TOWER 120 - Made for Sears by PHO-TAK (mid 1950's)
Sears and Roebucks used to sell damn near everything a consumer could want. You could
pick up a set of box wrenches. A washing machine. A tractor. A muffler and a camera.
There were two Sears stores in my town when I was a kid. One was a catalog store. You
went there to order things out of Sear's massive catalog. The other store was packed with stuff.
I got my first grownup fishing reel from Sears by way of my Uncle Frankie.
Sears is still around but I don't know anybody that goes there.
You can't fool me. That's a 110mm Zellar. 110mm Tower ? Baloney !
That's The Sears Tower on the camera. It's still the tallest building in The USA but
it's called the "Willis Tower" now.
This Tower came from a Flea Market in central New York. I think someone used a set of vice grips on the winding knob.
The photos are shown in the order they were taken.
- - -
This is not the ideal way to provide firewood for the campsite. There are all kinds of hazards
presented in this scene. Levers, fulcrums, amputations. That might be a rock propping up that chunk of wood.
You ever hit a rock with a hatchet ? The girl with the hatchet is in perfect alignment with the arc of the blade.
You ever put a hatchet into a shin bone ?
Yo! Grownup ! Put down that Tower 120 and straighten those kids out.
The girl holding the log in the first picture appears to be taking her turn with the hatchet. Did the first chopper run off into the woods spurting
arterial blood ? And why is that little boy wearing that plaid outfit thing ? Why doesn't the chop girl pull her pants out of her butt ?
I remember these bikes in the early 60's. We called them "armpit coolers." The kid with the knee socks
and plaid shorts was way ahead of his time. He's playing air guitar while wearing Elvis Costello's eyeglasses.
124 Something Street. I wish I knew where this photo was taken. I'd go there. I really would.
Bikes with no fenders are really cool until you run them through a puddle. The girl in the back has a nice, sensible bicycle.
I'll bet she became a fifth grade teacher. Hell, she already looks like a fifth grade teacher.
Being able to make a face is a good skill for a kid. Parents don't like you making faces so that alone makes the skill more valuable.
Kids don't believe that bullshit about their faces getting stuck that way.
I can't make any good faces but I've always been able to wiggle my ears. One at a time or in unison. I still demonstrate this ability now and then.
When I do, I'm either in the company of children or drunks.
Anyway, the boy on the armpit cooler thinks the face is cool. On such things, early love is based. When I was about his age I was in love
with a girl named Patty. She had buck teeth and I thought they were wonderful. She could have eaten an apple through a chain link fence.
Forty years after I stopped loving Patty, I ran into her on a rare trip to my hometown. Her face hadn't quite caught up to her teeth but there was
a noticeable improvement. I told her that I had a crush on her in the fifth grade. She told me she had 14 (!) kids. I said "Wow !" "I guess
someone else had a crush on you too."
Me ? No, no ! I think that's an awesome tent, little, uh... girl ?
Pools like this one blocking the garage, were where suicidal grasshoppers and Japanese Beetles came to end it all.
The pools were too big to empty and refill and they didn't have filters. They became festering aqua pustules. They were
filled with grass an all manner of rotting things. Occasionally a frog would show up in the pool and nobody, not even a scientist
could figure out how it got in there.
The first in-the-ground swimming pool I ever saw belonged to a girl named Debbie. It was a real pool, made of cement.
Her parents wouldn't let my friends and I in their pool because we were filthy little boys.
One day we stole a case of Fizzies from the back of a truck making deliveries to a candy store.
We opened up all of the packages and put the Fizzies tablets back into the cardboard box. There must have been ten thousand Fizzies
in that box.
Just after the street lights came on, we heaved the box over the stockade fence surrounding Debbie's goddamn pool. There was a splash
followed seconds later by a great "whoosing" sound.
We vanished into the summer shadows in ways known only to little boys practiced at doing so.