The street where I grew up, most all the neighbors worked at NASA or in the Oil Industry. All except one, our next-door neighbor the Rogers. They owned and operated a Malt Shop in town. Going to Rogers was something I think everyone did in our small town of Dickinson, Texas. It was a great place to hang out. They had the best hamburgers and chocolate malts.

One summer, I guess I was about 13 or 14 years old, Mr. Rogers asked me if I would mow their lawn while their son Dwight was on vacation. I gladly took the job. I mowed it each of the two weeks Dwight was out town. After I finished the job both times, I hopped on my green Schwinn banana seat bike and rode to the Malt Shop to collect my pay. When I walked in Mr. Rogers asked, “The usual?” I replied, “Yes please”. He wrote down the order and put it where the kitchen staff would see it. Then he yelled, “One naked burger.” I like hamburgers with nothing on it, just meat and bread. Then he started to make the chocolate malt. These were real malts, not what like what we have today with chocolate shakes.

I sat at one of the tables near the windows so I could watch the cars go by. Mr. Rogers brought my lunch over and said, “This is all you want for mowing the yard?”. I replied that this was perfect. I am not sure who got the better end of the deal, I think I did because those hamburgers and malts were awesome.

I don’t know why I thought of this when I woke up this morning but am glad I did. Those times when we were young and free seem like the best times in life.