“There was nothing like a Saturday – unless it was the Saturday leading up to the last week of school and into summer vacation. That of course was all the Saturdays of your life rolled into one big shiny ball.”

Saturday for my whole life has been the best day. When I was a kid, Saturday was our day to roam the town or to see a movie or to sit and watch Creature Double Feature on TV. Those were the days of black and white movies from the 50’s with cheesy special effects. We didn’t care. We loved those old B movies, and even now, I’ll watch them. I’m never critical. They are fun to watch. Some Saturdays we were out all day rambling. We’d pack a sandwich and some cookies in a brown paper bag knowing we’d be gone most of the day. We followed the railroad tracks, walked to the zoo or watched the dairy cows. We looked in the windows uptown and into the fire station as we walked by it. On warm days the firemen sat on wooden chairs right outside the bays where the fire engines were. We’d walk through the school yard empty of kids. We’d get home in the late afternoon. The winter meant the matinee. I don’t remember ever caring what the movie was. I remember standing in front of the glass display case trying to decide how to spend my nickel. The candy had to be tasty but more importantly, it had to be long lasting. I think my brother chose candy by its projectile possibilities.

When I was a teenager, Saturdays meant sleeping in. During the day I’d hang around or meet up with friends. I remember roaming around Harvard Square, going to the museum and checking out stores. Back then Harvard Square was unique and the stores were not chain stores. I remember we ate at the Wursthouse a few times. I haven’t been to Harvard Square in years except to drive though to somewhere else. It has lost its identity. It is the same as anywhere. On Saturday nights we’d sometimes go bowling. I was never a good bowler, but it was fun.

Saturday nights in college were party nights. Some of my memories are still hazy. We’d find a spot, park the car and party. Those were the days of cheap wine.

In Ghana, Saturday usually meant going to town to shop in the market or at the small kiosks which sold margarine and instant coffee in tins. I’d carry my woven bag and fill it with onions, tomatoes and eggs. Once I found a small watermelon my tomato lady had saved for me to buy. I never saw another one.

When I was back home, Saturday still meant sleeping-in and food shopping, but at a supermarket with too many choices. I’ve always hated food shopping and shlepping in the bags.

Today I woke up at 8. I had two cups of coffee and two pieces of Scali bread toast. I have no plans at all for the day. I’m thinking it is finalize the deck day. I’ll put down the rug, clean the chairs, water the plants, start the fountain and then ceremoniously bring the Travelocity Gnome and the plastic flamingo to their summer homes. They inaugurate deck season every year.

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17 Comments on ““There was nothing like a Saturday – unless it was the Saturday leading up to the last week of school and into summer vacation. That of course was all the Saturdays of your life rolled into one big shiny ball.””

  1. Richard Says:

    Yesyesyes … ! Saturday has always been – and will always be – the Very Best Day EVAH! Sure, everyone looks forward to the Coming of Friday, but that just signals the end of the week of work – sometimes.

    There are still people who have to work on Saturday … I used to be one of them. Some people even work on Sunday. I’ve never done that. Wait – I did when I played music. Saturdays were for going to one of the neighborhood theatres which had running contests to see which could be first to show the Latest ’n Greatest Horror / Fantasy / Sci-Fi film … ‘Twenty Million Miles to Earth’ was on TV yesterday and it was like being in a Time Travel machine. Magickally, I was whisked back to my teenage years in a dark and dank theatre watching a flickering black ’n white screening of this movie about a creature brought back from Venus which – I’ll leave the ‘how’ alone – managed to eventually terrorize Rome. It met its fate in a manner almost identical to ‘King Kong’ – just substitute the Colosseum for the Empire State building and tanks and bazookas for the WWI cloth-covered biplanes … it was such a predictable ending.

    To complete the scene, one of the lesser actors mutters the following forgettable last line: “Why is it always, always so costly for Man to move from the present to the future?” I’ll leave it to our Gentle Readers to discover for themselves where in the movie this particularly bizarre line is spoken: “Get that elephant out of there!” …

    You only had ONE party night in college … ? Say it ain’t so. Our cheap wines were Gallo ‘Tokay,’ ‘Thunderbird,’ and ‘Night Train’ … we also made our very own ‘ChamPipple’ – half 7-Up and half white Ripple – which we then transferred to an André ‘Cold Duck’ bottle to look ‘classy’ …

    My ‘celebration’ today involves finishing my ‘Oh Yeah!’ T-shirt being created to celebrate the ever-so-good news that I may have dodged the surgery bullet for both my back and the abdominal aortic aneurysm. The rest of the day is to be spent doing absolutely nothing. Groceryin’ is done, cookin’ is done, laundry is done … I can enjoy being a slug.

    Today’s Musical Moment is provided by Mr Taj Mahal. We bumped into him in the coffee shop while we were buyin’ a bagful of McKenzie’s Buttermilk Drops (as made by McKenzies Bakery in N’Awlins) and Maple Bacon donuts. After a few minutes of genteel banter, we were able to persuade him to perform for you, Gentle Listeners, his ever-so-terrific recollection of that time in his life he remembers as being a ‘Cakewalk Into Town’ … and now, to begin …

    • Hedley Says:

      Richard, Henry/Taj Mahal, Springsteen and I will be in Paris over the same weekend. Will pick up a couple of seats for Bruce, I have not been ago to persuade the gang to include the Olympia show …oh well.

    • katry Says:

      Richard,
      I know each of the movies you mentioned in the second paragraph. I remember the finding of the alien ship in the underground station and the influence of the aliens on people who rioted and attacked each other. The second movie was all the cause of the little boy who stole the egg he found. He had the worse accent.
      Some of my friends worked on Saturday. They did it by choice so they could save money for a car. Nothing was open back then on Sunday so few people worked.

      We didn’t party as much during the week but Friday and Saturday nights were prime party times. We used to go to the school’s hockey games and sneak wine skins in under our coats. When the crowd got up to cheer, we passed the skin around. Friday during the day, my second semester junior year, we partied. Some of us had a class at 8:30 and another one at 1:30 so to pass the time we partied. We never missed the second class though I have little memory of the content.

      I love this song and played it on Coffee way back in the old days. It is good to hear it again!

    • Caryn Says:

      This is absolutely my favorite Taj Mahal song. It makes me smile.

  2. Bob Says:

    When I was a kid the Saturday morning kid movies included a double feature, several cartoons and a short subject film. For fifty cents we could also buy popcorn and a drink or a candy bar. It was a way to get me out of the house. Saturday afternoons included shopping because the stores were closed on Sunday. On Sunday morning I would accompany my dad to the Cotton Bowling Palace where he bowled in a league. The place was the largest bowling emporium in Texas at the time with 44 lanes and a huge assortment of pinball machines. Occasionally, my parents would hire a baby sitter and go out on a date on Saturday night. Sunday evenings we always went out to eat. We rotated around Chinese, Italian or delicatessen.

    Today we shop as much on line as going out on Saturday or Sunday to shop.

    If you didn’t hear Billy Crystal’s eulogy yesterday at Ali’s memorial service here’s the link. It was excellent.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=boK_OyKXeLA

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      My movie theater showed cartoons, a serial and a movie for a dime then a quarter. My mother gave us an extra nickel for candy. I liked Good and Plenty for its chewy factor. Sometimes I’d get a Sugar Daddy pop for its longevity.

      I shop far more on line than I do at actual stores. We do have a great store close by which has several other stores; they have counters, ovens and whatever else they’d have if in their own building. There is a liquor store, a grocery store, a bakery, fish market, butcher shop, pizza shop and a shop which sells food already made in their kitchen. You can buy freshly made fruit smoothies and cut fruits. I go needing one thing and end up with two bags full.

      Thank you for posting this as I hadn’t heard it. I thought it warm, loving and wonderful.

      • Bob Says:

        His story about being at Howard Cosell’s funeral made me laugh out loud. I had read about it in his book but hearing him tell it makes all the difference. Billy Crystal is one thing f the funniest men of our generation.

  3. olof1 Says:

    They never showed those old movies early enough here. When they did show them it usually was late on Friday nights. I really can’t understand why because no one could be scared watching them 🙂 🙂 I think I thought Fridays were equally important as Saturdays, we tended to go to movies on both nights or party too even though I belonged to the nerds so we rarely partied anyway 🙂

    Nowdays however it is the best day of the week even though I rarely do anything but if I do I want to do it on Satrurdays so I can have one day totally free from doing anything before Monday comes again. Normally I watch dvd’s on Saturdays too but today it has been all about soccer. I just watched Waled win over Slovakia and later tonight I’ll see as much as I can of England against Russia. I’ll most likely be too tired to see it allsince I tenbd to wake up so early in the mornings but I do hope >England wins 🙂

    Have a great day!

    CVhrister.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I just recorded the films with my cable box. I got a new box a couple of weeks ago, and it will let me record 5 shows at once so I program it and never miss anything good. I can even talk to the remote to find programs as it has TV Siri.

      Friday didn’t have a cheap kids’ matinee. Even when I was older and beyond the Saturday matinee, we went to the movies on Saturday nights.

      Saturday is movie night on the deck all summer.

      Enjoy all those games!


  4. Save for the deathless truism — “Every day is Saturday to a dog” — today’s post says it all about the day that’s my favorite as well. Thanks, Kat. Enjoy the snacks & monster movies!

    • katry Says:

      countreeshard,
      I have to alter that truism just a bit: every day is Saturday when you’re retired!

      Even though I now have every day free Saturdays will always be my favorite day. We have movies on the deck most summer Saturdays, and they are lots of fun. Sometimes we barbecue dinner while other times we have appetizers and movie candy.

      I loved those monster movies. They were wonderfully horrible.

  5. Birgit Says:

    Unfortunately we’ve had school on Saturdays back then, they changed it later.
    It’s funny to read ‘shlepping’ in your post, a Yiddish-german word I haven’t seen and heard in English before. Educational KTCC 🙂
    Watching TV and crossing fingers for England now. Just thinking, will Euro soccer success affect the British EU referendum in any way?

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      We never had school on Saturday. They’d be a riot.Every kid in the country would have gone crazy. Saturday is a kids’ day!

      Shlepping is actually used more than you’d think. I knew it was Yiddish but didn’t know it was also German. I don’t know where I first heard it, but it is part of my vocabulary just waiting its turn to be used.

  6. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    As a kid, Saturday was spent doing a lot of nothing much. Playing. Riding around town on our bikes. Going to the movies in the summertime or spending the day at the lakeside play grounds. There were counselors there who taught us to weave gimp and play checkers or other games.
    In high school, Saturday was for sleeping in because I’d been out until late the night before. Most weekend nights were spent in Boston at our favorite coffeehouse listening to local folk singers and lingering over a pomegranatina and lahmajun while smoking exotic cigarettes from France or England. We didn’t have much money but we spent it wisely. 🙂

    To countreeshard’s proverb I’d add that “Every day is Saturday to a retired person.” At least to this retired person. I admit that it took a couple of years for that to sink in and I still have a knee-jerk negative reaction when someone asks me to do something on a real Saturday. It’s a leftover from my working days when Saturday was supposed to be MY day, dammit. 🙂

    It’s cold and rainy now. I’ve been outside doing errands and gotten rained on. My outside activities are on hold. I have some computer fixes to work on but I’m not up for them either. Tomorrow.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Caryn,
      The town paid for counselors and equipment at several fields in town. They were open Monday-Friday. It is also where I learned to weave gimp. I played tennis, horseshoes and checkers. We played each other in softball and baseball.

      The Cape was a long way from Boston. It meant a round trip bus ticket and staying at a friend’s house so I didn’t go often. I did hit coffee houses in Boston when I was in college.

      I’m chuckling at your proverb. I said the same thing without knowing you had written this. Saturdays were also my days. I didn’t do chores; those were on Sunday. I’d change my bed, do laundry, go to the dump, correct papers and plan the next week’s lessons.

      It has started to rain here as well. I’ve been wearing a sweatshirt all day because of the cold. It is getting turn the light on dark.

      I’m thinking it is perfect for a nap!

      Have a great rest of the weekend!!

    • Richard Says:

      Caryn … surely you jest about it taking a couple of years after retiring to note that every day feels like Saturday … ? Shazam, Batgirl – I was down with that the day after I told ’em to cut the paperwork. It was (to insert a ‘California-ism’ here) like, instantaneous … I wish I could make that sound all ‘Valley Girl’-ish, but this is the written, not spoken, word …


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