On one hand it really doesn't seem like 1964 was all that long ago.

On the other hand when I see that little boy in my imagination sitting on that linoleum floor in that little farm house eating a bowl of Wheaties and watching Captain 11 after school, well, it seems closer to Laura Ingalls Wilder than to today.

1964. Quite a year.

1) It's a Sunday evening, the cows are milked, the pigs are fed and there we all are in front of the black and white TV, my dad, my mom, my brother and me. It's time for the Ed Sullivan Show and that's when it happen's. The Beatles. My dad's jaw doesn't break when it hit the floor, but I'm pretty sure it's well bruised. My mom just shakes her head. Me and my brother? We love it. Just love it.

2) Jake rumble's that 'ol school bus down the gravel roads around Leota, stopping at the Wynia's, the Dooyema's, the Kroontje's, the Vasenhout's and Vander Linden's. If there's a farm around Leota and that farm had little rug rat's runnin' around it, Jake  stop's. I think he like's me best. He always has me sit right up front beside him.

3) The United States doesn't have a Vice-President this year. Nope. We're still walking around Leota with heavy heart's thinking about what happened last November. The letters changed, from JFK to LBJ, and there's no Vice-President. But next year HHH will be Vice-President.

4) Church is always full in Leota. And the men and boys wear suits and the women and girls all wear dresses. Mom put's a little of that special Mama spit on her hankie to get that last patch of hair to sit nice on my head. Everyone sit's in the exact same spot week after week after week. And we eat in church, my brother and me, my Dad made sure of that. What's on the menu? Peppermints.

5) A stamp cost a nickel. So whatever it was you're going to send in the mail, it doggone well better be important. Money doesn't grow on trees ya know.

6) When the phone rings at our house, the neighbors also pick up the receiver. And when the phone rings at our neighbors houses, my Mom pick's up our receiver. It's called a party line kids, and a bunch of neighbors are on it, a kind of internet for the rural neighborhood, all with different phone 'rings'. Our's is '3 shorts'. When our phone rings 3 short times, that's Grandma from Edgerton calling. Your's might be a 'short and a long' or '2 longs' or something else.

7) The New York Yankees didn't win the World Series! Yea! But then neither did my Minnesota Twins. Oh well, there's always next year. (Which, by the way, they did go to the World Series! But...those dastardly Dodgers!)

8) Dad turned 44, Mom turned 38. I can see them at that age still. Good American timber, those two. I miss them still.