2016 E-mails


Hello again,

Your 20th anniversary of Avocado Memories is approaching? How will you celebrate?  


I'm making a pitch to the publisher of my "Lost Burbank" book to get it published in book form, that's how! - Wes


I love your "Avocado Memories" posts.  I grew up in a similar environment not far from your current location - in Laurel, Maryland in a 1961 vintage tract "starter home".  Dad, Mom and three boys in 1000 square foot ranch house with one bathroom, an unfinished basement, a 1/4 acre lot and enough woods, creeks and tree forts to keep a whole neighborhhod full of kids completely and ntterly entertained. We also had enough basement space to host countless rock and roll wannabe band rehearsals too.  It took me years to realize how tolerant our neighbors were of all of that noise.  Lots of Telecasters came and went too!


I lived in Laurel, Maryland from August 1985 to July 1987! - Wes


Hi, My name is Brandon Goodrich and I am 13 years old. I have a 1956 Brownie camera like you told about on Avocado Memories and you can still get film for them. When I get older I am going to do the same thing you did on your website for my kids.


Excellent! Take lots of photos... you will be glad in later years that you did! - Wes


Hi, Wes... it's -DeeT from -DeeT's 70s Page. I haven't done anything with the page in years, so it's become a bit of meta-nostalgia at this point. But anyway that's not why I decided to write.

I was just doing some backups and digging around in some old files and I found a file called "avo" timestamped June 17, 1998. Get a load of the contents:

That "avocado memories" page is very special to me. In fact I'd probably get more of a thrill at this point from seeing that house than I would from seeing the renowned "brady house". Wes really managed to touch my heart, and his courage in dealing all his life with the fact that you can never go back inspires me. Wow... I should put *that* by his link, shouldn't I? Naaah too mushy.

Now it can be told!

Yours Nostalgically,

David: I love it! Next year I'm going to try to get AM published... I shall use this! Thanks! - Wes


Hi Wes:

I came across your website while doing a search on "Ode to Billy Joe" – one of the best songs ever: :) :) I love your blog about OBJ, "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," and "the Carroll County Accident." It was only a few years ago that I actually looked at the lyrics to Georgia and it made some sense.  Why Andy thought it would be a good idea telling the husband right then he’d fooled around with his wife is beyond me – the brother should have shot Andy as well. :) I love your idea about Bobbie Gentry, Vicky Lawrence, and Porter Waggoner conducting a panel discussion! That would be awesome!

FYI: I’m the only person I know who wants to go to Mississippi to see the Tallahatchie Bridge!


Cheryl, No - there are at least two of us! - Wes



About time again I read your Avocado Memories and send link to my friends. Maybe a few years past since I last read it ! (3 or 4)

I remember in like 98 or 99 it won a Geocities award for the "site to check out" sort of thing which was how I discovered the page back on my WebTV terminal.

Well I was blogging my blog and put this which you might find interesting being you grew up then. I think you have about 5 or so years on me. I am 54 now. Anyhow-

Thanks for your site Wes!

Maple Shade, NJ

Dennis' blog about DARK SHADOWS    50th Anniversary Year1966 - 2016 follows:

What a great year for me to start watching the show! The Decades TV station played several "Binge" marathon weekends of back to back Dark Shadows episodes. I got hooked!

I started watching the show on YouTube and then I bought the first five DVD collections. My Brother then bought me the next five. I am currently up to episode 735!  (I started at Episode 210)

I grew up as a child of the sixties during the "monster craze." I was definitely interested in Dracula, the Werewolf, Frankenstein, the Creature Double Feature movies show, Dr. Shock, Gene London's Quigley Mansion (Philly kid's show), etc..., but I was too young to be interested in the stretched out action of a soap opera at the time. I probably only watched a few episodes back then but appreciated it anyhow.

Being a Christian, one might ask me, "Are you interested in Witches and occult stuff?" Not really. It is just a form of science fiction. It is thought provoking when you see the selfishness of the evil ones. I also enjoy the time travel periods like seeing the dress and scenery of the late 1700s.

There are pretty women on the show and I get goose bumps every time Victoria Winters enters a room. She also is what you would call a "good girl!"

Barnabas the Vampire turns out to be a half way descent guy. (for a vampire that is) Angelique can be sexy even when she is so evil, well not sometimes! All the characters are well played by theater type actors of high caliber.

You learn early on not to get too joy filled at people on the show in "young love," as some vampire or witch will probably destroy their relationship. A lot of bad happens, hey it is "Dark Shadows," but the bad guys get it too on the show.

Here is two good starter DVDs to purchase- Collection 1 and the 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition


Hi, Wes —

I’ve been reading “Avocado Memories” for years, probably over a decade. I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent indulging in your memories over and over again and enjoying your affectionate, honest portraits of your parents. I first stumbled on AM while searching for reviews of “Class” by Paul Fussell, and loved your comments about the book, as it so perfectly fits with his thesis! I’m a bit younger than you and I grew up in Manhattan, but even so, so much of what you’ve written is so familiar to me (and to my husband, born in 1961). So thanks for … well, thanks for the memories of the memories!

Recently, I was reading a box set of reprints of the magazine “Humbug” issued by Fantagraphics some years back. “Humbug” was started by Harvey Kurtzman, the original editor of Mad Magazine, in the 50s, after he left Mad. I ran across an amusing article from Humbug #5 (December 1957). The only place I’d ever heard the “Fat, fat, the water rat” rhyme before was in your blog, so I thought you might be interested. I’m including a few .jpgs of pages from the book — the TOC from the compilation, the first page of the article, and the second page, which mentions “Fat, fat” (by “Sibellius” (sic)!).

Thanks so much for all of your honesty and child’s-eye insights over the years, and I’ll keep checking in for the occasional update.



Many thanks! Over a decade! Wow!

I am certain that the "Fat, fat the water rat" chant my father remembered was a childhood taunt based in the New York boroughs. One person on the Internet recalls the complete chant as being, "Fat, fat, the water rat/Fifty bullets in his hat/Bumped his head/When he went to bed/and couldn't get up in the morning," but my Dad never recited all this.

A 2006 New Yorker article entitled "Freight" cites it as having been used in NYC in 1914. (Dad was born in 1912.) Does anyone ever say this chant anymore?



Hi Wes -  

Not sure if I have ever contacted you before, but I felt compelled this time. A few years ago I just happened to stumble on your website Avocado memories. Being a kid of the 1960's southern California, I started reading a few pages. After a few hours I found that I read practically the entire site. It was like a graphic novel. The strong yellow color caused me to see purple everywhere for the rest of the day. I didn't mind, the stories were very entertaining and reminded me so much of my own childhood.  

Thanks for the look into your life. It started me thinking about preserving my own memories.  



Greg - Thanks for writing. Yes! Do your own version of Avocado Memories! - Wes


Hi Wes,

I enjoy your website and just wanted to share a couple of photos from the set of The Creature from the Black Lagoon. While his nails were not red, his lips were! Enjoy!



I stand corrected, then. But I think his lips look better silvery-blue! - Wes


Hello, Wes. We emailed before some years ago.

I checked out your site again and saw all the new content. Great stuff. I still have 2 pieces of antiqued avocado furniture that Mom did.  I was born 1951, in fact today is my birthday. So so much of your site is familiar to me. We came to SoCal in 1961, and lived in Whittier, Santa Monica, and then Newport Beach in 1968. Was Navy Reserve 70-76 and did active at Long Beach 71-73. Today I work on Battleship Iowa in San Pedro. Come visit...

Anyhow, this note is about a belt buckle, the one you call "Ornate Face." I think that may be "The Green Man" of old and legend...

Best wishes from a SoCal 60's kid...

Santa Ana, CA

Agreed! He looks like a Green Man. - Wes

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