You’ve gotta use your Imagination…

Hello again friends and welcome back to “The Over 50 Corner!”

Many of you may recall this line from the hit song from Gladys Knight and The Pips, although not in the same context which I am referring to.

“Imagination” is defined as, “the ability of the mind to be creative of images not present to the senses.”

Here’s a little background on myself…as a young boy of 9, (yes, I was a boy once…) my father was transferred to head the office of Johnson & Johnson in Lima, Peru.  So, off went the family to an unknown territory only heard of in geography books!

As a child being raised he in the U.S., TV played an important part of my Saturday mornings!  Do you remember the cartoons?  Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, Sylvester and Tweety, and Casper the friendly Ghost all showed up to entertain us.  Then, of course, there appeared The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Wild Bill Hickok and Jingles, Rin-Tin-Tin, Lassie, Fury, The Circus Boy, etc…  Boy, the list goes on and on!

Ok, now imagine, (there’s that word again) living in a country where, at that time, there was NO TV! Yep! Nothing! Nada!  My dad, seeing my predicament, bought me a shortwave radio that brought U.S. programs into my bedroom! Wow!  The Lone Ranger and most of my other friends were there, if only in sound!  My sense of imagination was created!  I could “see” the horses galloping by the sound of their hoofs or the bullets flying by the shots I heard. I could hear and “see” my beloved baseball game by imaging that long fly ball, that was just hit with the crack of the bat, in my mind!  I was enthralled! Couldn’t wait to finish my homework and turn on my alter world!  Boy, it was hard to get to sleep after listening to “The Inner Sanctum” and that squeaky door or “The Shadow” starting with a creepy voice, “who knows what lies in the minds of evil men?”

Today, when alone in my car, I turn on Sirius radio to Radio Classics and listen to Dragnet, Paladin, Marshall Dillon and Gunsmoke, Johnny Dollar, Boston Blacky, Jack Benny, Abbott and Costello and so many more!  Some of these shows were the predecessors of the TV shows that appeared later! Many of these recordings come with the ads of that time. Now, these are really interesting!  They are for products that no longer exist or sadly enough, there are the ones for the war effort (WWII). Note: Who would have thought that there were “ration” cards and the saving of grease and tin cans?

This was, and still is, known as “The Golden Age of Radio.”

Unfortunately, the use of the imagination is lost mainly due to modern technology.  You can see everything on all sorts of devices that are out there! But, what can we do to stimulate our young youth’s imagination?  How about reading to them where we can take the place of the radio? Can we make those sound effects?  Change the voice of the characters? I am sure you can. But, I ask, where are Capt. Kangaroo and Mr. Rodgers when we need them? I guess they have been replaced by you and me!

So, try this…go with me back to the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and go to a place where, “You’ve gotta use your imagination!”  You just might be tuning in more often than you think!

That’s it for now!  Keep those comments coming in!  They are great and very much appreciated!  Oh, and let someone else in on this blog…they might actually read it!

Hope to see you again, right here at “The Over 50 Corner.”

Take care and Be Safe out there!







It’s that time again!

Hello again friends and welcome back to The Over 50 Corner!

First, let me thank all of you who took the time to comment on my last posting on informing my granddaughters of my life’s history! It is greatly appreciated!

Having a readership that now includes Mexico, Barbados, Guatemala and Canada, this subject may or may not include my followers in these countries but, definitely here in the U.S. of A.!

It’s “Tax Time” again!

If you are a person that still reads the newspaper, be the actual thing or on-line, you may be aware of the shenanigans going on…especially with the elderly population. This is not to say that it is not happening to a selected few in our age group.

The phone rings and the voice says, “You owe the IRS money!” The conversation continues with, “if you don’t pay immediately, you will go to jail” or something similar. I assume you have heard of this ploy.

Many times the person receiving the call is in that upper age group that: 1) Lives alone and 2) Is totally confused and submits to the request of the caller, giving a credit card number to satisfy the non-existing debt.  This is unfortunate fact that many have become victims of such a story and are out of their hard-earned savings.

My mother has the habit of not answering her phone if she doesn’t recognize the number calling. It could be Publishers Clearing House awarding her the top prize and she would miss out, depriving me of a good inheritance! After all, most of the phone calls today are those so-called “robot-calls” that are just a pain, anyway! So, congrats to her! (But her kids have tried calling from an unknown phone number and she won’t answer so, it has it’s pros and cons.)

What can we do? Good question! Should we have an elderly parent, family member or friend, make sure to advise them of these calls and insist that any calls that involve money should be terminated immediately! That they should never give out any personal information, ie: Social Security number, credit card number or for that matter, any information PERIOD!

It is unfortunate that we now live in an age where there is always someone attempting to steal someone else’s money through on-the-phone-intimidation. I have just heard of the same tactic being used but, describing the debt as one from Discover Card. This one contacts the cardholder advising that a large purchase has been made with their card somewhere else in the world. They ask if they have the credit card with them and then attempt to get the credit card number by “having the customer confirm that they have the correct account.”

Should they get this type of call, have them call the credit card company personally and confirm. Better yet, have them call YOU for assistance in this matter.

I’ll touch on other scams that are targeting the senior citizen age group, just to keep you aware of what’s out there! There are plenty going around here in Texas!

So, that’s it for today! Hope this has been informative and maybe some food-for-thought for you to share and pass along.

Until we meet again under the lamp post at “The Over 50 Corner!”  Take care and BE SAFE!



I did it!!

Hello again friends and welcome back to “The Over 50 Corner.”

If, by any chance, you had the time to read last week’s posting, you will recall that I mentioned that all of us should take the time to relate our history with our children and our grandkids!

Well, I received various comments on this including one from, no other than, my daughter who actually challenged me to “put up or shut up!”

So, here is the scenario…my granddaughters were out of school for spring break all of last week. My daughter, D., who is a school teacher, was also on a week’s leave and had planned to go with her mom, my wife M., to see a Broadway show in San Antonio, TX. This left granddad, me, to take care and entertain the girls for two days while the ladies took off and their dad was at work.

This was the first time that I was on my own with the girls.  Remember, the eldest is 13 and her sister, 8. Two entirely separate age groups and interests!  What to do?  This was a task that, to be honest, I was slightly nervous about.  How to keep them both on the same page.  So, on we went!

On day one, we started by going out to breakfast!  Bagels and pastries with juice and milk did the trick! (Got them both covered!)  Not wasting any time, avoiding dead time, we headed out to the movies to see “A Wrinkle in Time” in 3-D!  It is rated PG so, it filled the bill quite nicely.  It was a bit “deep” for the younger one but, right up the alley for granddaughter #1.  I explained the significance of the movie to #2 ie: 1.) never let anything separate you from your sibling and 2.) the road to your goals just might have some obstacles that you should overcome.  Maybe some of us should reflect on these!

Quickly on to lunch at Chick-fil-a (another hit with both of them) and then home.

And then it happened!  I sat them down and started our conversation with, “what is my name?”  First answer, of course, was how they refer to me as. (Aito! Their version for the Spanish “abuelito” or grandfather.) Then came what everyone else calls me…Fred! (No, not what my wife and friends call me! I wanted to keep it clean!)  It surprised me to find out that they did not know my proper name!

I continued with my parents names, heritage, my childhood, siblings, teenage years and continued until we reached the present. I’ve had a long life so, it took a while.  (I did leave the depressing stuff out!)

To my surprise, they were actually interested! Granddaughter #1 actually took notes! Her first remark was, “by the time you were my age (13) you had lived in 3 different countries and 2 different states!”  And the questions kept coming about almost everything! Did I have pets, where were my parents from, age differences among my siblings, etc…?  Even wanting to know more about their mom and their uncle, my son.

There, I did it!  Now, they want to know more about their grandmother (M.).  I told them that they would have to get that information from her!  Now, it’s her turn!

So, there we are my friends!  I “put up” and backed my words! Now, I hope that that they will carry some of the info with them for years to come. The update now is, I have lived in (4) different countries and 5 different states!

As they now say in the movies, “Your mission, if you decide to accept it…” is to pass your personal history on as I did.  You’ll be surprised at the reception it might have!

Take care and hope to meet up with you again at “The Over 50 Corner.”

Thanks again for all the comments!  As you can see, I take them seriously and follow up on them!

Oh, in case you’re wondering about day #2.  It was breakfast at IHop for pancakes and then to explore nearby caverns. All ended well and the girls still love me!




Have we lived history or…

Hello again friends! Nice to see you here at “The Over 50 Corner”!

From the comments received on last week’s “musical” blog, I can tell that some of you are still in your 50’s to early/mid 60’s and not quite to where I am. Again, thanks for the comments! They were just great! They ranged rom the Beatles to the Beastie Boys and some in-between! Again, just great! Keep them coming!

Ok…here we are, March 2018 and the world is reeling with the national and international political situations. Is history being made as I write? Or, have we already lived history?

Stop and think about it…what really historic moments have we lived through? I am positive that there have been great moments in time and sorry to say, horrific incidents that have shook us to our core. Be it what they may, they live within us and have influenced our lives in one way or another.

Who was around for the Cuba Missile Crisis?  Where were you… when JFK was assassinated? (I would bet you know.) First man in space? How about John Glenn? In 1964, there was the British Invasion by The Beatles; in 1968, Neil Armstrong’s, “Houston, the Eagle has landed;” or when we heard in 1970 Apollo 13’s, “Houston, we have a problem?” Bringing back memories? All this time, the “conflict” in Vietnam was ongoing and the Berlin Wall was to come down in a heap!

Think about this one…who had the first color TV in your neighborhood? Ok, who had the last black and white TV in their living room? How about the aluminum Christmas tree with the rotating color light dial? Ok, the tree was not history.

New discoveries came along in science; like the Polio vaccine or the transistor radio. In aviation, the Boeing 707 passenger jet or the Concorde that soared in the Stratosphere! In sports, Babe Ruth’s season homerun record falls to Roger Maris in 1961 then, his career record falls to Hank Aaron. Let’s not forget the first heart transplant by Dr. Christian Bernard in South Africa. Is the first video game worth mentioning or the first portable “wireless” phone? What would the kids of today do with Donkey Kong or that 5 lb. brick of a phone by G. E.?

Then, sadly enough there was the tragedy of what we refer to as “9/11”.

These are just a few of the moments in my recollection of history. There are many, many more that could be mentioned here but, I’ll let you fill them in.

So, what do we do with this knowledge and experience that we have accumulated over our lifespan? Have you ever thought of sharing it with your children or grandchildren? I am pretty sure they might want to know about it. Tell them how you walked to school everyday…uphill both ways carrying your boom box! Don’t let your history slip and fade away!

Well, I must admit…if I have, it’s been very little. I guess I’d better do as I say.  But, what  I have done is, saved a bunch of newspapers that were published on the day of (or day after) the historic event with all the details.  I even have the clipping of man’s first flight into space, Yuri Gagarin.

I hope to soon be able to open that plastic container and share them with my daughter, who is a teacher, so that she may share them with my granddaughters and possibly her students. Someone along the way might even say, wow!

Note: NO! I did not serve under Gen. George Washington nor present when Lincoln read the Emancipation Proclamation! (Just in case you were wondering!)

So, have we lived history or are we history?

Until next time, friends. Hope to meet you here under the lamp post at “The Over 50 Corner” to chat a while.

Remember, don’t be bashful, share it with your friends and don’t forget to send me your comments and suggestions.
Take care and BE SAFE!

Do you remember when…?

Hi there friends!  It’s nice to see you here and welcome you back to The Over 50 Corner!

Here’s a question for you…and answer it truthfully.  How many of you, while you are at home, turn on the radio?  Anybody? Ok, let’s try this…how many of you put on a cd or go to the extreme of cranking up the ol’ turntable and put on an LP or one of those things we called a 45 (rpm)?  Need I guess?

But, who among you does NOT turn on the radio as soon as you jump into your car?  Thought so…everyone of you!

Well, like you, I turn on the radio in the car but, every now and then, there’s music playing in the house whether it be from an old LP or a cd. (I have 3 turntables. Use 2 and have another one standing by just-in-case.)  No matter what the source might be, I tend to “turn back the clock” and listen to the songs from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  My preference?  I must admit it has to be the 60’s followed closely by the 70’s.  I must confess that, as corny as many of the songs were, the 50’s, the beginning of the Rock n’ Roll era, is still worth listening.

Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and let’s not forget Bill Haley and the Comets had some of us rockin’ though the 50’s! (Ok, I might be dating myself a bit here…)  Then came the 60’s with Neil Sedaka and his “Calendar Girl”, Dion and the Belmonts and their “Teenager in Love” but; when you wanted to hold your date close to you, dancing with the lights turned down, there were the Flamingos (Then you can tell me Goodbye),  the Righteous Brothers (Unchained Melody) and my all time favorite, The Skyliners with the heartfelt, “Since I don’t have you!”  WAIT!!  Before I forget, I’m bringing in the King of mood music…Johnny Mathis! Who didn’t sneak in a kiss while dancing to “Chances Are” or “Twelfth of Never”? (Note: I have the original “Johnny Mathis’ Greatest Hits” album!) And of course, The Beatles  and the Rolling Stones who drove the girls crazy with their classics. My not-so-sincere apologies to the “Flower Children” out there; wasn’t into Joni Mitchell and her kinfolk.

Now, to an era that most of you fall in…the 70’s!   The Jackson 5 dominated the charts, Neil Diamond drinking his “Cracklin’ Rosie”, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder,  Creedence Clearwater Revival singing “Down on the Corner,” The Kinks, The Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac and, one of my favorite bands, Chicago (previously known as: The Chicago Transit Authority) with their or should I say, “our song,”Colour My World”  (Almost brings a tear to my eye…)  These were songs that you could still understand what the lyrics said and sing along! (Except Louie, Louie!)

Ok, before I end this, I want to let my daughter D., who is a radio “typist” in the car, know that the 80’s, and the 90’s had their moments and will live in her musical life forever…just not in mine!

So now, I ask you…Do you remember when?

Thanks for taking the time to spend with me on this journey through time.  Hope you will be back again next time!  Share with your friends and exchange ideas on the subject!

Who were better, The Beatles or the Stones?  The Who or Moody Blues? And the Beat Goes On!  Obla-dee, Obla-da!  Or, as the classic says, “gotta be rock n’ roll music, if you wanna dance with me!”

Take care and see you next time under the lamp post at The Over 50 Corner!









My Weekend Journey!

Hello again friends! Welcome to The Over 50 Corner!

First of all, I want to thank all of you who took the time to comment on my last posting on the controversial subject of teenage weapon ownership. As always, it is greatly appreciated. Thanks again!

Well, it was a real foggy Friday morning when M. and I started our journey to Cedar Park, Texas.  The 160 mile trip usually takes about 2 1/2 hours with good weather but, with the limited visibility through the countryside, it took about 30 minutes longer.

(Note: For those doing math on my trip time, we have 75 and 80 mph highways in Texas!)

This trip had a specific purpose!  Granddaughter #1 (C.) is  a member of her middle school dance team that was participating in a multi-school district dance competition. So, like the post office motto, neither rain, snow, nor (in this case) fog was going to hamper these grandparents from the completion of this trip.

Our Saturday morning started real early with the commotion of  C. getting ready!  Make-up, hair do, more make-up, costume bag prep, and monopolizing the bathroom to boot! Get in the car and rush to the high school gym where the competition is being held and drop her off. It is now 7:30 a.m. with her 1st performance at 10: 48 a.m.!   So, what do we do now?

We’re off for a quick breakfast to be back and grab a good location on the school’s gym hard bleachers!

Ok, let’s cut out the drama and let you know that we stayed until her dance team finished their 4th and last performance at 5:45 p.m.!  (That, my friends completed approximately 9 hours of sitting on those bleachers!) We saw about 60 dance performances from all age groups: Contemporary, Pom-Poms, Lyrical, Modern, and everything in between without a real break! (Not recommended).

Time to leave!  But wait!  We came back for the awards ceremony which lasted another 2 1/2 hours!  As good ol’ Charlie Brown would say, “Good Grief!”

FYI, C.’s dance team took 1st place for middle schools in each of the 4 dance versions they participated!

Was it worth it?  You better believe it!  But next time I will bring a good cushion!

The ride home was in the rain, yesterday!  Another longer than usual trip. but our mission was complete!

So, if you are a grandparent and have attended your own child’s baseball, soccer, or any school activity and you know what an experience it is, there is something different about seeing your grandchild participate in such a competitive activity.  Go for it and you will see what I mean.

Well, that was my weekend!  How was yours?

That’s is for now! Hope to see you next time, right here at The Over 50 Corner!

As always, your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. If you want others to see your comments, put them here on the blog.  I appreciate those on Facebook, as well!

Take care and BE SAFE out there!





What can we do?

Hello friends!  Welcome back to “The Over 50 Corner” !

When I started this blog I stated that I would stay away from any political or religious topics, as not to “offend” anyone or to be “politically incorrect”.

In an attempt to stick to my original intent, the following is written with everyone in mind.  All political affiliations and all religious beliefs are to be included because it is a topic that involves all of us!

The school shooting of this past week, the Sandy Hook elementary incident nor the one at Virginia Tech University was aimed at a certain political party, religion or race…it was aimed at all of us!

Why all of us, you ask?  There is not an easy answer but, I will attempt to explain myself.

I would dare to say that it might have started with our generation and has continued for the last 40 or so, years.  The proliferation and the love of weapons in our country may have been our fault.  Note: I said “may have been…” We are definitely responsible for those making the laws in our state and Federal governments.

Have you noticed , as seen on TV, most of the videos games for Xbox and such are for shooting one another, shooting space invaders or any other weapon carrying enemy shooting at the player? Our generation started the development of these video games!  Did you, as a child, play cowboys and Indians?  Did you have a toy six-shooter or cap gun?  The “Christmas Story” Daisy bb rifle was too dangerous!  “You’ll shoot your eye out” was the parental warning! (I had them all!) How far back are we going now?

Strange fact… In college baseball, the use of the aluminum bat was BANNED because the hit ball was coming out “too hot” and may cause injury to a player! Ironically, the same player that cannot use the banned bat, can go and buy an AR-15 and shoot up a school full of kids!

Kids and guns don’t mix!  Something has to be done…something has to change!

I am not against the ownership of weapons, the second amendment nor against the NRA but, against the sale of this type of weapon and the ease of purchasing it by a 19 yr. old.

What can we do?  Well, if you think that something should be done, contact your state’s representatives in every branch of government and let him/her know your opinion.  We put them where they are with our vote, the least they can do is listen to us!  It is our child and grandchild that each and everyone of us should think about!  No matter what their age might be!

What would be the reaction if any one of those folks in Washington had a son, a daughter or grandchild victimized in an incident like this?  Just a thought.

Note: I do not own a weapon of any kind. The last time I actually shot a gun and a rifle was when I was in the U.S. Army, a lifetime ago!

Maybe the politicians will take note that the majority of students who are shouting for change today will be able to vote at the next general election!

Sorry for the topic this week but, it concerns us all!

Hope to see you again at “The Over 50 Corner”!

Until then, take care of yourselves!  Your comments and opinions are always welcomed!