50

About 42 years ago, I met the person you see pictured here in Room 9 — a third grade classroom on the campus of Cedar Grove Elementary School in East San Jose. Today, August 15, 2017, he hit the half-century mark: 50! While we met at a pretty young age, we didn’t develop a brotherly …

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Spaghetti Ready

If you were a ‘70’s kid like I was, chances are that you had at least one poster in your room. I had several — from the classic Farrah Fawcett bikini poster, to Magic Johnson, to the “He’s the DJ, I’m the rapper” poster of the Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff. One of the reasons …

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No Trespassing

When I was a kid, orchards, ranches, and barren land were within walking distance from our house. Nowadays, it’s hard to find any of these things in my hometown of San Jose. In those days, signs like the one you see here were all over the place, and the message was pretty clear: Stay off …

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Freaks?

It was often horrifying to visit my grandma’s house. Not in the sense that I didn’t want to be there. I enjoyed visiting very much. It’s where I got to see and play outside with my cousins, eat tasty food — including homemade tortillas, and learn a little Spanish. My parents, and the other adults …

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Tattooed on Halloween

About a day ago, I ran into an old friend. He’s pictured on the right. He, and the other person pictured here, don’t have much in common. The person on the left is short.  My friend on the right is tall. The person on the left is a former actor. My friend on the right …

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N.

Young people today repeat what prior generations often said: “It was different back then. Times have changed.” I’m certainly guilty of saying this to my parents, and I’ve often been on the receiving end of this statement — especially over the course of this year. (I guess that’s what happens when you turn 50.) Sometimes …

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Vick

In the summer of 1977, I met a boy named Vick at the grand opening of the original Chuck E. Cheese’s in the Town & Country shopping center in San Jose. We, and other kids, were there with our parents for some pizza, soda, and fun. Back to Vick in a moment. Pizza Time Theater, …

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Brothers

If there is one thing that my wife and I often repeat to our kids, it’s this: choose your friends wisely. People my age have seen enough friends come and go that we’re pretty much experts on “choosing wisely.” This time of year is always a time of reflection — at least for me. I …

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BFFs

The first time I considered someone a “best friend” was in the first grade. I used to live a few houses down from a little blue-eyed blond boy named Johnny. He and I used to play on his pretty awesome Matchbox racetrack at least twice a week. He was my best friend for about a …

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Handsome Harambe

In 1986, a five-year-old fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Jersey Zoo in the English Channel Islands. The male Silverback gorilla, Jambo, kept other gorillas at bay while he guarded the unconscious boy. Ultimately, two zoo employees (whose expertise was with birds) and EMT personnel, were able to rescue the boy after putting themselves …

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