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James R. Stout

Blog posts : "General"

The Great Airwick Caper

              Friday nights in early 1973 were very special for me. A typical Friday night would perhaps start with me going over to my girlfriend’s house (Terry) and sitting in her parlor (how quaint). Her parents still didn’t allow her to go out on single dates, so we would just spend time togethe…

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Whirleybirds, Training Wheels, and Being Stuck Like a Pig

            From the time that I was born until I was 11 years old, we lived in 8 houses. It wasn’t because my father was moved around in the military or jobs. There were several reasons for the moves, but mostly they had to do with a growing family or other issues. For instance, my parents bought t…

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Bo-Bo's Mom: Keeper of the Flame

            It was late 1964 and we had been living in our house for just over a year. We had become acquainted with the neighbors and the neighborhood cliques. On our street there were two families that were related. The fathers of each family were brothers. One of the fathers was an ambitious man,…

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An Old Pump Organ and Something New

            I was 10-years-old and spending a week with my grandparents on their farm. The only thing that was different in the room that I stayed in was the old pump organ. It was what was known as a “field pump organ”. It was smaller than a regular organ, but that was on purpose. It was originally…

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She Don't Like Spiders and Snakes

            My mother had to go back to work when I was in the 6th grade. I missed her not being there when I got home from school. I missed her homecooked meals every night that she couldn’t make us because she didn’t get home from work until 7 p.m. She worked in downtown Houston as a se…

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Skip It. Skip it Good

            The old saying, “It’s the little things that mean a lot” came to mind this morning as I set in my easy chair and watched the birds outside my window. But the birds had nothing to do with a memory that I enjoyed perusing. It was in 1961 and I was 6-years-old. We lived in the south portion…

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Green and Cue Days

            It was the fall of 1972 and a Friday night. Me and my friend Keven were on the prowl. I had my mother’s car for the evening. We were supposed to be hanging out at his house. But since his parents had gone square dancing (for real) we were doing some cruising and seeing what was out there…

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Ships Passing In The Night

            We meet people briefly and anonymously every day. Well, we did before this Covid-19 took us by storm. But, even during this time of uncertainty we meet people in passing. Perhaps it’s somebody working in a grocery store or gas station. We mostly give these people little, if any, thought.…

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The Old Wooden Bridge

            There’s a wooden bridge not far from my house. The bridge as it stands now was built about 20 years ago. But there has been a wooden bridge over that creek for as long as I can remember and long before that. My grandfather owned the land that the county road is on and in the 1920’s he ga…

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Everything In Its Own Time

            There was once a place in Southwest Houston that was a great place to go for shopping and for going out on a date. It was called Westbury Square. The first time that I went there was with a couple of friends and my girlfriend. It was in October of 1975. We went to a eat at The Village Sq…

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Is That All There Is?

            For my 8th birthday my parents took our family to the circus. We lived in Bryan, Texas at the time and a circus like Ringling Brothers didn’t bother with small towns like ours. But there was plenty of people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to go to a circus that it would be pro…

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It's Going To Be Ok

            All I can say is “wow”. Well, that really isn’t all I can say. But you knew that. I’m half a year away from being 65-years-old. I’ve lived through quite a bit in my life. Some really great times and some really not-so-great times. When I was 18 the Arab oil embargo hit A…

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Evil

            There are times in our lives when things happen that we simply cannot understand. In fact, I don’t believe that certain things can be understood. We expect to experience the ups and downs of life including some devasting lows and incredible highs. But there are things that come along tha…

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The Falcon Soars No More

            In the summer of 1977, I got a 1962 Ford Falcon that had seen its better days, but still ran and would suffice as transportation to and work. At the time, I thought back to when my aunt and uncle bought a new 1962 Falcon. I had clear memories of what one of those cars was like brand new.…

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Green and Purple Pills

            In 1961 a record came out that struck a funny bone with my family. It was called, “Jeremiah Peabody’s Polyunsaturated Quick-Dissolving Fast-Acting Pleasant-Tasting Green and Purple Pills”. It was the first success for singer-songwriter Ray Stevens. The record was all about…

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A Week On The Farm

            When I was young, I would stay with my grandparent’s at their farm for a week here and there. This was before I started 1st grade. All through elementary school I would stay a week at a time during the summer as well. My parents would leave me with my grandparents after spen…

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The Gauntlet of Fire

            From the time I can remember until I was about 13, I went barefoot when outside playing. Of course, this wasn’t true during cold weather, but in Texas it is warm or hot weather from as early as March until as late as October. The feel of the grass on my bare feet was always great. I like…

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My Favorite Five Novels

            It is no secret that I love to read. Although I enjoy greatly non-fiction books about a plethora of subjects, I lean toward fiction novels. I have enjoyed reading novels since I was in elementary school. Of course, I read books that were written for my age at that time (for the most part…

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When Every Day Was Thanksgiving Day

            There are many objects that I associate with my childhood years and spending time at my grandparent’s farm. There was the old crank phone. The earpiece for that phone was very heavy, but my grandmother seemed to not notice when she made calls on the that phone. There was the old wood sto…

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In My Room

            Three weeks before I turned 16 my sister got married. My only part of that wedding was to wear a black tuxedo and perform the job of being an usher. I can’t say that I was sad to see her move out though. Oh, we got along great and I wished her the best. But it was her bedroom that I want…

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