Hold the Crunch

(re-run) Jim’s job was to put the crunch in the new peanut butter, Jif. One machine chopped the peanuts into slivers, and another machine used pistons to plug the slivers into the creamy product. Jim also had to taste test peanut butter that had been sitting on a shelf for three months in 100 degree… Continue reading Hold the Crunch

Almost Toast

(re-run) Marlene and her friend Beth came out to California from New Hampshire after college to work for Bank of America. They each made a new friend, and each new friend brought another friend to the party (plus one more) until they were a group of seven recent college graduates, living in the city of… Continue reading Almost Toast

The Dog That Everyone Wanted

(re-run) Scott heard from Joe, a college buddy, that someone was giving away a four-month-old puppy that had cost them $300. It was a mix of Jack Russell terrier and something bigger.  The family felt bad that they were gone all day, and the puppy was crated every day for hours. Scott thought about the… Continue reading The Dog That Everyone Wanted

Pennies from Heaven

(re-run) When I was sixteen, I saved up my babysitting money and went downtown to Cottage Grove Avenue in Des Moines, where there was a head shop filled with incense, hanging beads, roach clips, black light posters and tie dye. Although I wasn’t a pothead (I didn’t smoke cigarettes either), I enjoyed the ambience of… Continue reading Pennies from Heaven

Worst Professor Ever

She taught the research class at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I needed the course to earn my master’s degree. It would be easy. I’d written dozens of research papers at Iowa State. She said we could choose any topic. All we had to do was take a position, defend it with an intro,… Continue reading Worst Professor Ever

The Tennis Shoe and the Broken Window

It was senior year in high school. I was on my last semester of PE, my least favorite class. I maintained a straight-A average in all other classes. Not PE. It alternated between a B and a C. I was feeling good. We were in our next-to last unit, the physical fitness award. I already… Continue reading The Tennis Shoe and the Broken Window

My First Taste of California

When I was in college, the spring of my sophomore year, I saw a poster for a summer job – “Earn $3000 in just three months.” Back in 1975, that was a lot of money. I went to the evening meeting on campus and found myself in a room with a dozen other “applicants.” After… Continue reading My First Taste of California