Things That Made Me Smile As A Kid:
The end of every Cub Scout meeting.
Wearing a baseball uniform.
Avoiding Rudy Kemper in dodgeball.
An open-faced hot turkey sandwich on the elementary school lunch menu for twenty-five cents.
Doing six hip twirls with a hula hoop.
Rocking the baby with a Duncan.
A pogo stick.
Watching a Slinky slink down a staircase.
My cool blue Pez dispenser.
Any Dave Clark Five song.
Drake’s Ring Dings.
The bus ride home from school.
A Pittsburgh Pirates’ win.
Mom’s spaghetti and meatballs.
My Zorro lunch box.
The Ed Sullivan Show, except for Topo Gigio.
The mailman bringing me the new Sporting News.
The Kramdens and the Nortons.
Bobby Hull’s slapshot.
Joe Namath, shoulders slumped, barking signals over center.
WMCA radio “Good Guys.”
The OCD melody of the Good Humor truck.
Cassius Clay on a rant.
Toody and Muldoon on Car 54 patrol.
Herman Munster’s laugh.
Anticipation the night before summer sleepaway camp begins.
The first night after summer camp ends sleeping in my own bed again.
Grandpa slipping me $10 every weekend.
Carvel swirling in a cup.
Playing catch with Dad on the side of the house.
Elbowing my brothers every time we walked past each other.
Watching Mom and her friends play mahjong. Four bam, three dot, whatever that means.
The smell of my grandmother’s latkes frying.
School canceled for snow.
Reading the Long Island Press sports section.
Going to the bowling alley, Bowlerama, on Tuesday nights with Dad and his friends.
Any baseball players’ autograph.
Howard Cosell’s Speaking of Sports, every morning at 7:25 am, on WABC radio.
The New York World’s Fair in 1964-65. Eat at the Brass Rail.
A hamburger, fries and egg cream at Bernie’s luncheonette.
A black & white ice cream soda at Jahn’s.
Going out to dinner on Sunday night, every Sunday night, with the family.
A phone in my room.
Taking the Long Island Railroad to New York City.
Christmas week on Miami Beach.
NY Daily News sports columnist Dick Young.
Patty and Cathy Lane. Identical cousins, different as night and day.
Jackie Vernon on Ed Sullivan.
Vaughn Meader impersonating JFK.
Adjusting the red in Superman’s cape with our new Zenith color TV.
Perry White. Great Caesar’s ghost!
Uncle Martin, my favorite Martian.
Don Rickles. The GOAT.
To Tell The Truth and What’s My Line.
The Match Game with Gene Rayburn, too.
An aging Casey Stengel trying to explain why the ‘62 Mets were so bad and forgetting his players’ names.
Cousin Brucie and Dandy Dan Ingram.
Sergeants Bilko and Carter.
Broderick Crawford on Highway Patrol. 10-4.
Abbott and Costello.
The Three Stooges, except with Joe Besser.
The enormity of Wilt Chamberlain and Haystacks Calhoun.
Jim Nabors. Wondering how someone who talks like that can also sing like that?
Hullabaloo and Shindig.
Playing two-handed pinochle at the kitchen table with my friend Phil.
A Roberto Clemente baseball card.
Laura Petrie and Mary Tyler Moore. Va-va-va-voom!
What did I forget?