Category Archives: Memories

the words say it all……


21 June 1938-12 December 2011

Words by his son Curtis D. Tucker
Two families lost someone yesterday. One family lost a long time dad, husband, uncle and brother that had aged into his 70’s, while another family lost a faint memory of someone frozen in time, a 30 year old man captured only in a few vintage photographs and videos, smiling and unaging. With the remote chance of ever crossing paths now forever closed, may you rest in peace Tilford Neal Tucker. Condolences go out to his wife Monica, his daughters Jodi and Jeni and the entire Tucker family.

Hug your crumb crunchers today as I will surely hug mine, be sure they know you love them and take care of any unfinished business before it’s too late.


Sharing a favorite article

Jeff Mullin is a favorite writer at my local newspaper.  His thoughts on today’s college freshmen hit home since we have one in our family this year.  I’d like to share his outlook on “The world according to today’s college freshmen”.

August 23, 2011

Enid News and Eagle
ENID — Each generation has its own unique cultural touchstones — people, places and events that bind people of that age group together.

People of a certain vintage point to the Jazz Age, flappers, bathtub gin, the Crash of ’29 and the Great Depression. For another group, it was Pearl Harbor, Frank Sinatra, “Loose Lips Sink Ships,” rationing and VE Day.

Still others can relate to the 39th Parallel, Buddy Holly, Sputnik and James Dean, while those of a more recent minting have vivid memories of Duck and Cover, Dealey Plaza, Kent State, the Beatles and the Summer of Love.

Of course, each generation’s cultural touchstones might be a unifying point for people of one age group, but they also serve to illustrate the vast chasm that exists between themselves and those of younger generations.

 Take, for example, the group of scrubbed-faced, eager young people who have just entered their freshman year of college. A record 4,000 of them began the school year Monday at the University of Oklahoma, while Oklahoma State welcomed 3,900.

 Today’s college freshmen, for instance, have never called anyone using a rotary dial telephone.

They haven’t, that is, according to the annual College Mindset List compiled by Beloit College of Wisconsin. 

This year’s crop of freshmen, who average 18 years of age, weren’t alive when George H.W. Bush was president. Say “Read my lips, no new taxes” to college freshmen and they will look at you blankly. They know Bush 41 only as the father of Bush 43, George W. And Jimmy Carter? He’s the nice old fellow who travels the world making sure elections are fair and overseeing disaster relief efforts. Go so far as to mention LBJ to one of today’s freshmen and they’ll assume you mean Miami Heat star LeBron James.

They have no idea why O.J. Simpson is famous, except for the fact he is always in trouble with the law.

 They have grown up with the Internet, bike helmets, women Supreme Court justices, Amazon (the Web retailer, not the South American river), Chicken Soup for the Soul, the Food Channel, electric cars, charter schools and Martin Luther King Day. They never sat on a Sears catalog to make them taller at the dinner table.

 Remember the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” in which Matthew Broderick’s wise guy high schooler decides to skip school for the day? For this year’s freshmen, Bueller could be their dad.

 This year’s freshmen didn’t grow up wanting to Be Like Mike. They were 10 when Michael Jordan retired for good in 2003. And today’s freshmen think Arnold Palmer is simply a drink combining iced tea and lemonade.

  In their lifetimes, fake Christmas trees have always outsold real ones, the phrase “been there, done that, got the T-shirt” has always been in use, grown-ups have always argued about health care and taken baby aspirin for their hearts and George Stephanopolus has always worked on television rather than in the White House.

 For these young people, “Cheers” has always been in reruns, nurses have always been in short supply, couples have always broken up via texting or Facebook, and the only significant labor disputes they have experienced have come in professional sports.

 There are always differences between people of various generations. I came along after World War II, have always lived in a home with indoor plumbing and television, remember when Hawaii and Alaska weren’t states and grew up watching “Captain Kangaroo” and idolizing Mickey Mantle. 

In the end, those things really aren’t important. Each generation has its own cultural touchstones and experiences, but we are bound together by our shared history.

 Today’s college freshmen may have been just 8 years old, but I’ll bet they can tell you where they were and what they were doing on Sept. 11, 2001, just as those of previous generations have vivid memories of Nov. 22, 1963, and Dec. 7, 1941.  

Next time you have a family gathering, turn off the TV and computer, confiscate the smartphones and laptops and start telling stories. Tell this year’s college freshmen about poodle skirts, Nehru jackets, leisure suits, Camelot, Joan Baez, troll dolls, “The Peter Principle,” ration books, Woody Herman, Dr. Spock, zoot suits, Howdy Doody, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” streaking, Skylab, Carl Sagan, Valley Girls, Milli Vanilli, hobo jungles and Ogden Nash.

  And they can tell you about the things that are important to them. When you strip away all the cultural stuff, the things that are really important to them are likely the same as those cited by their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

 They want to be loved, they want to pursue their dreams, they want to change the world, they want to be successful, they want to be respected, they want to do the right thing, they want to leave things better than they found them.

 Which is just a long way of saying they want to be happy.

 And that desire binds us all, no matter our age or cultural experience, whether we grew up listening to “The Shadow” on the huge radio in the corner of the living room or watching “The Shadow” on a smartphone.

Mullin is senior writer of the News & Eagle. Email him at

Teaching Respect

I have to pass on something that I saw happen on Monday.  My grandson is attending a baseball camp at our local ballpark along with lots of other kids.  Just before leaving on Monday, the first day, the Director of the camp called all the kids down to the diamond and told them that he wanted to explain something that was very special to him.  He told them to put their toes at the foul line, put their legs together, stand tall, put their left hand behind their back and take their ball cap off and hold it over their heart.  He said when the National Anthem played they were to have all eyes on the flag and to stand still.  What a wonderful thing to see.  It is so seldom we see real patriotism and those kids will never forget where they learned about paying respect to the flag.  Thanks Mr Mayberry!!! (who took his hat off when the music started)

Quick Trip to Big D

We made a quick trip to Dallas last weekend and I thought I’d pass on some pictures and notes from the trip.  We went down because my granddaughters were in National Cheer Competition.  On the way down, with gale force winds trying to push us off the highway, we made a note of the fact that the Red River was almost totally dry at the point where we crossed.  You can believe us when we say we are in a drought.

As we drove through Minco, Oklahoma on Hwy 81 South we could see miles of wind mills.  NextEra has acquired land rights to about 9,000 acres with 65 property owners. The Grady County wind farm will have 62 turbines each with a maximum generating capacity of 1.6MW which  gives the wind farm about 100 megawatts of power capacity at the end of 2011.  Their size gives them the impression of monster wind mills.  When we came by, going home after dark the next day, instead of seeing the windmills you see red blinking lights across the horizon.

The girls had their competition at the Dallas Convention Center, downtown Dallas.  Believe it or not the center was built about half way around an old Pioneer cemetery.  The old and often crooked tombstones rise from the grass in the shade of lots of great old trees.  This gives a nice place to sit and think, wander around and read the names and dates of the deceased, or just stop and take pictures.

And finishing the day off and leaving downtown you pass the famous grassy knoll and the spot where President Kennedy was shot.  It’s hard to imagine such an awful event happened on this mildly curving downtown street.  On this day a group of protestors on some sort of quest, were making a lot of noise on the knoll,  but not enough to even make cars slow down.

I Need Another 50 Years

I was watching a commercial about frozen fish and got to thinking about when I was a child, my dad would go fishing and if he kept them, would come home and clean them. What a mess. Scales all over the sink, a fishy smell and it seems there would always be a bone or two that were left in the cooked fish.

My mom killed and cleaned a chicken if they had one. Can you imagine most of the football watching, over zealous businessmen or men with working out on their mind, standing in the kitchen today cleaning fish? I know in places like Alaska and a few other places that they probably do that on a daily basis but not the majority. I was also thinking about how we did not have instant news, telling us what is going on all over the world. Sometimes it was days before word got around about happenings across the ocean. I feel like we are very spoiled but very, very lucky living in a world like we do. There are some bad things in todays world, like you can’t let your kids go trick or treating alone, there are kid snatchers who should be locked away forever, and on, and on. My granddaughters would just lay down and throw a fit if they had to walk to school and back home! I look at my laptop and wish I could live another 50 years so I could see and use all the great things that will be invented. It is definitely more interesting today as far as electronics go. Life is more hurried than the 40s that’s for sure but you know air conditioning sure is nice in the summer and I love colored TV.

When I was a kid and we got our first TV (black and white of course) we also got this piece of plastic that was tinted blue on the top, a yellowish in the middle and green at the bottom. You taped it over the standard size screen and it helped you imagine it was colored TV, at least until you were viewing an living room scene behind the green part…LOL what a hoot.

The Great 5 and Dime

Have you ever heard of a store called F. W. Woolworths or Kress?  Well let me tell you it was a 5 & dime store where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents. They had rows and rows of counters with sections full of the neatest things from makeup to toys, home and school supplies. You could buy change purses and jigsaw puzzles, craft patterns and coloring books, crayons, bobby pins, combs, a tea kettle, or a strainer. The merchandise they carried was of standard quality. They specialized in supplies for housewares, sewing, cooking, light hardware, toys, etc. They were the direct predecessors to K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. They seemed, to a kid, to have one of everything in the world.  Then the peace de resistance, a soda fountain.

A long, long counter with stools that revolved and they would make you a sandwich, and a coke or a piece of pie.  The sandwiches were almost always of an egg type, i.e., egg salad, ham salad, etc.  They made banana splits and ice cream sundaes of all sorts.  We loved to take a break from shopping and have a fountain coke in a glass of ice.

The dime stores with a soda fountain had glassware with special shapes that you could never forget.

Most of these type of stores had hard wood floors and after years and years of foot traffic, they had ruts where the traffic was heaviest.

Woolworths, building with white awning and red sign across front

As you can see from the pictures, these were very large stores which meant tons of items. About 170,000 different items were sold in these stores. Life was simple but full of excitement when we went downtown.

Kress store

If you remember these stores, do you remember buying one of these items:

The old frog clicker

Kid pilot wings

“Ollie, ollie, oxenfree”

My grandkids asked what games we played in the 40s.  I had to take a minute and think about that one.  When you are making up your own games with your own rules and very little objects to play with, you have to think.  We sure had no computers, cell phones, or ipods.  Do you remember how we used to pick which game we were going to play?  Decisions were made by going ‘eeny-meeny-miney-moe’.

-There was the “Clothes Pins in the Bottle” game:

Place a milk bottle (or other jar with a small opening) on the ground or floor. Let each kid try dropping ten clothespins into the bottle. See who can make the best score. Note: Yes, you can still buy clothespins in the supply section of most grocery stores.  This was fun and played a lot at parties, along with spin the bottle when we were a little older.  If you don’t know what spin the bottle is, you don’t need to hear it from me.

-Hide and Seek  and when the game was to be over we yelled “ollie, ollie oxenfree”.  Remember that?

Jacks played on someones cement front porch kept us occupied for hours.  My friend, who lived around the block had the best, smooth front porch.

-Hopscotch was great fun when we could find some chalk.

-My Dad had a huge collection of Lionel Trains with buildings and bridges, little trees, etc that was spread out on the upstairs floor.  My brother and I would run that train and had more fun pretending.  My dad had a car that dumped barrels off, one that had a door that opened and shut, and a bunch that did other things.  What fun!!

Monopoly was a great board game when we got big enough to count money and read cards.  We also played Clue.  I loved that game because I loved murder mysteries.

-Of course all kids had a pair of Skates and usually a scraped knee or two if you were a beginner.

-Rode Bicycles  – Do you remember how playing cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle?

-Sand Box – I loved my sand box.  Dad had put a roof on it so the sand stayed just right.

Swing from a tree limb was a must.

-I have already mentioned listening to the radio in the evenings.  Daytime was outside time.  No one stayed in side unless you were sick or the weather was bad.

-card games


-Jump rope

-We went to the movies every Saturday morning

-And when we got old enough to get a library card, we went to the county library and read books or checked them out.

-We read comic books a lot and my favorite was Archie.

Boy do I wish I had saved a trunk load of those comics.  Have you seen what they go for these days?

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