Submitted by Neal Murphy

The Pay Telephone by Neal Murphy

July 31, 2020 - Teenagers today don’t know much about pay telephones. They have telephones in their room at home, and cell phones to take with them everywhere they go. They are never without the means of communicating with their friends. It was not that way when I was in college in the mid 1950s. Dial phones were relatively new, and a cell phone was just something in the mind of the writer of Dick Tracy. The pay telephone was about the only means of communicating with friends, family, and significant others during my stint in a boarding house near the campus of Stephen F.

The Addiction by Neal Murphy

July 23, 2020 - I suppose than anyone can get addicted to anything. People get addicted to alcohol, drugs, shopping, and all kinds of other things. My addiction happens to be to popcorn.

It started at an early age. My parents used to popcorn in a deep skillet with a lid. They usually put a bit of butter in with the oil and shake the skillet until the corn was all popped, except for a few “old maids.” I got addicted to that wonderfully tasting corn which has lasted a lifetime.

Piano Mini-Recitals Held

July 21, 2020 - Clara Murphy could not have the traditional recitals this spring due to the pandemic. Four private piano recitals were held in the studio in Murphy’s home in the Butts Addition. Masks and social distancing were utilized.

On June 29, 2020 Charlisa Teagle played her pieces for friends and family. Prelude in C by Bach and Canon in D by Pachebel were played on the piano. Tarantella was played on Murphy’s large church organ in her studio.

Wearing The Mask by Neal Murphy

July 16, 2020 - Well, I finally gave in to the urging of all our public officials – I am now wearing a mask out in public. I resisted for a time as my mind flew back to the 1940s when, as a kid, I watched movies at the Augus Theatre of cowboys who sometimes wore masks. It seemed that every cowboy had a large silk rag around his neck. The ones who robbed banks and stage coaches pulled their rag up over their noses while committing their dastardly deeds.

The Hot Water Heater by Neal Murphy

July 10 2020 - Before my father, Cecil, entered county politics in 1938, he was a painting and paperhanging contractor.  He worked with his father, Felix, and his younger brother, Marvin.  The trio had worked in most of the early homes in San Augustine, either painting or hanging wallpaper.  Dad recalled several times to me an incident that occurred around 1929 and was amused by it.

“Attack Of The Gerbil” By Neal Murphy

June 25, 2020 - Around 1965 a new store opened in the Meyerland area of Houston, Texas near where we lived. It was a new kind of store, a forerunner of K-Mart or Wal-Mart. It was a “Sage” store, massive in its size, and contained most anything any shopper would need. The only thing different was that you had to “join” the club in order to shop there. I recall the price was somewhere around $15.00 per year for the privilege to shop, and you had to show your ID card in order to enter.

My First Dog by Neal Murphy

June 19, 2020 - It has been said that a dog is man’s best friend. If that is the case, then it should follow that a dog would be a young boy’s best friend. I am convinced that the best scenario is when a young boy adopts a puppy and they both grow up together. They are companions, pals, and playmates. I can testify that this can be the case.

“The Chigger Fighter” by Neal Murphy

June 12, 2020 - The worst thing about the East Texas summer isn’t sunburn, heat or humidity – its chiggers. They were commonly called “red bugs” when I was growing up during the 1940’s and 1950’s. There were times when I went fishing and the next day those annoying red bumps began to appear on my legs and torso. Then the itch began, and grew in intensity. From my feet and ankles upward, and especially at those tender locations my mother told me not to scratch in public, the maddening itch took hold. The itch would last for days, and even weeks.

Day’s Work by Neal Murphy

June 4, 2020 - Growing up in East Texas in the 1940s kept me pretty well sheltered from the problems of the large cities like Houston and Dallas. “Naive” might be a more descriptive word for me during those days. But occasionally, I would venture into uncharted waters.


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