By Neal Murphy

“America’s First Documented Ghost” By Neal Murphy

October 8, 2021 - How many of you readers believe in ghosts? How many are on the fence about this? How do we reconcile accounts of ghost sightings by honest, reputable people who evidently witnessed a strange event? I have never witnessed a ghost sighting personally, but have, I believe, been visited by angels, but that’s another story.

Among the strangest ghost stories ever recorded happened in the unlikely state of Maine. I have nothing against Maine, but I do believe that if I were a ghost I would select a more populated area should I want to reveal myself.

“The Steering Wheel Knob – Where Is It?” By Neal Murphy

August 20, 2021 - I purchased my first car in 1955 after my sister, Evelyn, loaned me the down payment. The car was a 1950 Chevrolet two-door with fender skirts, a sun visor, and an automatic transmission. I always referred to the transmission as “slush-matic drive” as it was rather sluggish on the takeoff. One final amenity was added to my chariot – a brodie knob on the steering wheel.

“Where Have Shoeshine Stands Gone?” By Neal Murphy

August 13, 2021 - When I was a kid growing up in the small town of San Augustine, Texas in the 1940s and 1950s, I recall our town having at least two shoeshine stands. They were located inside two barbershops in the downtown area. Mr. Stephenson owned a shoe repair shop where he worked with all kinds of leather goods including saddles and harnesses. He would also put a shine on shoes that he had repaired with new leather soles. Mr. Crawford had a shoe repair shop on the east side of the courthouse.

“Why Are Porch Ceilings Painted Blue?” By Neal Murphy

July 30, 2021 - In my younger days I occasionally hung wallpaper and painted in a few of the very old homes around East Texas. Two things I noted about these old homes: one, they always had large porches, some completely surrounding the home; and two, the porch ceilings were usually painted a light blue. As we know, porches have just about disappeared on the new homes built today, or else a front porch is like an afterthought. Why is that?


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