Lightbulb: Off

Feb 22nd, 2010 Posted in reflections | 2 Comments »

"Dad & Sister Easy Bake" image by shazam791/tlk

Today a memorial service was held for Ronald Howes, Sr. If the name Ronald Howes doesn’t ring a bell, his claim to fame surely will. Mr. Howes was the inventor of Kenner’s Easy-Bake Oven, and he died last Tuesday.

I never had an Easy-Bake Oven, and I was envious of my friends who did. But why didn’t I have one, and why was I jealous?

By second grade – when the Easy-Bake was all the rage – I was already cooking attempting to cook. In fact, my mom was the one who told me I didn’t need an Easy-Bake Oven, because I was already making “real” food. She was right. But the Easy Bake Oven undoubtedly inspired lots of little kids to bake. I can easily remember the plastic smell of the little brownies that my friends made under that 100-watt light bulb.

Instead of an Easy-Bake Oven, I had an Incredible Edibles kit that made gooey, gummy worms and insects to eat.

Kenner’s Easy-Bake Oven has been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Incredible Edibles, incredulously, has not.

Crossing the Mississippi at Dusk

Jun 24th, 2006 Posted in road trips | 2 Comments »

I turned when I crossed, and I saw a silvery Gateway Arch with a blush of a sunset background. You’d think I’d take a picture, but no. My camera has been acting strange, and I’ve only been able to get one shot per day.

The shot I chose for today is this one:

I lived in this house when I was around 4 or 5 years old, maybe 6 (I started kindergarten when I lived in this house). I first heard the Beatles and Nancy Sinatra when I lived here. I had a few early mornings with my dad trying to teach me how to ride a bicycle here (we weren’t successful until we moved to Chicago). I remembered me and my friend Hugh getting in trouble for taking the “long way” to school on the “busy road.”

That road is no longer busy, if it ever was. But what I can’t believe is that I was allowed to walk to school (and to the Huntington Swimming Pool) more or less alone.

It’s somewhat of a wonderment I had no difficulty finding this house. I found “Creve Coeur” and “Olive St” on the St. Louis inset of a Missouri map. That’s it. I lived there forty freakin’ years ago, and the landscape has changed entirely. It was absolutely unrecognizable. Yet I took a series of long-forgotten right turns, and there I was. How did I know how to get here? It was oddly instinctual; I’ve not felt such a thing for a long time.

And I spent about an hour tonight fixing my camera. Let’s hope I get more than one shot tomorrow.