The good ole days: “A Wonderful Life”


Childhood memories make great Christmas stocking stuffers. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been slacking with a severe case of Hawaiian punch. “No, I’ve not been drinking a television commercial folks.” A recent childhood best friend revealed to me via email that, I’ve been slacking on the blog lately and “I’ve been deadbeat slow,” as he said, from Maui, Hawaii, where he now lives with his girlfriend Naomi.

The two recently, moved to Maui during and settled for some prime sand off the coast of Maui. But, all this slacking has given me, a 360 degree dose of Writer’s and blogger’s block these past few weeks – even though, I’ve been trying to work on a Christmas theme type blog piece – but, getting the right inspiring thought and topic, hadn’t been the greatest use of my writing and blogging time – most of it, still has to do with the recent death of my dog back in October.

Now, about that childhood memory – Even, Garrett is watching my blog closely from Maui, just to make sure, I’m blogging and writing, not slacking like an idiot! “Slimy beach bastard..!” “No, pun dude, just a laugh jerker from the Northwest, it ain’t easy when you run out of topics to write about, blogging-wise.”

One of the childhood memories, Garret brought up during a recent email exchange between the two of us from his home in Hawaii was, the way we used to play to play together as kids, in the likes of being “Firemen!” It was during the early 1970’s, when a popular television show was shown weekly, on NBC called “Emergency!” The series changed the lives of children watching an action drama series about two fictional Los Angeles County Fire Department Paramedics, “John Gage and Roy Desoto” and their friends of the fictional L.A. County Fire Station 51 in Carson City, Ca., just outside of Los Angeles.

Garrett, Myself and a few other neighborhood boys used to play Firemen, all the time and used my parents green sofa as the basis of a “hook and ladder truck,” at the time. I started to shed some tears, as I read his email and reflected a flashback of the time, which suddenly came alive as I continued to read his email. I had forgotten about the memory of us playing firemen together and several of our friends in the early 1970’s. “How, in the hell, a blogger and writer like Me, would forgot such a childhood memory in the course of my adult lifetime,” I asked myself while reading his email?

The silent voices from my head tell me – “Newton, you’re a friggin’ slacker of memory chips!” Go figures, I’m thinking, I must be a slacker idiot to begin with! Sheesh, thanks Jaros for mentioning it, by the way – “Your right, I have been slacking lately.”

But, the one thing for sure, the the drama series led to my career in being a volunteer firefighter and for more years, than, I can swing an axe with in my adult life today. In fact there’s a little history behind the “Station 51” on the show of “Emergency!” as it aired on NBC in the 1970’s. Something, that Garrett would be amazed about as he reads this blog post! “You didn’t think, I’d go that far did you dude?” “Figured that..!”

At the time, the Los Angeles County Fire Department didn’t have a “Station 51” at the time series was on the air, however, L.A. County Fire Station 127 was the “stand-in” at the time of the show. Decades, later, the very same fire station, which now operates as L.A.Co. Fire Dept., Station 127 and finally, the Fire Dept., built a real “Station 51” near Universal Studios with Engine 51, Squad 51 and Cart 51 at the Universal Lot and is a functional operating Fire Station of the L.A. Co. Fire Department – the tourist trams of the studio goes right by the fire station, I’m told and what I’ve heard and read about the history of behind Station 127 and Station 51.

The original apparatus’s used in the show have been retired from service and can be seen at the Los County Fire Department Museum in Los Angeles.

The memory of two Oregon boys, who became best friends for life with memories abound, hasn’t faded with one of them and the other still looses the charm of memory and slacking in his adult life of a memory childhood, nearly drained from the fuel tanks of life, has once again fueled his debate between choices of life.

I haven’t heard such stories of my childhood for years and decades to that have gone by without notice and fanfare. This particular memory, made me swell a few tears or gotten me into a little emotional little state of memory nearly lost in the memories of my childhood to adult life. It’s the reality of life, when your childhood was once a cherished memory – later in life in your adult lie it becomes a cherished memory the million dollar smile, that had been nearly forgotten.

It was 1970’s, when three young neighborhood boys became my best friends for life, Steven, David, Garret and I couldn’t have had a better childhood, than most of us would’ve imagined. Even though, we’ve gone separate ways in our adult lives and I still see Steve and David, occasionally via social media and in person.

Its one of those things in life that you utterly forget from time to time, until a close friend brings you the surprising gift of memory and later, you get it confirmed by your own mother. “An incredible journey of memory.” Some specific things, I utterly can remember, other’s have faded into the achieves of life.

Perhaps, this is what Christmas is all about? The castaway of life? The ultimate gift of life and memory? As George Bailey’s Guardian Angel, “Clarence” wrote in George’s Bible, in the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Remember, no man is a failure that has friends.” Clarence could be right all along in today’s reality of life. I couldn’t have agreed with Clarence on that statement, he made to George Bailey in his bible left atop a basket of money. Even, though, I would bet the dollar of bets, my own guardian angel would literally say the same thing, as if he or her were watching over my shoulder, while writing this blog post.

In fact, “it is a Wonderful Life,” as I come to think of it – “life can be the greatest test of all mankind,” even though, I’m still learning new things about my childhood, that has begotten me in my adult life. It’s all good and a great laugh track with a good friend on the islands.

Thanks for the buttercup of memory, dude, you just made the smiles of my Christmas in the memories of our childhood together – how inspiring can that be to one’s life as we grow older as Writers.

This blog article is Copyrighted by Jeff Newton@2012

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