Sunday, October 23, 2016

An Afternoon at Woolworth's

Hello future readers!

Well, it's that time of year again...time to go costume shopping at Woolworth's! I love shopping there! There's always so much to see, and it always smells like popcorn, candy and plastic toys. Yesterday after the cartoons, I stopped by Robyn's house, and we walked over to Woolworth's together.

When we got there, we saw Danny, Kyle and Bridget.

Bridget was drinking a soda at the lunch counter.

Kyle was checking out the radios and tape recorders by the back counter.

Danny was in the Halloween section, checking out the costumes and the records.

We called out to them and each of them said Hi and gave us a wave.

Bridget finished her soda and walked over to us.
"Hi Julie, Hi Robyn", Bridget said. "You guys shopping for costumes?"
"Hey Bridget", Robyn began. "Nah, my mom got my costume already. But I need a new trick-or-treat pumpkin. Mine broke last year."
"Well, I need a new costume", I told Bridget. "I just haven't decided what to be for Halloween."
"Me neither", said Bridget. "Let's look together."

So Robyn went to look for a new pumpkin, while Bridget and I checked out the costumes.

"Hmmmm...maybe I should be Morticia Addams. I love watching 'The Addams Family'. "

"I wonder if I should be Batgirl. I've got red hair just like she does."

Meanwhile Danny was checking out a scary record, and Kyle zoomed in on the candy.

Bridget and I finally decided on our costumes.

"Outta site, Julie! I love Morticia!"
"You'll make a great Batgirl, Bridget."

"You gonna buy that spooky record, Danny?"
"Yeah. Mrs. Johnson borrowed a copy of this album from the library and played it for the class. It's really super."

"You're not gonna eat all that candy, are you Kyle?"
"Don't be goofy, they're for the trick-or-treaters. But I may help myself to a few pieces. Chocolate covered caramels are my favorite."

Well, it was just about time to leave. But before I paid for my costume, I wanted to look at the fish. The aquariums are so pretty.

As we walked home, I asked Robyn what costume her mom bought for her. She said I'd just have to wait 'til Halloween to find out, Oh man!

It's always a groove shopping at Woolworth's, especially for the holidays. Sometimes it's fun just looking around, even if I don't have any money. It gives me great ideas about what I want, and what gifts I should get for other people, like my mom. Since I only get 50 cents a week for my allowance, I can't really afford to get a lot at the department store, so I usually buy stuff from Woolworth's. I couldn't wait to go home and show my mom my costume! Halloween is gonna be dynamite!

Until next time, future readers,
Your friend,
Julie Newman

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dinner and The Great Pumpkin

Hello future readers!

It's almost Halloween! I really love this time of year, because it's the start of what most people call "the holiday season". First comes Halloween, then Thanksgiving and of course Christmas and New Years! Y'know something I really look forward to at this time ever year? Watching "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" on television! During the holiday season, all the specials we've been waiting all year to watch come on. I get so excited when I see the commercials for them on TV. I've been working really hard to bring up my Math grade, so my mom said I could invite someone over for dinner and to watch The Great Pumpkin with me! Outta site!

So on Thursday I called Lisa and asked her if she wanted to come over, and she she told me she'd be over right after she finished her homework.

I already finished mine, so I checked the TV Guide to make sure The Great Pumpkin was coming on at 8:00pm like it usually does. I could hardly wait!

Later on, my mom and I had just gotten dinner on the table when Lisa came over, so we sat down right away.

We had fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob and fresh hot cornbread! Yum!

We were talking about what happened at school that day. Since it's almost Halloween, Danny has been on this kick where he likes to jump out and scare people. Today in the lunchroom, Danny jumped out from behind a table and scared April so bad that she dropped her lunch box! Luckily, nothing fell out. So at recess April told all the girls to chase Danny all over the playground!

We kept telling that whoever caught him was gonna kiss him! (We wouldn't really do that, we think it's too yuckky!) We sure scared him! Cheryl and Melody caught him, but instead of kissing him, we tied his hands behind his back with a jump rope and tickled him! Danny promised that he would never scare any of the 4th grade girls again!

Lisa and I were eating our dinner and cracking up over the thought of Danny being tickled by all us girls! Mom told us it was almost 8:00, and that we could have our dessert in the TV room. Far out!

Mom brought us 2 plates of pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top! That was the perfect dessert for watching The Great Pumpkin!

I like the part where they're going Trick -or-Treating and Lucy asks people for extra treats for Linus. "It's so embarrassing to have to ask." If I were Lucy, I would have saved myself the embarrassment and just shared my treats with him.

Lisa loves the part at the Halloween party when Snoopy kisses Lucy! We both laughed because Lisa has a talking Lucy doll that says "I've been kissed by a dog!" Hee!

Well, pretty soon the show was over ( "just wait 'til next year, Charlie Brown!" ), and Lisa had to go home, because it's a school night. It seemed like the time flew by way too fast, but I'm glad Lisa could come over and watch the special with me. Watching it with a friend is so much fun, and the next day at school when all the other kids were talking about it, Lisa and I said that we watched together. I wonder if there are still television specials in the future. Sometimes the waiting is more fun than the watching. I feel sorry for any kids who miss these specials 'cos they'd have to wait a whole year before they could see them again. That would really be a bummer.

Until next time, future readers,
Your friend,
Julie Newman

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Trouble With Math

Hello future readers,

The title of this entry doesn't sound very happy, does it? Well, lemme clue you in...

Every Friday afternoon in school is Test Day. We get both our Spelling Test and our Math test every Friday. I'm super at Spelling, but I have a really hard time with Math. As a matter of fact, it's my worst subject in school. I was getting a little better toward the of the last school year, but I guess I've forgotten everything I learned over the summer, 'cos now I'm back to being rotten at Math again. *sigh* It just doesn't seem to stay in my brain! After I missed half of the questions on last week's Math test, Miss LaSalle sent a note home to my mother. She says I need a tutor. Can you believe that? If any of the kids find out I need a tutor, they'll be calling me Queen of the Dum-Dums! My mom says either I bring up my marks in Math or I have to quit the Baton Club! Oh man! So this past Wednesday, I was sitting at the kitchen table and I had just copied the problems from my Math book when the doorbell rang.

"Julie, there's someone here to see you", my mom called out.

It was Kerry. She's the one my mom got to be my tutor. She was carrying some flash cards.

She sat down and started quizzing me on multiplication.  And I kept blanking out.

"You know Julie", Kerry began. "It looks to me like no one has ever told you the secret."
"What secret?", I wanted to know.
"The secret of figuring multiplication tables. Did you know that multiplication is just like addition?"
"You're kidding."
"No really. I'll show you. Write down these facts..."
She gave me some addition problems to copy down. And right next to them some multiplication problems.

"But I know how to do my 2 times tables. It's the rest of it that's hard", I explained.
"Actually it's pretty easy. Take that first problem you copied down for homework, 8x7..."
"OK...what 2x8?"
"Yeah, now add 8 to that."
I counted on my fingers. "24?'
"Right. That's 8x3. Put a number 3 over 24 so you remember that's 8x3.  Now add 8 more."
More counting on the fingers. "32?"
"Right again. Put a 4 over the 32. What's 8 more?"
"40!" I put a 5 over the 40.  I did it 2 more times until we got to 56.

"Hey I did it! You mean that's all there is to it?"
"Yep, that's all."
"But Kerry", I began, "that's OK for homework. But what about when we take tests at school? I'm gonna look pretty silly counting on my fingers. We're supposed to memorize the number facts."
"Take it easy, Julie. That will come with time. And don't worry about how silly you're gonna look. You'll look a lot sillier being the only kid in your class flunking Math."
"I suppose you're right. Will you help me with the rest of these problems?"
We worked through the rest of my Math homework the same way. It felt groovy knowing that I wasn't gonna have a bunch of red marks on my paper when Miss LaSalle returned our homework. I thanked Kerry and she left to go home for dinner.
"See ya next week, Julie. Keep practicing your addition to do your times tables"
"Thanks Kerry. See ya next week."
 I took my books upstairs to my room and I saw something sitting on my bed.

Oh wow! It was a Multiplication Rock record album! The only time I ever got to hear any Schoolhouse Rock songs was on Saturday morning in between the cartoons! Now I could play them anytime I wanted and it would help my memorize my Math facts!

My mom stuck her head in the door. I looked over at her and smiled.
"Thanks Mom."
"I know how much you like Schoolhouse Rock. I hope you'll play it often. I want you to get better marks on those Math tests."
I hugged her. "Between you and Kerry, I can't miss!"
"That's my girl. Go ahead and play your record. Dinner will be ready in half an hour."
I put the record on my record player. It started on "Elementary My Dear" (the 2 times tables).

"Forty days and forty nights, didn't it rain children?
Not a speck of land in sight, didn't it, didn't it rain?"

By the time Mom called me for dinner, I finished side 1 of the record. I hope my mom knows what she's in for, 'cos I'm gonna play this record to death! I'm gonna bring up my Math grades if it kills me! I don't wanna have to give up Baton Club. I'm glad I have a mom that loves me enough to make me try, even when I don't want to. And I'm glad that my teacher and friends like Kerry care too. They want me to do my best. Just wait 'til I take this record to school! Won't Miss LaSalle and the kids be surprised!

Kids in the future probably don't even have these problems. You just push a few buttons on your computers and Bingo, Math problems solved.  But here in the 70s, I really gotta work on it.  But don't worry, I'll lick this Math stuff yet!

Until next time, future readers,
Your friend,
Julie Newman

Sunday, October 2, 2016

My Crazy Dog, Boomer

Hello future readers,

Yesterday, Kim and I were sitting out in front of my house playing jacks. Kim had gotten up to threesies, I was just starting on twosies. My dog Boomer just stood there like he was guarding us from danger.

"I hope I can finish twosies. You always beat me, and I wanna win for a change", I told Kim.

"Keep trying, you'll get it", Kim said.  "You just need to practice more."

I was just about to toss the ball in the air, when Boomer came over and started sniffing at my jacks.

"No Boomer, you leave those jacks alone!", I hollered.

Boomer whimpered and went to sit by the edge of the steps. He spotted our neighbor's cat Phoebe sitting on her lawn across the street.

Boomer started barking and took off down the steps!

Kim and I jumped up and ran after him. "Boomer stop! Come back!:, we yelled.

My puppy may have very short legs, but he can run awfully fast. By the time we got to the bottom of the stairs, Boomer and Phoebe were no where in sight. We started walking down the street whistling and calling for Boomer.

We saw Kyle sitting in front of his house, fixing his skateboard.

We ran up to him and asked if he had seen Boomer.

"No, I haven't seen him. What happened?" Kyle wanted to know.
"Oh, he took off after Mrs. Philcott's cat, and we can't find him anyplace", I told him.
"Well if I see him, I'll bring him right over to your place, OK?
"OK, thanks Kyle."

Kim and I walked on for a couple of blocks and saw Raychel and Sunny jumping rope in front of Raychel's house.

We ran up to them and asked if they had seen Boomer.

"No, we haven't seen him", Raychel said.
"You live 2 blocks away, Julie. Why would Boomer be all the way over here?", Sunny asked.
I explained about Phoebe and how we just couldn't find that crazy mutt of mine anywhere!
"Well if he comes by here, we'll get him", Sunny promised.
"Yeah", said Raychel. Even if we have to tie him up with our jump ropes!"
"Thanks you guys", I sighed.

I was really starting to get worried. Boomer had never done anything like this before. He's just a puppy, and never walked around the neighborhood without me holding his leash. What if he got attacked by a bigger dog or even got hit by a car? Oh we just had to find him!

After almost an hour, we made our way back to my house. We couldn't find him anywhere! I started to cry. Kim hugged me. I felt so bad about fussing at Boomer about my jacks! I'd take it all back if he would just come home!

"Don't worry, Julie. Boomer will come home. He'll probably be getting hungry soon."
Even though that was true, if Boomer ran too far away, he might not be able to find his way home.. I sat on the steps and sighed. I wasn't looking forward to telling my mom that Boomer ran off. She'll probably lecture me about what a big responsibility having a dog is. She might even ground me!

We walked into the house and told my mom that Boomer had run off, and I didn't mean for it to happen and maybe we should call the police. You know what my mom did then? She laughed!

"Julie, Boomer's in your room. When I opened the door to get the mail he ran between my legs and straight upstairs. When I passed by your room a few minutes ago, he was sitting on your bed, panting away."

I kissed my mom and me and Kim ran upstairs to my room. And there was Boomer sitting on my bed!

"Boomer! Do you know I've been worried sick! Don't you ever do that to me again!"

Boomer just barked and panted like he was happy to see me and he didn't know he did anything wrong. And as angry as I was, I was so happy he was home safe that I picked him up and hugged him.

He licked my face and then I sat him down on my bed.
"Boomer, you've been a bad boy. I'm gonna have to ground you. No doggie treats for you tonight. And the next time you go out, it'll be on a leash!"

I know he's only a dog, and probably didn't understand a word I said. But I guess this is how my mom must feel when I do something I shouldn't do. She loves me, but she's gotta punish me. I remember I wandered off in Conroy's Department Store when I was about 4. My mom said she was so happy when she found me, but she didn't know whether to spank me or hug me. She hugged me, but she took dessert away for a week.

Kim and I sat down to rap and to rest. Walking around the neighborhood for nearly an hour wore us out!

"I'm glad Boomer's home, Julie, I don't even think I've seen you look so scared!", Kim told me.
"Yeah, it was a bummer all right, but everything's OK now."

"Hey Julie, you know when Miss LaSalle lets us write compositions for extra credit?"
"Yeah, what about it?"
"You could write about what happened today! I think that would make a really groovy composition! Especially the ending...Boomer being here in your room the whole time.", Kim  laughed.
I giggled. "Yeah, now that I'm not so scared, it's actually pretty funny. But I promise you it's gonna be a long time before Boomer runs away from me again!"

Until next time, future readers,
Your friend,
Julie Newman