In the summer of '66 many afternoons were spent at the bakery just down the street from my parent's cafe. The pinball machine was in the corner by one of the front windows and the jukebox in the other. We'd spin on stools of gaudy red plastic which sat in a row in front of the counter while penny candy lined the shelves on the other side. We must have driven the baker half mad as we slowly made our choices, but what I remember is his infinite patience. I was 13 that summer and knew good girls didn't buy candy cigarettes. I was not, however, adverse to bumming one off a friend. Jimmy J, the reigning pinball wizard, tried in vain to help me develop my timing, polish my wrist action, but I kept wandering over to the jukebox, the place where the secrets to life were kept, each one revealed in less than three minutes. Many songs had to have been played that summer but for the life of me I can recall only one: "Red Rubber Ball."
Note: "Red Rubber Ball" was co-written by Paul Simon.
Copyrighted image courtesy of Cletis Stump.