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I still remember my mother telling my stepfather “your old men shall dream, dreams, your young men shall see visions”; every time my stepfather would talk about the good old days or what he should have done, when he was a younger man. In November, I will be 64 years old, am I following this pattern?

I can still remember sleeping with the windows open for that fresh nightly breeze, being awakened in the morning by the milkman's bottles of milk clanging as he picked up the empties, retrieved his money from the envelope and left a couple of bottles of milk. On Sunday's Mr. Chesnick always came knocking on our door to receive his $1.58 weekly payment ,that I'm sure my parents had been paying for years. That carrying charge was a killer. Other than utilities and rent; that was about all the credit my parents had. You see back then, you had to prove to the bank that you did not need the money, had a substantial savings account, before you could even see a loan officer.

We had a rare family reunion about three years ago when my mother passed away. It was at the funeral where I saw the family exchange emails because they did not know the next time the family would get together .That was sad because I can remember my family visiting the family mechanic , Uncle Benny, whenever that complex automotive repair job came up. It was always the same price, a six pack of Texas Pride. Our family consisted of a lot of plumbers, carpenters, cement finishers, and all types of semiskilled workers, which knew the weekends were for paying back that free labor they received months ago. That family tradition died before I got back from the service in 1968. It was at that funeral, where I overheard my nieces and nephews talk about dealerships services and the contractors who installed their cabinets and carpets. I looked around the room and could not find any plumbers, carpenters or cement finishers. Now, if I ever want that six- speaker surround sound, I have an energetic nephew that works for Best Buy in Sugar Land for 30% less than the store would charge. That's about it.

Even though I remember the water fountains in the old Sears' building that were clearly marked “white only” and “colored”, and the segregated Downtown and EL Rancho movie theaters ,I don't remember spending much time there. I have always been proud of the fact that Victoria integrated without any fanfare or incidents.

I do remember my parents covering us kids up with a blanket ,to hide us from the ticket taker, as they paid general admissions for two adults before entering the Lone Tree Drive Inn. As we pulled up to our parking space, all I could see were children springing up from all sorts of places behind their pickups. I've always wondered if that was the norm.

About five years ago a neighbor from down the street was arrested for a domestic dispute which took about an hour and four police officers to apprehend him. It reminded me of a neighbor we had that waited until Sunday to do all his drinking for the week. This particular Sunday(back in the late 50s or mid 60s )his wife had to call Officer Willie Hill because her husband was verbally abusing her. As Officer Willie Brown approached, my neighbor started cussing him, calling him by name because everyone knew Officer Willie Brown. Willie Hill surveyed the situation, looked around smiled and winked in our direction, assuring everyone watching that everything was going to be OK. He must have talked to my neighbor for least 30 minutes convincing him that he needed to sleep it off, for the rest of the day. They don't make too many police officers like Willie Hill, anymore.