Our Time in the Sun

When I was of college age, all the coeds (They were called that back then.) had to worry about while sunbathing on the roof of their high-rise dorms were the helicopter pilots from nearby Fort Benning and Fort Rucker—and the occasional fighter jock from God knows where. Yep, the air space above Auburn University could get pretty lively this time of year. Back then, when a jet roared over at treetop level, there wasn’t much to do but wave. I can’t imagine what it must be like today, when every other male sophomore commands a drone. Maybe young people today are smarter; perhaps they’ve absorbed the lessons of previous generations and avoid overexposing themselves to the midday sun. Of course, I jest.

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

39 responses to “Our Time in the Sun”

  1. One thing kids have to be aware of is that any picture can end up being shared with the world. And everyone carries a camera (phone) with them to capture those moments. Glad we didn’t have that issue when I was a teenager…

  2. Janis for the sun, and Arlo being agin it, is one of the nice themes of A&J. It’s kind of serious, but not so serious, and shows just a little bit of friction. Now its combined with—what shall I write?—end-of-the-day musings. Little ones.

  3. Fighter Jocks?

    Many years ago, the story goes, the twin cooling towers of TVA’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Sweetwater, TN served as an informal turn around point for training runs from Jacksonville Naval Air Station. Flying between the towers was said to be hard to resist, until TVA’s “powers that be” leaned on those of the Navy.

    Would not be hard to imagine a slight detour over Auburn.

    The towers:


  4. We call by name. They mostly come – then walk away.
    If we said Kitty Kitty we would have the neighbors cat (1/2 mile down the road)
    He already wants to come in.

  5. Back when my sister and I were toddlers, Dad taught us a little five note melody. If we were in a crowd, he would whistle it to let us know where he was. We’ve always taught it to our pets. My sister’s dogs would come when they heard it. My cats haven’t always come, but at least they’ve known it was me calling and that it was safe for them to respond. (The worst that would happen was that they’d get scooped up and taken inside.)

  6. During my commercial flying career, I never “buzzed” anyone or anything. Flying pipeline patrol at 150 or so feet AGL, half of it over a forest filled with 50+ foot trees, was quite exciting enough, thank you very much. (To fly that low over populated areas, which the other half was, one must have a waiver from the FAA.) There was a golf course with a club house in an open area along the route, however, which in the summer was surrounded by young matrons and coeds in string bikinis working on their tans. That was a decidedly better view than the tops of pine trees.

    Of course, that pales in comparison to what the crewmen of a helicopter detachment that was transferred to our AF base from one in Washington State experienced. There, they told us, they seemed to encounter frequent “navigation errors” on training flights and “stray” over a nudist colony.

  7. I once visited a friend at another university on a football weekend when we were playing them. He took me down the hall of his high-rise dorm to another student’s room, which featured an eight-foot long tripod-mounted telescope pointed toward his window. No, he was not an astronomy major, but his window did face the nearby women’s high-rise dorm.

  8. Laptop was in the shop from Th. am until this noon, so have been catching since then.
    When I stopped in Baltimore, the tercel had just gotten up from brooding the nestlings when the hawk [= mom] arr. with the next feeding [neither a pigeon nor a starling; not sure what: starling-sized but some white in plumage. She too,k it over to the 3 kids, and he flew off to find the next offering. There had been 4 eggs, but I saw neither another young nor any eggshells. Quite possible that she ingests shells for their calcium.



  9. Will this comic be in the ‘after dark’ book? Oh and by the way, would you please update your kickstarter? It’s been a loooooong time. Thanks.

  10. A while back I was wondering about how nutria [coypu] tastes. In a so far fruitless search for the history of Nutria Street in Anoka Co., MN, ran across this in a trapper’s acct. / trapping nutria in SE LA. Sure like to try it someday, but don’t expect to.

    Most of the trappers interviewed for this project report that they don’t eat much nutria meat. As Douglas Robinson said, “If it tastes like chicken, why not eat chicken?!” On the other hand, Fuzzy Hertz, who has owned Fuzzy’s Bar in Lafitte for more than fifty years, waxed enthusiastic about nutria meat. Even those who had never tried it had heard reports of it “tasting good.” Fuzzy’s family started eating the meat long after they began trapping because “the meat was so pretty.” They cook it in a variety of ways: stewed, fried, barbequed, smothered, and even in spaghetti. More than for human consumption, nutria meat is often sold for animal feed.


  11. In anticipation of yet another natal anniversary about to burst upon me, I was given a neat little recording device. The idea was to enable me to leave spoken words for my kids and others down the line, especially for listening to after I am gone.

    I would be VERY interested in learning what kinds of info I should leave, and I am asking this Village for ideas. Think back: if your parents had done this – or, for the younger set among us, had your grandparents done this – what would you & your offspring [if any] be interested in hearing?

    I will consider quite thoughtfully whatever items are mentioned here, but do not give any blanket promises as to using same.

    There; that may generate a few entries.

  12. Like today’s comic – tell those stories that you have told dozens of
    time. Even if they roll their eyes now, they will want to hear them later.
    I wish I could hear again my Father’s stories – he was a good story teller.

    Also record any history as you think of it. Your remembrances of relatives.
    20 years after Dad passed and nearly so Mom I have questions I want to ask.

    The biggest lie I tell myself is…”I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”

    This SO true.

  13. Old Bear, that is an excellent idea. And I would suggest that your kids/grandkids combine the audio recording with photos of c ex-p and his wife.

  14. Once I’m gone, my kids [now 56, 59, and 62] could glean most of Granddad’s biography and other family [and NYC+] history from about 240 columns on this laptop that I’ve published in The Bemidji Pioneer. I had 30+ pp. of autobiography in older cptr files, some since lost, but published 2 columns of excerpts from those about 10 yr. ago, and there’s lots of biographical stuff in other columns. Whether they or grandkids w/b interested is debatable. Someone could do a master’s thesis: “An old fart and his predecessors, back [in fragments] to the 11th c. CE.” Couple of real good columns, Jan. and Mar.? ’11, on emb and Elaine at Cornell [and later Sanford Health Fargo]. Some pretty decent writing, along w/ some goofs.

    While bragging, will note that I attended the annual BSU Sattgast Hall scholarship ceremonies last Th. [They like me there because of 2 scholarships] and an awardee asked me to autograph a cc. of “The Mammals of MN”. Nobody had referred to my writing one way or the other, but he volunteered that it was the best written text that he owned. This says at least as much re the general quality of textbk prose as it does about mine, but it was gratifying. Peace,

    PS. I’d cc’d a URL for site combining 1911 photos and more recent ones of NYC. Nostalgia time. Will go try to retrieve it.

  15. Should have added: I somewhat remember NYC from the ’30s, which are closer to 1911 than to 2002, last year I visited Gotham. There were still horsedrawn produce carts, cobblestones around the streetcar tracks on 6th Ave., and icemen supplying ice to families with real iceboxes. We had a gas refrigerator. Lots of poor in NYC lived in cold-water flats. A shoeshine at a shoemaker’s shop was a dime; one from a shoeshine man in Washington Sq. Park was a nickel, as was a subway, trolley, ‘el’, or bus ride. 5th Ave. buses were a dime, and some had open upper decks.

    23 skidoo.

  16. That ferry is not coming in to NY harbor, but to the ferry slip at Battery Park, southern tip of Manhattan. All the water in sight = NY harbor, specifically Upper NY Bay.

  17. To c xp, serious thinking is required — I’ll get back to you. Fascinating subject!

    emb, I love to look at old photos and films! Will see this in a day or two and will enjoy it, I’m sure. Thanks for sending it.

  18. …And here’s the question:

    “What is the answer to
    ‘Knock, knock’
    ‘Who’s there?’
    ‘Sam and Janet’
    ‘Sam and Janet who?’ “

  19. CXP,

    I’d think that family stories, of your generation and before would be great. Things beyond the official histories and facts. This weekend, my wife heard a few stories about here grandfather that passed about 30 years ago from his youth and early marriage from townsfolks at her mother’s 65th high school reunion. At the country church they attended on Sunday, she heard a couple of nonagenarians that knew him as a teenager. Stories about early family are always good. Otherwise, the history is little more than the paper records.

    Also, recording stories about your children or grandchildren when they were too small to remember would be great. One story that my father told was about a trip when I was about 2 1/2 years old. We were visiting northern Mexico and had stopped for some reason in a small town near a bar. I’m told that I walked into the bar (in my t-shirt and diaper pants), climbed up on a barstool, and asked for “drink please.” Apparently the patrons and my dad all laughed furiously. I don’t think my mother thought it was quite hilarious. Stories like that, that may not have been told, or other times that you just remember as having a great day– or even about something that was difficult, would be the type of thing I’d like to have recorded.

  20. On this date in 1803, the Louisiana Purchase Treaty was signed, thereby doubling the size of the United States. The next year, Louis and Clark set out to explore the area and, according to Dave Barry, were surprised to find a whole bunch of states in there, although some of them, like South Dakota, needed some work.

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