For the lack of something better to do I recently jumped into my flivver and took another spin around Owensboro.
This time, however, the trip has a special reason. I wanted to lay eyes and mind on the many places I worked as a youngster and in early adulthood.
Surprisingly, many of those places no longer existed.
But a few did and my brother’s newspaper route was one of them. That route, from which I was paid an astounding 15 cents a week, covered most of Wing Avenue and some side streets.
And yes, Wing Avenue and those streets look almost exactly like they did some 80 years ago.
My first real salaried job came when Mr. Guy Midkiff hired me to work in his grocery store at Fourth and Pearl streets. That was about 75 years ago and that location now is nothing but a long-standing grass plot. And, if I might add, it’s a sad and lonely plot.
Joe Hagan’s service station was my next job stop and a part of it at Fourth and Center streets still stands.
Home Bakery, where I was a part-time employee cooking donuts, was located across Center Street from Joe’s. It also is now a bare spot.
Moving along, the J&R Five and Dime store, next to the former Citizen’s State Bank on West Main, was my next job. Then owned by M.A. Rhoads, the building now serves as the home of Famous Bistro restaurant.
Also — and in no particular order — I stumbled into jobs at a rather large chair factory that no longer exists, a downtown furniture store that liked to give its location with the popular quip, “fifty steps from Main on Allen.”
There also were jobs at Western Kentucky Recappers at Third and Triplett streets, a grocery store just down the street, both of which are history, S. W. Anderson Department Store in downtown Owensboro that left its Main Street location and eventually went out of business at Towne Square Mall, and finally, the Coca-Cola bottling plant that left its Main Street location for a new site on South Frederica that now houses U.S. Bank.
A lot of job stumbling, right?
I guess that’s OK, in a way.
None of that employment had anything to do with journalism, which I also stumbled into at a newspaper in Kingsport, Tennessee. Along with other newspapers, that vocation lasted for more than 60 years.
So what’s wrong with stumbling?
I’ve touched on this subject before and this time I’m going to pounce on it.
When is the television industry and the people who have a say over the way our English language is supposed to be spoken going to step forward with some needed instruction?
Since my first association with spelling classes in grade school, the word “protection” was spelled just that way, protection.
But don’t try to tell that to a bunch of so-called professionals who insist on pronouncing it pertection.
Sportscasters are notorious for abusing the word, as are countless others on commercials and various other television productions.
Take a listen sometime and see if you don’t agree.