My neighborhood pal from the old days, Stanley Scharping, has died. It’s been more than 40 years since we chummed around. We hadn’t really seen each other much after he left for the Air Force right out of high school, but it still makes me sad.

I have countless memories of those early days on South Adams Street. I spent many hours at the Scharping house during those six years and later lived in the same house for more than 13 years.

We moved in just north of their home in the late ’50s. Stan was two years ahead of me in school and taught me things I probably shouldn’t have known as a fifth grader. Two years at that age is a significant difference.

Our favorite pasttime was going fishing in the Cottonwood River, a place now buried by the reservoir. It was the neatest spot. The river wasn’t that big, but at that spot it had a big bend and got a lot wider and deeper. The place we went was called Stanley’s Hole.

The method of transportation was Scharping’s Model A Ford that had a pickup bed on the back. Stan had a saying when people asked how many fish we caught: “If we’d a caught one more we’d have caught one.” We didn’t get skunked every time. He just liked to say it.

Another memory involved a song called the “Mule Skinner Blues.” Before we left for school, when it was warm outside, I would lift the window and play the song extremely loud on our stereo so he could hear it across the lot in his room upstairs. Then he’d come by and we’d head to school.

I could tell stories for hours about those days. It was a great time. My condolences to the Scharping family.

I went over to the city offices Friday morning to find out why we were all standing around in the dark. They said it was Westar’s problem and that the repairmen were on the way here.

As I walked away, I told the city guys standing there that if it ever happened again I was going to switch all of our computers to propane. Would that work?

–Just wondered if anyone else has a problem with their newspaper in the driveway when it rains. Mine comes in a bag but the bag is wide open on one end allowing all of the water to flow into the bag.

Makes my morning paper an evening paper.

I started to remove our fax number from all of the junk faxes we receive on a daily basis at the office. It involves calling a toll-free number and then punching in your 10-digit fax number to have it removed. After a couple of weeks of doing this I have given up. Who has that kind of time?

This guy goes to the doctor and tells him that whenever he touches his head, his arm, his stomach or anywhere on his body, it hurts. The doc, without missing a beat, says, “You have a broken finger.”

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