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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Scary Thought

When someone says, “They don’t make shows like that anymore,” believe them. If I had to choose one show — in my entire life — that was unlike any other, Creature Features was it. A few weeks before my fourth birthday, Creature Features debuted with the 1964 horror film, The Horror of Party Beach, on …

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N.

Young people today often repeat what prior generations have 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 we begin to …

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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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Connections

Life is such that we cross paths with people just about every day whom we’ll never see again. Imagine how many missed friendships, missed relationships, and missed connections occur on a daily basis. If you subscribe to the belief that everything happens for a reason, then perhaps missed connections don’t matter. The second smallest child …

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Ed Corney

While some believe that Mr. Universe is the top honor in the sport of bodybuilding, the winner of Mr. Olympia is generally recognized as the world’s top male professional bodybuilder. Schwarzenegger retired with seven Mr. Olympia titles. During my freshman at Branham High School, the film that would become Schwarzenegger’s first box office hit, Conan …

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Neil Kaplan

The beauty of going to Independence High School back in the ‘80s was that it was the finest school in the area, period. In fact, I would argue that we were the finest public school in Northern California. At the time, our facilities were unmatched. We had three libraries — including a public library, an …

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Bucket List

One for the bucket list. When I was about 17 years old, my dad pressured me to get a job. While I learned later that he regretted it, it sure stressed me out at the time. What made matters worse, was seeing all of the vinyl banners hanging outside of fast food restaurants near my …

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