Category Archives: 50s

17 Cents Per Gallon

Shared events are recorded differently in individual memories. No one in my family recalls my mother sending her two sons, ages 7 and 6, solo on a train from Portland, Maine to Boston. Collective amnesia has erased the recollection of our family watching brown bears dine on garbage at the town dump. I am our […]

Slingshot Dragster 1954

The other day an old nightclub owner was denigrating the influence of Islamic thought on civilization. “They really created nothing.” “What you mean nothing?” I didn’t mention that algebra succinctly meant ‘reunion of broken parts’ in Arabic. “No rockets, no telephones, no TVs.” “That’s all crap.” “Crap?” John and I liked to argue. “Yes, plus […]

GUNS GUNS GUNS by Peter Nolan Smith

American boys loved guns in the 50s. Plastic weapons lay gift-wrapped under the Christmas tree. Our movie heroes slaughtered the country’s enemies on the silver screen and TV cops performed gun ballets on prime time. Guns were good for the country and America was good to guns. Armed with air rifles my older brother, our […]

A GIRL AT HER BEST by Peter Nolan Smith

My introduction to baseball came on a warm Saturday morning in April of 1958. My older brother and and I was watching my favorite show, THE THREE STOOGES. Moe was slapping Larry and Curley. My father entered the living room of our house on Falmouth Foresides and shut off the Zenith black-and-white. “It’s too nice […]

SWEET LITTLE SIXTEEN / Chuck Berry

Back in December 1959 Chuck Berry invited a Apache girl from Yuma, Arizona to work at his club in St. Louis. Police arrested the rocker on charges of violating the Mann Act i.e. transporting a minors over state lines. The girl was charged with prostitution and testified that she and Berry had had sex numerous […]