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Well dear readers, for Mother’s Day I decided to say a few words in honor of dear ole Mom. When I was growing up my Mom punished me when deserved. Dad had his own way of good old fashioned discipline. He used a good stiff belt and I’m not talking about the kind one drinks. Mom used to punish me by taking something away like my beloved trips to the old Casa Linda Theater to see John Wayne movies. The “Duke’’ was the man Pilgrim. Every now and then she saw how depressed I was not to be able to go with my friends from the old “Inadale Gang’’ to the movies. She would say, “You’ve been pretty good this week so I decided to let you go. I’m such a mean Momma.’’ Dad would get so upset because he hated to see Mom “give in.’’ I’ve said in this space before how my Mom’s doomsday weapon could wipe out my whole air force. You see dear readers, in “my day’’ we used to hang our model airplanes with string from the ceiling. It was “cool’’ man because it looked like they were flying various combat missions, or depicting a “dog fight.’’ We would go over to a friend’s house and exchange ideas on different ways to hang up our planes to make them look “Neat-O.’’

All too many times I got into mischief or didn’t mind Momma. I wasn’t really a bad kid, but just got into trouble like all growing boys. Here would come out Mom’s secret weapon. It was her broom that my pretend pilots and I feared. She would take that broom and blast my beloved planes out of the sky. I almost cried because on those raids my prized air force was reduced to little pieces of plastic. From the little 19 and 29 cent models, all the way up to the major $1.99 B52 bombers there was major carnage. Momma was an equal opportunity destroyer. In the days that followed, sometimes I would come home from school and find a “Jim Dandy’’ major flying machine right there on my bed. If I had a birthday coming up I would suddenly find myself with a whole new air force ready to strike fear in the hearts of those World War II enemies. On those occasions my Mom would exclaim, “I’m such a bad Momma.’’ Every now and then Mom would want to help me return my air force to the sky to fight for freedom and the American way. Even though, she didn’t know a “Zero’’ from a “Flying Fortress,’’ I would let her help. After all, I didn’t want to hurt her feelings as it was the thought that mattered. There was always time to rearrange my planes before some of the “Inadale Gang’’ came over.

I recently watched an old episode of “The Twilight Zone’’ on TV. It was the one about a group of elderly friends living in a nursing home. The opening scene showed an elderly gentleman dressed up and happily getting into his son’s car. The poor old guy thought his son was taking him home to live with him. When he discovered that wasn’t the case the forlorn gentleman had to walk back with his bag to the nursing home. He later spies some children playing “Kick the Can.’’ He tells his friend about remembering when they were young and ran and jumped playing a lot of “Kick the Can.’’ His lifelong buddy tells him they make too much noise and for him to act his “Age.’’ Later he tries to get his ole friend to come with the rest of them to play “Kick the Can.’’ His friend, Ben tells the director of the home. The director says they were going to have to put his friend in solitary lock up. He was horrified and explained, “That will kill him.’’ Ben finds a young boy outside running and playing. He then realizes the young boy is his lifelong friend. The director comes outside and tells Ben they’ll have to form a search party to find the older residents who decided to play. The director quips, “They couldn’t have gotten very far at their age.’’ Ben then says with a tear in his eye, “You’ll never find them.’’ Ben realized he missed his chance to go back in time to be a kid again. The morrow of the story to me is to never give up on life. I suppose the old saying, “you’re only as old as you feel.’’ has a lot of truth to it.

This brings me back to dear ole Mom. She has been through a lot of tough operations for her age. The doctors have determined she is a fighter and somewhat of a medical miracle. She recently got to come home to be with her soul mate of sixty four years after spending some time in rehab. Upon sitting in her familiar chair for the first time in a long time, mom exclaimed “I missed this chair.” I believe both my parents are happy to be back where they belong, beside each other. My parents have an old lab dog by the name of “White Socks.’’ Upon my Mom’s homecoming, White Socks acted like a young pup once more. Now my parents and White Socks can all help keep each other young.

Dear readers, until next week, “think young.’’ and Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there.

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Mark Fleischer is a Daily Sun columnist. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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