Houses with antenna


Old Jokes

October 20, 2015

Tomorrow’s Sleeper Ave. story is kind of a silly one. Those of a certain age will recall the black humor the nuclear arms race inspired. Somewhere in my bookcase is a cheery pamphlet from the 1950s of early 60s with upbeat instructions for surviving a nuclear attack, illustrated with cute cartoon drawings. The whole thing has a quaint “don’t worry–be happy” quality that I’ve always found bizarre. Without giving away more than I already have, I hope you’re amused by tomorrow’s little tale.

Now to some old business. I’ve been negligent in passing along reader comments for the past few weeks. Here are some of them:

First, Howie just found Sleeper Ave. online, and sent this nice note:

Hi, Ed- I just discovered you and your strip from a reference at Comic Strip of the Day. We’re all from the same era and same mind set and I look forward to receiving more of your stuff from the subscription I also just began.

Which reminds me: if you love comics and cartooning, Mike Peterson’s Comic Strip of the Day is a must read. Bookmark it.

Sandra Mae has this to say about my story about Rosa Parks:


I guess I was a backwards kid as I thought the bus deal was that I could not sit in back of bus—I sat in back when I rode bus to downtown library and the driver told us ( my sister & me) that we were not allowed to sit there–never told why—told we had to sit up front—thought it was because we were kids & the big people just wanted to keep an eye on us (to see we were behaving)—I wanted to sit there because I was told, no!—thought it was wrong to not allow people to sit where they wanted—

Larry adds:

My form of non-violent protest was to go deliberately to the back of the bus and sit with the black patrons.

I also sent money from my teenage allowance to the SCLC, but my mother refused to let me go off to join the Freedom Rides and other activities.  That is a measure of my age, of course, but my parents like yours were worried about the kinds of trouble that the Civil Rights Movement could cause.

My parents also were afraid that being too vocal about civil rights would cause trouble for me, which I didn’t understand, as they privately seethed at the injustice.

Donald said:

I think we can date the official beginning of the civil rights movement to the brutal kidnapping torture and murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi just the year before Rosa Parks made her stand (sit). Martin Luther King is the last great orator of this country. His words ring with truth to this day. Hate the sin; love the sinner.

King asked for an end to poverty, and this could have been done. Instead we perpetuate hate & division. Republicans are proud of lifting themselves up by the bootstraps, something they do not do in reality, and King replied the Negro would love to do so, but his boots were ripped and torn away centuries ago; give them boots, and the Negro will do so, given the opportunity. Civil rights walked hand in hand with the Counter Culture, equality and no more war, the Negro paid a high dear price in blood for the white country. One day, perhaps, we will see an end of the very real Concept of Perpetual Human Stupidity (credit to Johnny Hart).

Rita also liked it:

The best you’ve ever done. I’ve got goosebumps!

The previous story, “The Old Men on the Porch,” also drew a number of comments.

From Laurie:

Oh table, looks like home to me. Similar memories about the Yiddish conversations, but ours were about family feuds and health issues I think, not the war.


Good story, Ed. Brought a tear to my eye.

Elizabeth said:

The first time I heard about the war was when I was quite young and my grandfather sent me a newspaper clipping of a ship with a little girl on it. He said that the ship was going to Palestine and the little girl looked like me. I didn’t understand anything and the adults around me wouldn’t talk about it. That picture has always haunted me although it disappeared a long time ago (even though my memory’s reconstruction of the photo is probably not entirely accurate).

My memory is not nearly as heart-rending as yours sounds, though I’m sure every child had their own “first exposure” – one that has always stayed with them.


Sad material, but great story telling. Sitting outside in July. In Waco. No a/c. Yikes.


Thanks for this one, Ed. I could see the pictures without your even drawing them, and hear the voices too.

Finally, R.C. had this to say about the “Short Wave Radio” story:

I used to hang out with a friend at Sloan’s Lake. I lived in Edgewater so it was just a short ride by bicycle. Sometimes, we’d get invited to go out on a boat with the guy who toured the lake daily, picking up debris. But one day, another guy struck up a conversation with us. He had a short wave radio in his car, and he showed us how it worked. His call name/number was “PW,” so he referred to himself as “Peter Williams.” Dunno if that was his real name; probably not. He showed up one other time; then we never saw him again. And I never saw a short wave radio again either.

Thanks for all your comments, and tune in tomorrow.