Most of us have a coterie of email friends we communicate with on a regular basis.
My friends and I share comical videos, human interest stories, and rage against anything with “Democrat” as the subject.
Quite often we run across those emails titled “remember when.”
Most of these emails recall the things we encountered in our youth: Pepsi bottles with stoppers in them for wetting shirts for ironing and pictures of the small bottle of Monkey’s Blood many a child dreaded after a skinned knee accident. Yes, we used to ride skateboards as well as Schwinn Stingrays without full body armor.
Monkey’s Blood was the penalty.
In a recent email of this genre was the usual banter about the “good old days” and a thread of pictures.
At the top of the thread were the colored Easter chicks once sold seasonally in almost every store or pet shop.
Now, let’s be honest and admit that not everything about the “good old days” was glorious. At that time in our history, parents could buy a whining child a purple Easter chick that was sure to face a premature demise.
It was under these circumstances that my mother relented and purchased two Easter chicks for me when I was about 6 years old. I named them Yogi and Boo-Boo.
Cute little chicks you could hold in your hand soon lost their spray-painted plumage and became big white roosters. Yogi was a massive creature, and true to the cartoon character, the smaller Boo-Boo became his partner in crime. They ruled the back yard during the summer of 1961.
The roosters and I had quite a friendship, likely because of my role as provider. They would flock to me, circling around me clucking and prancing.
Neighbors didn’t appreciate their serenade at first light, but my father, being a generational Galvestonian, would say that back in the day, just about everyone had a chicken coop to survive.
Yogi and Boo-Boo seemed to know my father was a comrade and was thus granted passage to the yard. Such was not the case for my mother.
We had built a small pen and coop for them, but when the roosters saw my mother walk from the back door of the house to the garage to wash clothes, they would always get out and chase her. My father was amused by the show, and her screaming further encouraged Yogi and Boo-Boo. Somehow, they knew that Mom was raised in the country and her mother had run a successful egg and chicken business supplying many of their kind for Sunday dinners in Walker County.
What they didn’t know was that my mother had grown up handling unruly roosters.
After a particularly harrowing attack while she was hanging up clothes one day, Yogi and Boo-Boo were taken to visit Mr. Davis at his market over by Menard Park where they would be happier with the other chickens.
But during the summer of 1961, Yogi and Boo-Boo ruled the back yard.
John Dundee lives in Galveston.