remember their names.  My homeroom teacher Miss Walker was the best-looking teacher in my High School and she also taught typing, so I signed up for that, but I never really paid attention in class.  I think I was able to type 20 words a minute and little did I know how much typing I would end up doing later on in life.

What about your worst?
There was a gym teacher Mr. Demage, although I called him Mr. Damage that scarred the crap out of me, although he was never my teacher.  One day in lunch where he was a monitor, he saw me shooting spitballs out of a straw and he picked me up out of my chair by the back of my neck and threw me across the floor and told me to never come back to his cafeteria again.  I had to go out for lunch after that.

Were you a member of any clubs?

Did you attend homecoming or the prom?
I went to both my Junior and Senior proms.  Our school held a bonfire for homecoming and I went to some of those also.

What was your favorite subject?
I went to school with the intention of having fun, so I basically liked all of my subjects, although I was never a good student.

Were you the perfect student or a troublemaker?
I was far from perfect and I got into my share of trouble.  I enjoyed saying things that made the other students laugh and I guess some teachers may have thought that I was trouble, as I was sent to the principal’s office several times for disrupting the class.  I had a lot of detention and that never bothered me, as I considered it to be a badge of honor.  At one time, I had more detention than any other kid in school and there were some really bad kids in my school.  Most of the detention that I received was for not wearing socks, which I thought was a stupid rule, so I never wore any socks to protest that.

What clothes were in style when you were in school?
My school had 4 different classifications of dress and one of these styles was the dweebs who would be called nerds today and they were just out of it, having no real style except that they were very uncool.  Collegiates were kids that wore shorts with collars that were tucked into their dress pants and most of these kids were planning on going to college.  Greasers were kids that wore shiny pointed shoes and they slicked back their hair and looked like Arthur Fonzarelli from Happy Days.  I was a bagger and this was a casual look where I wore jeans and penny loafers, but I didn’t stick pennies in my shoes.

How did you get to school? Bus, walk, drive?
Before I got my driver’s license, I took the bus to school.  Not a school bus, the city bus which was called the 20 bus and it stopped just down the street from where I lived and it also stopped in front of the High School.

Any extracurricular activities?
I tried out for the golf team but I never made it, but my town was renowned for its golfers and they were State champs several times.  I went on the Senior trip up to the Poconos and I was the campaign manager for a guy who was running for class president, so I had to go on stage in the assembly to tell all the students to vote for him.  I acted in the Senior play and I played the part of Lou Martin in the play Up the Down Staircase.  My role was easy for me as I was there to disrupt the class, something that I was very good at.  I had several lines where I talked about dropping out od school and I was in the curtain closer scene.  At the end of the play, the teacher was calling attendance for the new semester and she said, “Lou Martin” several times before I entered the class and jumped up on her desk and said, “I’m Back”.  I actually made that line famous before Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he would be back.

What did you do for lunch?
Once I was tossed out of the cafeteria, I had to eat lunch outside which meant I could go to the Dutch Hut which was a hamburger joint, the pizza parlor which I just talked about the other day, or the A&P and get a submarine sandwich there.

Did you attend football games or other sports?
I went to watch the football games and the basketball games and I also saw some of the wrestling matches.

Did you attend school when corporal punishment was applied?
Other that that mentally disturbed gym teacher that threw me on the floor, no other teacher ever touched me.  However, I went to Catholic grammar school and I got hit with the yardstick by the nun who taught Math.

Have a school photo you wish to share?
Here is a picture of me in the play and also my senior photo.

Written for Throwback Thursday #7 which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Maggie’s turn and her topic is School Memories.

The Last Gift

I have an older sister and a younger brother and my brother was always known as being a bit thrifty.  I always exchanged Christmas and Birthday gifts with my sister and her family and my brother and his family, but these gifts were limited to staying within a $50 budget.  One year my brother gave me and my wife a shower radio, which never worked and he probably picked this novelty gift up from Spencer Gift shop for less than $15.  I knew my brother was a cheapskate and it didn’t bother me, but my wife got mad that we spent much more money on their gift, then they did on ours.  She plotted her revenge and she found these portable clip-on fans that could be attached to hats and we sent him and his wife each one of these gag gifts.  I have no idea if these things ever worked, but I asked my brother if it ever got hot enough down in Georgia where he lived to wear them and he said that he wore them all the time.  This was the last time that we ever exchanged gifts with my brother, however I still exchange gifts with my sister and her family.

Written for the sixth edition of Throwback Thursday which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Lauren’s turn and her topic is memories of gift giving or receiving.