Lloyd Woods' Newsletter

Our Claim to Fame is Our Name's the Same!

Issue No. 7, September 1995

A Close Call

Back in my high school days during the War I worked afternoons and some evenings as a soda jerk at Schriener's Drug Store. One winter afternoon before quitting, Al (the owner) told me to turn on the water heater. Next day, arriving at work I was severely castigated (how's that for a word) for trying to kill them all! Seems Al had bought the cheaper model water heater with no pilot light and no customers had come in 'til late that evening. The place was filled with gas. Why he and Bob, the other soda jerk, didn't smell it I'll never know.

Carpool Again

Mike was, as another member described him, a "forty year old teenager." Every morning it was tales of his conquest the night before with some member of the opposite sex. One day Mike gets on the Oprah Winfrey show debating the Indians who were upset over naming football teams after them. Mike held his own pretty well until he drew a parallel with his relationship with women. He really hit a nerve there and Oprah and some of the other women got real indignant. One lady stormed up to the stage to state that he didn't even belong in the human race if I remember correctly! I taped the show but loaned it out to some local lasses so they could be forewarned too.

Membership Drive

Got a new set of telephone disks and found 15 more Lloyd Wood's, so sent each a copy of the last newsletter along with the infamous card. The Post Office returned four as "Unknown" and one, Lloyd C. Wood of Scranton, Iowa, as "Deceased." Another middle name lost to the ages! Received no replies from the rest unfortunately.

Cuckoo's Nest

Back in Vallejo many years ago a neighbor and good friend, Bill Partridge, was a distributor for 7-Up. Always carried a big feather duster in his back pocket when setting up displays. One day, while so engaged, he was bent over doing his thing and a scantily clad female was across the aisle checking something on a lower shelf. Somebody backed up. The aim was true and the feather duster dusted the feathers of her cuckoos nest so to speak. (I got that gem from Tobias Smollet's "Humphrey Clinker" if memory serves me correctly.) There was a scream. The manager came running to see what the commotion was. Huh? Bill never knew what hit him! He claimed it was worse than having the three destroyers sunk from under him in WW II.

Frustrations

Went to a computer show last month and some guy was selling old cameras. Spotted a small press camera similar to one I had years ago. Temptation and good sense got the better of me and I bought it. Still haven't been able to find film for it let alone a lens hood or other accessories. Everything is 35mm these days, like it or not. I used to get slides with my 127 reflex that make 35mm slides puny by comparison but try and find that film anymore either.

Some of these people being laid off in corporate downsizing should look into catering to our desire to use older equipment. Some still enjoy the challenge of being in control and not having an electronic chip make all the decisions.

Pills

I'm up to eight pills a day plus sludge, while the wife only has two. Son John takes eleven all at the same time! One type was costing over $40 at the clinic every month. One day they were closed so he went to a chain drugstore. They charged him $224.99 for the same thing! Ouch. No wonder medical costs are breaking the country. Maybe we ought to turn off the pills and the taxes at age 80 and say "You're on your own" after that. Not much fun getting old anyway.

Musical Memories

I guess I was about the smallest kid in town when I started high school in 1941. Mr. Pebbles started me out on a valve trombone but was in need of a sousaphone player as Carl Christensen was a senior. The first year I had to rest it on an old high-backed chair during practice. One day, oompahing away, I got carried away with the march we were playing, leaned back, and over she went with a crash! Sure didn't need any cymbals for that piece! The last year or so Mr. Pebbles managed to find an even smaller kid to fill out the bass section. Carl went into the Army and was killed in Normandy on D-Day. He was a real fine person.

Post Office Tales

During the War I also delivered special deliveries, morning, noon, and after school up to a mile radius from the Post Office. The town only had one bridge and invariably the letters went to the far corners of the town, all for 9 cents each.

One morning delivery brought me to a house with a glassed-in porch. A comely lass opened the inside door, stuck her head out, and asked if I couldn't just leave the letter. Nope. Had to have a signature. In desperation, she pranced out in disgust in her undies. Didn't get a tip but didn't see that sort of thing very often either.

During the summer I got to drive the truck - one of those old Model A's. We got the mail delivered but not without a few mishaps along the way like backing up into a car stopped behind me. Eventually I learned how to drive but the postmaster and his assistant aged a bit.

When I got back from the army I had several months before the second semester started in February. The rural route carrier was out sick so I delivered with Dad's old Plymouth, no chains, and sitting on the right-hand side. Lot of snow that winter and I managed to slide into a farmer's mail box about once a week. Every one of them had a big black dog that greeted me when I had to take the mail up to the house. One, an old fox terrier (fortunately with no teeth), leaped up when the lady opened the door and got me - well, you know where. Close call!

Last Issue

Afraid I've about run out of stories and what not, so I'm going to have to hang up my keyboard at least as far as this effort is concerned.

We don't believe you! - LW

It's been fun and at least my grandkids will know I was somewhat of a character if not a real first class nut. I'll try to keep in touch with those of you that had similar interests and if I should think of something else to write about or get some material from the rest of you I'll put out a special issue. (I have one story so far.) Thanks again for your kind letters.


A newsletter to all Lloyd Woods, by Lloyd William Wood, or LWW.
HTML web version and additional comments by Lloyd Wood (L.Wood@surrey.ac.uk), or LW.