Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 22, 2014

RAY DAY: Reader tells his stories

Kokomo Tribune

---- — One of my readers sent me a mes­sage of thanks for the things I write about in my columns. His name is Don, and he said what I write takes him back to those good old days when, in his childhood, he worked for Merrill Moore — pushing the little ice cream cart over the southern part of Kokomo and trying not to eat his profits before cashing in at the end of the long day.

On Saturdays he was usually at the Palace theater, watching the cowboy movies. He remembers walking home to South Delphos Street in the dark after watching a scary movie, whistling all the way and looking down dark alleys to be sure the Wolfman was not waiting for him.

He remembers going out to Kokomo Creek, between the golf course east to Izaak Walton, to fish and swim on warm days, cooking fish over a fire with a stick and drinking water from the artesian wells along the creek.

He wondered if anyone remembers the motor scooter oval on Home Avenue, across from the Chrysler Plant, owned by Johnny Eades. The scooters were named after the Seven Dwarves.

He remembers the Opalescent Glass Factory, where he would search in the rejected glass for beautiful marbles of all colors, and going out to Ruziki Airport (now Maple Crest) and watching the airplane barnstormers. He said he saw the first parachute jump there.

That was just a small collection of what my memories bring back to him. He said he enjoys the things I write about and to please keep writing more. Don lives in another state now, but Kokomo always will have a place in his heart.

Well, Don, you can take this to the bank: I will always try to bring back to everyone what those good old days meant to me. Without them, I would just be a dull old man waiting to get my call. There are hundreds of stories left in this old man’s memories and sharing them with all of you, with the help of this wonderful newspaper, keeps me young. It has been a blessing for me to be able to relate to everyone about my family, both then and now, and the great things that were there then but not anymore.

There are millions of stories out there, if one just opens the memory banks to the children of today and to the ones coming up. Memories are things that should be shared, not hidden in a drawer or in an old scrapbook that no one sees.

So, Don, you made my day with your message of thanks, and I appreciate you saying so. As this young old man walks the path given to him by God, he will continue to think back in his book of memories those great days of old and even some heartbreaks of life he has had.

If I help you remember yours, then I am truly blessed.

My weekly columns are stored on my website, and my story of our daughter’s last five months on this earth is there too — as are some great links to sports, Kokomo history, and some pictures of Pearl Harbor. I go back once in a while to read them because even this old man has times when he needs to remember.

Yes, there were some tough times back then, but really times are tough these days too.

Life does not stand still. Neither do I.

Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at uncleray@earthlink.net.