Throwback Thursday — These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie said the she thought it would be fun to remember our adolescence and just think about a few of our favorite things.

Here are Maggie’s questions.

1) Who was your favorite relative? Not to play favorites, but who was the person you connected with more than others? Aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent, or parent? Why were you closest to them?

That would have been my cousin Mike, the son of my mother’s brother. He was six months younger than me and we spent almost every weekend together. He would either stay over at my place or I would stay over at his. Not only was he my cousin, he was my best friend.

2) What was your favorite TV show? Share a clip if you can find one.

When I was young, my father and I bonded over westerns like Gunsmoke, Have Gun-Will Travel, Wagon Train, Bonanza, and Maverick. I also loved Rocky and Friends, but my father didn’t.

3) What was your favorite book or favorite family story?

I used to be into The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries.

4) What was your favorite, song, record, or album. Feel free to share a YouTube video of it.

When I was really young, my favorite song was Jimmy Boyd’s “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” When I was an adolescent, I was really into Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

5) Who was your favorite teacher? What grade were you in and what subject did they teach?

That was probably Miss North, my 10th grade biology teacher. She was hot!

6) What was your favorite subject (not teacher) in school?

I would say that my favorite courses were history courses.

7) Who was your favorite (aka best) friend? What things did you do together?

Aside from my cousin Mike, my two best friends were Mickey and Pat, two neighborhood kids. What did we do together? Everything. We were like the Three Musketeers: one for all and all for one.

8) What was your favorite way to pass the time?

When I wasn’t hanging out with Mickey and Pat or my cousin Mike, I used to play a game I invented that I called Baseball with Cards. I selected cards from two different decks and combined them to replicate statistical facsimiles of baseball games. Aces were home runs; Kings, triples; Queens, doubles; Jacks, singles (one-eyed jacks would advance base-runners two bases, two-eyed jacks, one base); deuces were walks; tens, strikeouts; nines, sacrifice flies; and the rest of the cards were outs. I’d sit and play baseball with cards for hours on end.

9) What was your favorite holiday? How did you celebrate?

It was probably the Fourth of July/Independence Day. We’d always have a big family gathering in the backyard with tons of food (grilled burgers and hot dogs) and all the extras, great desserts, and then we’d head to the go see the fireworks display in town.

10) What was your favorite toy or possession? Doll, camera, radio, bicycle?

I was a real bicycle enthusiast and my pride and joy was when I got my three-speed Raleigh English Racer, similar to the one pictured below.

Bonus: What was your favorite adventure? Family trip, amusement park, field trip, or vacation perhaps.

We lived in a suburb of Washington, DC, so heading into the city and visiting the sights, like the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial, was always fun. I especially liked going to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and to the U.S. Army Medical Museum. That was a freaky place.

22 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday — These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

  1. Nancy Richy September 1, 2022 / 5:03 pm

    1) Who was your favorite relative? Not to play favorites, but who was the person you connected with more than others? Aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent, or parent? Why were you closest to them?
    My mother’s cousin Marie was probably my favorite relative. She was a few years younger than my mother and I remember she had a really great sense of humor in a quirky way. She lived down the street from us so we saw each other a lot. I’d go to her house for permanents and she and her husband would take me and my sister out for pizza and bowling.

    2) What was your favorite TV show? Share a clip if you can find one.
    I guess my favorite TV show was “Dark Shadows” mostly because it was the only show like it on TV and I’d watch it every day with my father. He’d finish his shift at the post office right around the same time I got home from school so we’d watch it together, then start to prepare dinner before my mother came home from work.

    3) What was your favorite book or favorite family story?
    I liked the Nancy Drew books but one of my favorite family memories involved these books we’d get in the mail. We would get 1 book each month along with a reel of film which my dad would set up on his projector. We even had a real movie screen on a tripod. These books were about different countries around the world and we’d follow along with the book while the film played. Every time we heard a “ding” sound, it was time to turn the page. We spent a lot of quality family time together over those books.

    4) What was your favorite, song, record, or album. Feel free to share a YouTube video of it.
    Well I was 14 when The Beatles came to NY and my mother, sister and I went to see them at Shea Stadium. I guess my favorite song was “She Love You” or any of their big hits. I’m still a huge Beatles fan.

    5) Who was your favorite teacher? What grade were you in and what subject did they teach?
    That would be Mr. Erdmann. He taught 8th grade history and I had the biggest crust on him.

    6) What was your favorite subject (not teacher) in school?
    Ha! See previous question! I loved history but I also loved music and religion.

    7) Who was your favorite (aka best) friend? What things did you do together?
    “Baby” Mary Randazzo. We lived 3 houses apart from each other and just about grew up together. Her aunt was “Big” Mary so my friend was called “Baby” Mary. We did all sorts of typical little girl stuff – playing with our Barbie dolls, swimming in our backyard pool, going to the movies or to get ice cream at our favorite corner store. Baby Mary’s mom and grandmother worked from home sewing tiny bows and pearls on ladies panties. The would get boxes delivered to their house every day and they’d spend all day sewing and watching one soap opera after the other. I was fascinated watching them sew; their fingers were as fast as lightning.

    8) What was your favorite way to pass the time?
    As a kid my favorite way to pass the time was playing with my friends, watching TV and reading. My mom was big into making arts and crafts items to sell at our church bazaar and I’d always get involved helping her make stuff. I also loved riding my bike all over the neighborhood. Baby Mary didn’t have a bike so I’d give her rides on my handlebars!

    9) What was your favorite holiday? How did you celebrate?
    Christmas, no doubt! We’d have a big Italian dinner on Christmas Eve then we would decorate our tree before going to church. When we got home we’d open our gifts and on Christmas morning we’d play with our new toys. My father’s side of the family came over on Christmas Day and mom would make a huge meal with homemade pasta, soup, two different types of roasts, salad, vegetables and a ton desserts. The men would always watch football after we ate and fall asleep while the ladies cleaned up. Later in the evening we’d have sandwiches with the leftover roasts and gravy while my cousins Louie and Vinnie played their accordions and we’d sing and dance to Italian folk songs.

    10) What was your favorite toy or possession? Doll, camera, radio, bicycle?
    I had different favorite toys depending on my age. I loved my Chatty Cathy Doll. She was about 3 feet tall and could walk and talk! When I was about 13 I got a transistor radio and a record player which I practically wore out. I’d listen to WMCA and the Good Guys, a NY station. Funny story: one of the DJs on WMCA when I was about 14 was a guy named Dandy Dan Daniels. I loved him and listened all the time. He had a very distinctive voice – deep with a southern accent. Fast-forward 20 years and the very same Dandy Dan Daniels lives in my town and goes to my church! We became good friend. RIP Dandy Dan.

    Bonus: What was your favorite adventure? Family trip, amusement park, field trip, or vacation perhaps.
    We lived very close to an amusement park called Freedomland; it later was torn down and became a huge apartment complex called Co-Op City. We would go to Freedomland almost every weekend. We would sit on our front porch and watch the fireworks every night. We didn’t vacation much but I remember going to a place called Sunny Hill Farm which was a real family oriented resort with bungalows, a big swimming pool and a dining hall where everyone ate family style. The best trip we ever went on was when my parents took us to Sicily and Italy when my sister graduated high school. That was a trip of a lifetime and I still communicate with some cousins who live in my father’s home town.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango September 1, 2022 / 9:10 pm

      Great answers, Nancy. I’m also a huge Beatles fan, although I never had the good fortune to see them live. I’m curious about why you chose to post your answers to Maggie’s questions as a comment on my post rather than writing your own post and linking it back to Maggie’s prompt post. It’s fine that you did.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nancy Richy September 1, 2022 / 9:44 pm

        Honestly, Fan, the only reason I did not write a separate post is because I have a couple of stories with the same material on my site already. I try to give my readers new things to read and I’m sure there isn’t a single thing on that post that they don’t already know. I just didn’t want to write something all about me again.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lauren September 1, 2022 / 9:55 pm

          Thank you for joining in. It was fun reading your responses.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Fandango September 1, 2022 / 10:01 pm

          That makes perfect sense. Thanks for addressing my curiosity, Nancy.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen September 2, 2022 / 3:17 pm

      I liked Dark Shadows. It would’ve been nice if one of my parents had gotten home in time to watch with me. They were teachers in a different district, and I was a latchkey kid. Both of my parents cooked. (My dad’s dad worked at the central post office in our city before he retired and became a guard at the art museum. Art was probably my favorite subject, and my dad was an art teacher.) Your book and film combos sound fascinating! I enjoyed a summer when my dad got a special package whereby we went frequently to Six Flags, starting at something like five in the afternoon (and staying to maybe midnight); this included a party in October with a concert by the Monster Mash people (and the album, which I had learned). Now, these facts will give you a misleading idea of what I was like. Generally, I didn’t like anything scary; anything at all. And that is still not withstanding that a happy memory is having gone to a haunted house in an old Victorian nearby with my dad, one year, before the historical place was torn down. (This whitewash wood place was in a neighborhood of stone and brick homes.) How nice to have been able to watch fireworks from your porch every night. And all your Italian memories sound wonderful.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nancy Richy September 2, 2022 / 4:00 pm

        Very kind words from you, Marleen. It sounds like you had a wonderful relationship with your dad; you’re fortunate for that! Appreciate your comments.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. msjadeli September 1, 2022 / 5:23 pm

    Good to learn some about you Fandango. You should try to patent that card game. It’s a sound idea and anyone who loves baseball would buy it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maggie September 1, 2022 / 7:39 pm

    I didn’t know many guys who read Nancy Drew or if they did would admit it. Rocky and Friends had some diverse characters for the time. Great choice.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. ganga1996 September 1, 2022 / 8:25 pm

    I used to love Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. Thinking about it my first exposure to American lifestyle. Never imagined I would move here that time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lauren September 1, 2022 / 9:57 pm

    Thanks for joining in Fandango. I watched Rocky too. I am still a Beatles fan to this day. It’s nice that you had some terrific friends.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. donmatthewspoetry September 2, 2022 / 3:26 am

    Mine was Miss South….crabby and cold

    Why me Fan? I was a nice boy…..

    Life can be cruel……

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nope, Not Pam September 2, 2022 / 4:26 am

    I liked Grape Ape 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Marleen September 2, 2022 / 2:29 pm

    Rocky and Friends was fun. Independence Day was my favorite, too. One Fourth of July night was spent on an eighth-grade school trip to Chicago (from Saint Louis), watching fireworks over the lake. Other than that, snow days. Your card game sounds brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. leigha66 September 12, 2022 / 12:00 am

    Growing up I had some of the Hardy Boys books and my sister had the Nancy Drew books… great series of books!

    Liked by 1 person

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