Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Six Hicks Pix.

Okay, there are actually seven Hicks pics, but we'll get to that...

I hope everyone had a swell Thanksgiving. As usual, Donna laid out an extravagant smorgasbord (with the washing up being my own usual meager contribution). Our guests left feeling festive, tipsy and crapulent, and that's what Thanksgiving is all about, Charlie Brown.

Life in Ohio is still weirder than hipster Portland could ever aspire to be. In my last post about local peculiarities, I forgot to mention the laundromat with a bar in it--called Suds 'n Suds, natch--or the realtor's office that proffers wallpaper. Then there was a Chinese joint with a sign out front reading "Keep off the glass." I presume they mean don't lean against the plate-glass window, but still, funny stuff. I am still jobless (but with a promising interview this week), wishing every night to stumble across that ideal combination of head shop and thrift store looking for an enthusiastic clerk. When I do, of course I will immediately rename the place "Second-Hand Smoke." Haw haw!

Before I get to the usual purposeless nostalgia (oops, redundancy alert), here's a preview of our Christmas card this year, minus text. Well, I don't wanna give it all away! It's an actual photo I took of our home during the first snowstorm of the season. I point out its authenticity because Donna feared folks might think I digitally added the big blurry snowflakes.

We've since put up an eight-foot blue spruce in the living room area, real old-fashioned-like (go fig, huh?).

As for bleary-eyed Christmas reminiscing, I've been thinking of the yearly pilgrimage to Hicks Nursery in Roslyn. It was a beloved seasonal tradition, as anticipated as the singular viewing of Charlie Brown's Christmas (not to mention his less-memorable Easter travails, for that was the other must-see Hicks holiday display, though neither had much to do with Christ's resurrection or paganism).

I remember strolling through the nursery year after year, freezing my twerpy ass off, marvelling at the slightly shifting elves and mechanical forest creatures. Of course, at the end of the tour we found ourselves in a gift shop, where mom was obliged to buy me some piece of junk, such as activity books featuring the Brady Bunch, and another year the Waltons. As advertised, the books kept me briefly occupied, if not exactly entertained. Maria Pa-pee-ya and I worked on a crossword in one of these books, but to my disgust she just copied the clues letter by letter into the puzzle squares in a mindless bureaucratic fashion. Another tricky activity required some sort of paper cut-out legerdemain beyond my grasp, and after a time I tore up the pages in frustration. I still hate it. Fuck you, Waltons activity book!

Here are some seventies ads for Hicks Nursery Christmas displays, taken from Newsday TV books. Click on 'em to see the larger version.


1978? (Prolly shoulda taken notes...)
1978, or '79, or, you know, who cares.

Comment if you remember Hicks! And I don't mean my neighbors!


Blogger MO'SH said...

I remember Hicks! But you knew that (who else do you think is reading this?). I now look forward to your posts as I did the holiday specials of the past (and typically the streams cross as you discuss the holiday specials of the past anyway). Great xmas photo (you don't know how to digitally add snowflakes anyway, do you?)And good luck with the interview!

Wed Dec 03, 07:14:00 PM 2008  
Blogger MO'SH said...

Hey, just got your card! Fantastic! Did you digitally add those snowflakes?

Sniffles the Snowboy

Wed Dec 03, 10:54:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Brian Kunath said...

I always thought Bill Hicks was edgier than that.

BTW, you can mail my Christmas card to:

285 Madison Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Thu Dec 04, 03:24:00 PM 2008  
Anonymous shojo313 said...

Can't fool me...you digitally added that house!

Thu Dec 04, 03:46:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Brian Kunath said...

Yay, I got your Christmas card today!

I was in my mailbox along with my pink slip. Ah well, easy come, easy go. There's always Pizza Hut. I think I still have my "C. Manson" name tag around somewhere...

Merry Christmas to you and the missus. And to all those hicks who make country livin' such a charming slice of meth-fueled Americana.

Give my regards to Santa, too. He doesn't come to Brooklyn. Too much of the wrong element. And by that I mean annoying trust funders.

Mon Dec 08, 08:28:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Brian Kunath said...

Forgot to mention. House looks great, and nice job with the card.

Mon Dec 08, 10:14:00 PM 2008  
Blogger mariamccabe said...

Hey Paul, are you calling me a crossword cheat?? Ha ha, just found your name on the Plainview FB thing... I'm not a stalker, but am now deeply interested in your blog. I read the snowball one.. it was stunningly beautiful. Thanks for including me in your memories. I always think of you fondly and tell my students about our adventures as kids. Those were the days...

Mon Mar 01, 12:00:00 PM 2010  

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