The Coolest Job Ever

Every couple of years, Dad would load us up in the car and we’d go On Vacation. It was a bid deal. I can remember a handful of times we actually went anywhere. Dad wasn’t big on Family Travel.

Most of the time we went somewhere vaguely educational. We went to the Henry Ford Museum one time. That was cool. I learned that Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers and Tommy Edison all has workshops within walking distance of each other. Or they could take the tram if the wanted.

Another time it was Sea World, when it was still in Sandusky. (That would be in Ohio.) I think they shut that one down, which is sad. Think of all the out of work walruses. “Will perform natural behaviours on cue for fish.” And the cardboard would keep getting wet and disintegrating. There was that one walrus who was Sherlock Holmes in the All Walrus Review, or something. That pinniped had some tallent. Now, he’s a washed up character actor.

Or someone bought them out. I think it was Six Flags. Either way, gone or bought, it’s not the same. It’s still sad thinking about out of work walrusses.

When Dad was on his Civil War kick, we went to some battlefields. Imagine the fighting around the souvenir kiosks and interpretive signposts. I sat on a cannon. I remember that. You don’t forget the first time you sit on a cannon. I didn’t anyway. You might. I can’t tell.

We never stopped at Stucky’s on any of those trips. That would have been educational. The World Famous Pecan Log. When I take my family on Family Trips, we’ll stop at Stucky’s and get Pecan Logs. And Amish cheese. I’d stop for that too.

One time we went to Washington DC, our nation’s Capitol. We saw a bunch of monuments, mostly out of the car window. And we went to Arlington National Cemetary. That was the first time I heard Taps played by a real musician. It was devastating. We blew through the National History Museum. Five minutes till closing and we wander in. Didn’t see much. A dinosaur, I think.

While we were in Washington, I had an epiphany. I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. We went to the Navel Observatory. That’s what I wanted to do, observe navels. (I wasn’t a particularly careful reader back then.) Imagine the power…

“Ma’am, you’ll have to unbutton the bottom of your blouse and lower your pants just a bit.” Of course this is in Jack Webb’s voice as Joe Friday. “No ma’am, you have to. We’re with the Government.”

Then I found out they had something to do with tides and clocks and stuff. This made sense, sort of. Where are the tides? Beaches. What do girls wear at the beach? Bikinis. All the better to observe a few navels. It makes perfect sense. Sure it does.

There is a dark side to Navel Observation. Fat, hairy men. Much less fun than feminine navels. But I was ready to put in the time. For my country of course.

I was ready to sign up right there. Do my duty, for God and my Country, and all that. They didn’t seem to be hiring.

One more dream, down in flames.

I identify with everything here, Rue, except one thing:

I have NEVER seen an open Stucky’s! That’s right! I have driven from coast to coast across the US maybe 10 times for various purposes, but every Stucky’s restaurant I have ever seen was out-of-business.

I thought that the chain had gone bankrupt, and no one had bothered to clear away the old buildings!:eek:

I have never seen an open Stucky’s (or maybe I have and it didn’t register… I’m a stream-of-consciousness kind of guy…). Weird.

Sign me up for the waiting list to become a navel observer: this and spontaneous street gynecology are occupations that I am born to do!:wink: When can I start?


Sorry this post is mostly completely unrelated to the previous ones . . . .

Rue What time is it where you are? It’s 11:30 here in the UK so my guess is the latest you would have posted is at 6:30 am . . . .Why?
Okay to make this post at least partially relevant I must say ‘spontaneous street gynaecologist’ sign me up :wink:

Oh, the “educational” family trips… All of ours had to be day trips because the budget wouldn’t allow staying over in motels or eating in restaurants. We did the “Cheap Tours Within a Few Hours of Baltimore” - I can’t count how many times we went to DC. For super-cheap fun, we used to go the Friendship Airport (now BWI) and stand out on the observation deck and watch planes take-off and land. I also remember touring the Naval academy, but were never permitted to observe Navels - it was not done! There’s an old B&W photo in one of my mom’s albums showing three of us kids straddling a cannon in Gettysburg, and I have vague memories of going to the Franklin Institute.

The one big not-entirely-educational-stay-in-a-hotel trip involved going to the New York World’s Fair in 1964. I remember seeing the Pieta, and Disney unveiled their featured exhibit “It’s a Small World After All”… Now I’ve got that durn song stuck in my head - gee, thanks. Rue!!


And I remember the pecan log rolls. We traveled in Illinois when I was a kid, between Springfield, Illinois (where Gramma lived,)Marseilles, Illinois, and eventually, Harvey, Illinois (suburb of Chicago). We kids loved Stuckey’s, and all the cool little toys and souvenirs you could buy there. We saved our money for those trips.

You could get miniature airline bags with all the different airline names on them, wooden and metal puzzles, magic kits, Native American dolls, tiny birch bark canoes, remote control barking dogs, I could go on and on (if my memory were better). Ah, those were the days. . .

Stucky’s is closed!?! Nooooo!!! Say it ain’t so, Astroboy, say it ain’t so! Oh, wait, how would you know now? Are there a lot of Stucky’s in Korea? No? I didn’t think so. Now a faint, flickering flame of hope faintly flickers in my heart. Stucky’s might live on! Pecan Logs for all my friends!

Or that flickering was last night’s chili.

Gartog, I posted this at 6:04 A.M. here time. I think that would be 5:04 Chicago time. (Yeah, Chicago is to the West, the sun rises in the East, it wouldn’t be 7:04. Sheesh! What am I doing up and posting at 6:00?)

And is anyone else picturing Snickers straddling a cannon? Or is it just me?

here is Stuckey’s home page (not a full-fledged webpage, however). I thought they were defunct, but apparently not.

And along comes a Spider, and pfffftt… one more dream dies.

Don’t worry, Spidey Chick, I don’t blame you. (Much.)

I still have my Claxton Fruitcakes. It’s not the same, but they’ll have to do.

Ooooo… lookie that! Spider Woman, I love you. The hope that one day I may experience the mystical joy that is Stucky’s is once more a burning flame in my chest. It’s more than bad chili, it’s the dream of a child given new hope!

----:)/ x o x o x

What I meant was the OP was posted at 6:04. The post where I said it was 6:04 was really quarter after 7. That should synch up everybody’s clocks.

Rue, are you in the mid-Michigan area? There’s a defunct Stuckey’s just west of Lansing at the Eagle exit on 96. I know it won’t do much for your hopes of finding an open store, but maybe you can find an old nutlog in the weeds in the parking lot. Look carefully before you pick it up, tho - there’s some mangy dogs that live in that neighborhoods.

And I wanna be a spontaneous street gynocologist, too!! Do I have to buy a franchise, or can I just make a cardboard sign and set up shop?

What the HELL is wrong with you people? You’re into a thread dealing with Stucky’s and with 20-something posts, no-one…NO ONE has mentioned Pecan-Pralines! The same Pecan-Pralines that Stucky’s advertizes on billboards every 21 feet. The same Pecan-Pralines that ripped out one of my braces as a kid. You can’t talk about Stucky’s without talking about Pecan-Pralines.

I’m so disappointed with you all.

Fenris, who’s dad is a souvenier salesman and, on summer breaks, travelled with him to every Stucky’s, in the Central or Southwestern US. (and every other tourist trap too!)

Stuckey’s? They’re okay and I’m not one to turn down a pecan log. But the real roadside Mecca of American boyhood was South of the Border. Mmmmmmm, fireworks.

Ah, childhood memories. I remember stopping at Stuckey’s, Howard Johnson’s and South of the Border. Our Stuckey’s favourite was the Pecan Divinity. It was divine, of course. At HoJo’s my goal was to somehow avoid the Salisbury steak, scribble on the place mats and somehow make it through to the tiny dish of ice cream with cookie. I also recall and endless stream of Best Westerns, but that was possibly when we lived on the West Coast.

Rue posts so early because he is a nice young man and wants to make sure that I have something ticklish to read with my Monday morning coffee, no matter what time I should arise. It has nothing to do with that being the only quiet time when the boys and Mrs. DeDay are asleep.

Mornin’ Rue, thanks for the story this morning! And IIRC you can get Pecan Logs at the Indian River Fruit stands which dot Florida like so many Stuckey’s. Florida is a magnet for the garish and the tacky, so you may even find a living, breathing Stuckey’s down there somewhere. Yeehaw Junction would be the ultimate in this, but I don’t expect you’ll get that far south on your trip next month.

Heh. I guess they never took you to The Room then? Oh, but you aren’t a professional astronomer, and you don’t know the secret handshake. Ah, The Room, with the Heavenly Bodies…

…out of all this, between the references to astronomy, the Naval observatory, Stuckeys, Indian River Fruit Stands, Florida, etc. I keep coming up with the image of a naval orange, you know - little three cornered hat and epaulettes.

Sad, really.

(Note to self: Plan to cross the street when I see Gartog or anyone else advertising on streetcorners for gyn exams. Yikes!)

Naval Oranges are trés important. They keep the scurvy dogs from barking.

“Batten down the hatches Mr. Christian and damn the torpedos! We’re packin’ some serious vitamin C! Aaaarghhh!”

Just watch out for a pinapple with an eye patch and parrot.

Oh, and welcome and felicitations Eff Ell B’Baby. (Not everyone gets their screenname mangled all Rue-fashioned so early in their posting carreers. Be proud and don’t slouch. And drink your milk.)
-Rue. (Really? Yeah, it’s still me.)