Leather Saddles, Plastic Turkeys, and Sundaes

My Dog Ate a Lightbulb

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In the town where I grew up, we planned our shopping trips and errands around the odd hours that the businesses kept. The banks, stores, and offices all closed at noon on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but the retail stores stayed open until 9:00 p.m. on Thursday nights. That was the day to walk down the crowded sidewalks, stopping to  chat with a neighbor, just being out and about.

We are often fooled by our cherished memories: childhood homes that mysteriously shrunk from the size we thought they were; candy bars we loved when we were 10 now taste like over-sweetened wax.

I have no delusions about my hometown, though. I’ve returned a few times to find a depressing business district. Although the city does keep the parks up and has added attractive street lamps, the main street is no longer the vibrant shopping hub it was before they built the…

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