Children of the Night: The Best Horror Actors of All Time

Behind every great horror film monster is an actor with the perfect chops for sending a chill down your spine.

Some of the silver screen’s best actors and actresses have portrayed monsters or ghosts or the victims in which those monsters stalk.

In honor of Halloween, my love of films and the wonderful performances that have existed in horror films, I will count my top-5 horror actors of all-time.

No. 5: Boris Karloff. From 1919 to 1971 Boris Karloff racked up credit-after-credit as monsters, murderers and maniacs. Most notably, Karloff was Frankenstein’s monster in the 1931 Universal Studios classic “Frankenstein.” Karloff would portray the famed man-made monster two other times in his career and also starred in Universal’s “The Mummy” as Imhotep — the mummy himself. Karloff was tall and menacing-looking, with haunting eyes and prominent cheekbones. His looks, along with his cold and chilling acting style made him the perfect horror film actor.

No. 4: Bela Lugosi. Hungarian born Bela Lugosi is most recognized for his role as the evil vampire Count Dracula. His mysterious looks and accent became Dracula’s signature for decades (until another actor on this list flipped the switch). Lugosi was Universal’s Dracula several times throughout his career, and also appeared in 1941′s “The Wolf Man;” played Frankenstein’s monster in “Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man;” and appeared in films like “The Black Cat” (alongside Karloff) and “The Human Monster.” An icon of horror cinema, Bela Lugosi’s name is still recognized by horror fans of all ages as one of the genre’s best performers.

No. 3: Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. It’s hard to separate Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, chiefly because the duo starred in a bevy of Hammer Horror Dracula films together. The two were pitted against each other several times: Lee as the haunting and suave Count Dracula, and Cushing as the altruistic vampire hunter Van Helsing. Lee starred in several Dracula films including “The Horrors of Dracula,” “Dracula Has Risen from the Grave” and “Taste the Blood of Dracula” — to name a few. Cushing portrayed Van Helsing several times, and starred as Doctor Frankenstein in Hammer’s Frankenstein series. Both actors starred in several other horror and sci-fi films: Cushing in “Star Wars Episode V: A New Hope” and Cushing in “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.”

No: 2: Lon Chaney Jr. Perhaps no horror actor pulled off inner torture and turmoil quite like Lon Chaney Jr. Chaney Jr. is most known for his role in 1941′s “The Wolf Man.” He’d portray the famed werewolf four other times but also starred as Frankenstein and Dracula in various Universal films. Chaney Jr. — a one time Colorado Springs resident — was a classically trained actor, starring in films like “Of Mice and Men” prior to his roles with Universal. Chaney Jr.’s chops allowed him to pull of the inner guilt, turmoil and fear as a lycanthrope which in turn made his Lawrence Talbot/Wolf Man character a sympathetic near anti-hero.

Honorable mentions: Jamie Lee-Curtis, “Halloween;′ Sigourney Weaver, “Alien;” Jack Nichoslon, “The Shining” and “Wolf;” Robert Englund, “A Nightmare on Elm Street;” Bruce Campbell, “The Evil Dead.”

And the best horror film actor of all time is …

No.1: Vincent Price. His ghoulish laugh, hauntingly deep voice, pointed haircut and mustache and acting chops made Vincent Price a legend. The king of macabre performances, Price shines in films like “The Last Man on Earth,” “House of Wax,” “House on Haunted Hill” and the original “The Fly.” Even in the 1970s and 80s Price continued his run as horror’s screen king, starring in films like “The Abominable Dr. Phibes,” “Theater of Blood” and Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands.” Price’s laugh and voice have been used in songs (notably Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”); cartoons and on various radio programs. He read many of Edgar Allen Poe’s works on recordings throughout his career. Price has become a horror icon and rightfully so. Beyond his looks, Price pulled off creepy, mysterious and wicked better than anyone.

 

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Tales of Rock – Halloween Edition – Stull, Kansas

Stull is an unincorporated community in Douglas CountyKansas, United States.[1] Founded in 1857, the settlement was initially known as Deer Creek until it was renamed after its only postmaster, Sylvester Stull. As of 2018, only a handful of structures remain in the area.

Since the 1970s, the town has become infamous due to an apocryphal legend that claims the nearby Stull Cemetery is possessed by demonic forces. This legend has become a facet of American popular culture and has been referenced in numerous forms of media. This legend has also led to controversies with current residents of Stull.

Geography

Stull is located at 38°58′16″N 95°27′32″W (38.9711124, -95.4560872),[1] at the corner of North 1600 Road ( CR-442) and East 250 Road ( CR-1023) in Douglas County, which is 7 miles west from the outskirts of Lawrence and 10 miles east of the Topeka city limit.

Founding

Stull first appeared on territorial maps in 1857.[2][3] During this time, the settlement was called Deer Creek.[3] It is unclear where this name came from, although Martha Parker and Betty Laird speculate that it could either be a translation of an indigenous location name or that it could have arisen after a deer was seen by a body of water.[4] The first European settlers in the area spoke German as their native language.[5] Some had come from Pennsylvania Dutch Country, whereas others had recently fled the German Confederation “for more freedom and to escape military duty.”[6]

19th century

During the late 1850s, the handful of families living in Deer Creek organized a church that met in the homes of its members until 1867, when a stone structure called the “Evangelical Emmanuel and Deer Creek Mission” was built; this church later became known simply as “Evangelical Emmanuel Church”.[5][6] Until 1908, the sermons at the small chapel were preached in German.[5] In 1867, a cemetery was chartered for the town next to the church.[6][nb 1] In 1922, those living in Stull raised $20,000 to construct a new, wooden-framed church across the road. The following year, the church changed its official name from “Deer Creek Church” to “Stull Evangelical Church”. The old stone Evangelical Emmanuel Church was abandoned by the community in 1922, and over the course of the 20th century, the church slowly fell into a greater and greater state of decrepitude, finally being demolished in 2002.[6][nb 2] Due to a growing congregation from Stull and Lecompton, a larger church was eventually needed, so in 1919, the community voted to build a new church. In 1922 a new church was built and eventually got the name “United Methodist Zion Church” in 1968.[6] This new church holds services and meetings that continue today under the name Stull United Methodist Church.[6]

In the late 1890s, a telephone switchboard was added to the house of a Stull resident named J. E. Louk, and soon thereafter, on April 27, 1899, a post office was established in the back of the very same building.[2][12] The town’s first and only postmaster was Sylvester Stull, from whom the town derived its name.[12] According to Parker and Laird, the United States post office simply selected the name based on the name of the postmaster.[13] The name stuck even after the post office was discontinued in 1903.[12][13]

Stull residents opened two schools prior to Kansas being admitted to the Union. The first school only lasted for about five years, the other school named “Deer Creek” experienced increasing enrollments and started being used for church services by the Lutheran congregation and the United Brethren on Sundays. Along with church services, the school held debates, voting for general elections, and competitions in baseball, horseshoes, sewing, and cooking. The school continued until 1962 when it closed; students thereafter went to Lecompton to continue their education.[6]

Farming brought the community new hope and continues to be the common livelihood of the remaining residents. Construction on the Clinton Reservoir led to changes in road routes and farming locations. While this did mean the loss of farms to eminent domain and county purchase, it helped Stull and its surrounding communities become more progressive.[6][14]

20th century

In 1912, only 31 people lived in the Stull area, and at its maximum size the settlement comprised about fifty individuals.[12][15] Christ Kraft, an inhabitant of the settlement during the 20th century, recalls that life in the small town was “quiet and easy, sometimes even boring.”[16] Before automobiles were popular in the area, trips to Lecompton, Lawrence, and Topeka, took two, three, and four hours, respectively. In early 20th century, organized baseball became popular in the area, and members of Stull played in a league with members from other Clinton Lake communities, like Clinton and Lone Star.[16] Eventually, a baseball diamond was constructed in Stull.[2] During this time, hunting rabbits was also a popular activity,[17] and it was not uncommon for the Stull community to bring hauls of about 300 freshly-killed rabbits to butchers in Topeka.[2]

During the early 20th century, a number of businesses were established in the area, but most were short-lived; the exception to this general trend was the Louk & Kraft grocery store, which was established in the early 1900s and lasted until 1955.[12][18] The Roaring Twenties brought preliminary discussion about constructing an interurban railroad line between Kansas City and Emporia that would have run through Stull.[19] Anticipating that their city was about to grow, the residents of Stull began discussing the idea of establishing a “Farmers State Bank” in the area; the Lecompton-based banker J. W. Kreider even secured an official bank charter.[2][16] However, neither the railway or the bank were ever built, possibly due to the advent of the Great Depression.[16]

During the 20th century, the settlement suffered two major tragedies. The first occurred when Oliver Bahnmaier, a young boy wandered into a field that his father was burning and died. Oliver’s tragic death led to the rumor that if one stepped on Oliver’s tombstone, they would go to Hell. The second occurred when a man was found hanging from a tree after going missing.[12][20]

Legend of Stull Cemetery

Far removed from the horrible story of The Exorcist or the bizarre black masses recently discovered in Los Angeles, and tucked away on a rough county road between Topeka and Lawrence is the tiny town of Stull. Not unlike the town of Sleepy Hollow, described by Washington Irving in his famous tale, Stull is one of those towns motorists can miss by blinking. Stull and Sleepy Hollow have another thing in common. Both are haunted by legends of diabolical, supernatural happenings.

The opening to the University Daily Kansan article “Legend of Devil Haunts Tiny Town”, penned by Jain Penner.[21] It was this article that caused Stull to largely be associated with the supernatural in the popular consciousness.[8]

The Stull Cemetery[22] has gained an ominous reputation due to urban legends involving Satan, the occult, and a purported “gateway to Hell“.[23] The rumors about the cemetery were popularized by a November 1974 issue of The University Daily Kansan (the student newspaper of the University of Kansas), which claimed that the Devil appeared in Stull twice a year: once on Halloween, and once on the spring equinox.[24][11] People soon said that the cemetery was the location of one of the seven gates to Hell and that the nearby Evangelical Emmanuel Church ruin was “possessed” by the Devil. Others claimed (erroneously) that the legend was engendered by the killing of Stull’s mayor back in the 1850s (of note, Stull was never organized as a town, so never had a mayor).[6] It is also said that during a trip to Colorado in the 1990s, the Pope redirected the flight path of his private plane to avoid flying over the unholy ground of Stull (although there is no evidence that this happened).[23] Most academics, historians, and local residents are in agreement that the legend has no basis in historical fact and was created and spread by students.[8][11]

In the years that followed the publication of the University Daily Kansan article, the legend persuaded thrill seekers to visit the cemetery, and they would claim that weird and creepy events such as noises and memory lapses happened to them leading to further speculation that the town was haunted by witches and the devil. It became a popular activity for young folks (especially high school and college students from Lawrence or Topeka) to journey to the cemetery on Halloween or the equinox to “see the Devil”. Many would jump fences or otherwise sneak their way onto the property. Over the decades, as the number of people making excursions to the cemetery grew, the graveyard started to deteriorate; this was exacerbated by vandals.[8][11] To combat this, the county’s sheriff office patrols the area around the cemetery, especially on Halloween, and will arrest people for trespassing.[25] Those caught inside the cemetery after it is closed could face a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail.[23]

In popular culture

Despite its dubious origins, the legend of Stull Cemetery has been referenced numerous times in popular culture. The band Urge Overkill released the Stull EP in 1992, which features the church and a tombstone from the cemetery on the cover.[8][26] It has been argued that the British band The Cure canceled their show in Kansas because of Stull’s cemetery,[23] although this too is false.[8] Films whose plot is based on the legends include Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal (2001),[27] Nothing Left to Fear (2013),[28] and the unreleased film Sin-Jin Smyth.[27] The cemetery is also the site of the final confrontation between Lucifer and Michael in “Swan Song“, the season five finale of the television series Supernatural and the History Channel documentary.[8][29] In-universe, Sam and Dean Winchester (the series’ protagonists) are from Lawrence; in a 2006 interview, Eric Kripke (the creator of Supernatural) revealed that he decided to have the two brothers be from Lawrence because of its closeness to Stull.[30] In an interview with Complex Magazine, pop star Ariana Grande talked about her unsuccessful attempt to visit Stull and stated that she was attacked by demons.[31]

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Here’s How To Digitally Disconnect From Your Ex After A Breakup & Recharge

In the early 2000s, dealing with a breakup meant packing up all of the photos and mementos from your relationship, throwing them in a box, and hiding it all away in your closet. In 2020, however, recovering from heartbreak often looks more like establishing some boundaries from your ex’s social media. Whether you turn your phone off or put your old boo on mute, knowing how to digitally disconnect from your ex after a breakup can help you start to heal ASAP.

“After a breakup, I always recommend my clients start with removing all of the emotional triggers around them,” Pricilla Martinez, CEO of Regroop Life Coaching, tells us. “Nothing is more detrimental to your healing than thinking your ex moved on from you when you’re still in the middle of dealing with all of your pain.”

According to Martinez, looking at your ex’s social media can give you the impression that your ex wasn’t affected by your breakup as much as you were. While everyone handles heartbreak differently, no one wants to feel like they’re competing for the title of “Who Cares The Least.”

If you need to recharge after heartbreak, here are 12 tips to digitally disconnect from your ex.

Unhappy woman reading bad news on cell phone and crying while sitting in the bedroom.

Shutterstock

1. Limit Your Contact With Them

For Trina Leckie, host of Breakup BOOST podcast, the best way to disconnect after a breakup is to limit all the digital contact you have with your ex, from texting and calling to looking at their social media. “You have to accept that the relationship has come to an end and make your healing the priority,” Leckie tells us. “When you keep someone top of mind, you don’t give yourself a chance to distance yourself to get your emotions in check and get the clarity you need.”

2. Mute Their Account

If you find you keep peeking on your ex’s page or you can’t resist clicking on notifications from them, Martinez suggests putting your ex on mute. “I would say you should mute their account until you are fully ready to unfollow them,” Martinez says. “If you aren’t ready to completely cut them off, mute their account, so it doesn’t pop up on your feed.” Putting their texts on “Do Not Disturb” may also help you, so you don’t get a notification if they do reach out, and can choose to respond on your own time when and if you feel ready to.

3. Consider Unfollowing Them

If you’re still following your ex after a breakup, it can be easy to catch yourself lurking on their page a little bit or overthinking everything they’re up to. As Martinez shares, showing your ex the digital door, (i.e., unfriending or unfollowing them on social media) can help you get some final closure. “If you’re not interested in having a connection with this person, then why follow them?” Martinez says. “If you really want to close that chapter, you don’t need an update on their next partner, their job, or what they had for dinner.”

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Block Them

If your relationship ended badly and you never want to talk to your ex again, or you’re really struggling to get over the heartache, Leckie says it’s OK to fully block your ex from social media and from texting or calling. “The goal is out of sight, out mind,” Leckie says. “That way, you aren’t tempted to check on them, and you won’t constantly be wondering if you are going to hear from them.”

5. Archive Your Pics (Or Fully Delete Them)

Honestly, bless Instagram’s archiving feature. If you’re tired of seeing old couples pics of you and your ex but aren’t quite ready to delete everything, archiving your photos is the IG equivalent of throwing a box under the bed. You don’t have to see it, but it’s not gone forever. Of course, if you’re really feeling done, it’s OK to delete photos, too.

6. Kick Them Off Your Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu Account

If you and your boo shared a bunch of online accounts, consider this the time to change all your passwords. You don’t need to see what movies they’re watching or what annoying things they’re buying on Amazon Prime.

Profils of a sad woman checking smart phone online content in the street

Shutterstock

7. Stop Sharing Your Location

Seeing that your ex is getting sushi at that place that you told them about is just going to make you upset. Disconnect from Find My Friends, Snapchat’s Snap Map, or anything else that tells you exactly where they are.

8. Unfollow Or Mute Their Friends

Know what you don’t need to see? Your ex’s best friend’s IG Story of your ex out at the “club.” If you follow a bunch of your ex’s pals, consider unfollowing or muting them for a while. Or forever.

9. Unfriend Them On Venmo

You may think this is extra, but what’s really extra is going on Venmo to pay your roomie for your electricity bill and seeing your ex Venmoing that person you always used to fight about (because they would flirt in front of you) for “drinks” at your favorite bar.

10. Get Them Off All Your Astrology Apps

I don’t care what Co-Star says, they are not your perfect match, and you don’t need to see what intentions they are setting for today.

11. Unfollow Their Spotify

You may have forgotten that you even followed them on Spotify, but you will always remember spitting out your coffee at work when a playlist titled “Screw My Ex” came up in your Spotify friend activity.

12. Don’t Forget Finstas

Your Finsta, their Finsta, their friends’ Finstas… when you start muting or unfollowing, don’t forget about everyone’s second account. You won’t regret it.

Recovering from a breakup can be hard for everyone. Still, getting some digital distance from your ex can help you heal faster. And sometimes, emotionally recharging means letting your phone die for a bit.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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New Car – Part 3

1986

I was working at Midlantic Union Trust Bank in Wildwood. Life was good. I had resigned to the world of the rat race. Short hair, and suit and tie every day. I looked good back then, and was making my way.

That’s me at my sister, Janice’s wedding. (Sup, ladies…)

One Sunday, I was driving out somewhere in the Villas just taking a drive and listening to my cassettes in the stereo. I was traveling north and it had been raining and the road was a little wet.

From the left at an intersection a green sedan pulled out. A Cadillac traveling south that was going to fast, swerved into my lane and struck my Subaru head on. I tried to pull away to the right, to deflect the impact but she slammed right into me. She had lost control and skidded right into the oncoming lane.

It all happened so fast. But then because your mind goes into hyperdrive, everything starts to move in slow motion. I saw as the woman fell sideways down on the seat in her Caddy.

I looked over at the passenger seat beside me. The cigarette that I was smoking was sitting on the cushion. I quickly snatched it up and put it in the ashtray. (Funny what you do when you’re on auto pilot.)

The cassette in the stereo continued to play as all the lights came on and the motor quit. It was the song, Critical Mass from Aerosmith’s 1978 album, Draw the Line. (Oh, the irony)

I couldn’t get out of my door, because it was jammed shut. I unhooked the seatbelt from across my hips. I then crawled out across the seats to the passenger door which I was able to open. I got out of the car, and felt like the wind was knocked out of me from the impact. I was also in a bit of a daze. I remember spitting out blood, but that was from when my tongue had jammed into my teeth and was cut on either side.

I slowly walked around the front of the car and the entire front end was destroyed. Radiator fluid poured from the wounded vehicle. I uttered the following words:

“Damn… I only had six more payments.”

Some people ran towards me saying they had seen the whole thing and it was all the Cadillac’s fault. Of course it was. I was just cruising along in my own lane when that woman came crashing into me.

Dazed, I walked across the street. (Left the scene of the accident) I went into a gas station and used the payphone. I called my dad and told him what happened, where I was and asked that he come out and get me. I had never been in a car accident before.

I hung up and returned to the scene of the accident. By then the police were there and I told them I was the driver of the Subaru. They interviewed me and the witnesses. An ambulance arrived and took the lady in the Cadillac to the hospital.

A wrecker came and moved the cars off the road. My XT coupe sat in the parking lot of the gas station where I had placed the call to my dad.

My father arrived and was glad I was okay. He said that when I called he had been taking a nap, and stated that when told him I had been in a traffic accident he thought he was dreaming. Odd, but here he was within a half hour. I remember him saying he originally didn’t think the accident had been that bad because I looked fine. But then he walked over to my car and looked at the front of it, he was surprised I wasn’t in worse shape than I was.

Another ambulance arrived, and at the recommendation of the police and my father, I let them take me to the hospital. I remember them affixing a support frame around my head and neck and putting me on a stretcher and placing me in the ambulance.

I was securely strapped in and off we went to Burdett Tomlin Hospital in Cape May Court House. I felt okay, but was having a bit of anxiety strapped to a gurney in the back of a van looking out the back windows as the sky and treetops went by.

When we got there they checked me out. I had been wearing a t-shirt, a flannel button down and a thick black peacoat. That’s three layers of clothing. I had been hit so hard that through all of that I had the beginnings of a yellow bruise on my chest from the impact. The seatbelt that went across my lap, had cut through my jeans and I had lacerations across both of my hips. (Right through my pants!) The cuts on either side of my tongue were minor and no longer bled. They checked all my vitals, and after some chatting and joking with the nurses, I was released to the custody of my dad.

He reiterated that he didn’t think it was that bad of an accident until he saw how badly damaged the front of my car was.

“After seeing that son, I will never drive a car again without wearing a seatbelt. I know now it saved your life.”

No one wore seatbelts back in the sixties and seventies. Some cars didn’t even have them! But after that day I never saw my dad drive without wearing one. So, good things can rise from the bad events in our lives.

The only after effects from the accident were, feeling a little dazed for a couple of days after the event, and a sore neck. I did notice that for a few weeks after the accident when I did drive a car, I was a little nervous and a bit more cautious when approaching an intersection.

The insurance came through after the usual nonsense and they had deemed the car undrivable. They settled, and the car was totaled.

I went back to the dealership, and got another XT just like it. It was identical to my former fallen steed. But you know what? It was never the same. It was simply a replacement to my first love. It was as if someone I loved had passed away and I got a girl that looked just like her, but it just wasn’t her. Make sense?

I drove that XT for many years after that, but eventually traded it in for  a’94 green emerald pearl, Toyota Camry. I was married and it was nice to have a big spacious car with air conditioning.

I’ve owned several cars after that, but I’ll never forget my first New Car.

The days when I was the one with the coolest car in town.

On a final note…

Here’s a shot of the last great car I owned and loved. A Mazda Millenia!

Check out those vanity plates!

I had a girlfriend named Kate that I was in love with at the time. She was my first muse and inspiration for Angel with a Broken Wing.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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New Car – Part 2

1984

I remember when my dad and I went to the dealership to look at the car. At that time they had a few white ones and a couple of blue ones. I really liked the white one. I had never seen a car like this before. I loved that it looked like a spaceship and had flip-up headlights like a Corvette.

We worked out the financing and my father basically made the deal. I was too busy drooling over the car. I had the VW minibus, and then the Fiesta, but this was a brand new car.

My car.

I remember when they made delivery of the car, I was so excited. I clearly remember this exchange with my dad.

“I love this car! It’s so beautiful! I can’t believe it’s mine!”

“You will when you start making the payments on it.”

My dad being the banker, made the deal on the financing, and didn’t want me married to a car payment for a long period of time. The sooner I could get it paid off, the sooner I’d have equity in the car, and be free of the payments.

But what that caused me was an incredible financial hardship. The payments were around $300 a month and I really wasn’t making much money back then. I was married to that car for years. It sucked. I wished he would have done a 60-month deal, but what did I know back then? Zilch. I just wanted to drive a cool car.

When you’re a young man and you get your first new car it’s like a rite of passage. It’s like the car becomes an extension of yourself. It becomes part of your identity because you don’t have much of one yet. It’s like someone handing you a box full of cool. It’s your chariot. The stereo booming, while you speed down the road in your machine of metal is a feeling like no other.

I know that many men never get past the importance of owning a cool car. Sadly, there are so many underdeveloped men that feel that they are defined my driving an exotic and/or expensive automobile.

I’ve known men that think that if they drive a high-performance car they’re successful or powerful. When in reality, most women don’t care about cars, and they’ve invested their money into a depreciating asset.

The moment you drive your car off the lot it begins to lose value. Why would you want to invest your money in something that’s a money pit? I remember talking to a man with real wealth who told me this: “Don’t look at what kind of car the guy drives… look at his house. Anybody can lease a nice car and live in their mom’s basement.

But at age 23 it was an incredible rush to own a cutting edge, never seen before, cool car. I remember it being described as the “technological flagship” of the Subaru line.

I found these photos in an old album of mine.

There’s my baby right in front of the house in Wildwood, NJ!

Loved that car!

I remember I was working at Circle Liquor in Somer’s Point, NJ. There was a girl named Lori that worked there that I was in love with. I don’t think she held the same feelings for me, but I did go out on a couple of dates with her. Her dad worked at the Showboat Casino, and I think she just worked there until her dad could get her a job at the casino.

I went to pick her up one night, and it was snowing and I cleaned all the snow off my car out front of her house so she could see the car. But she didn’t really care about what I was driving or me for that matter.

She was really pretty, and I just couldn’t get her to fall for me. She ended up going to work at the Showboat, but I stayed in touch with her.

I remember one night I was supposed to meet her for dinner in Somer’s Point. I drove up there and was at the restaurant. She was supposed to meet me there and didn’t show up when she was supposed to. I called my friend Ferd as to what to do. “Order Johnny Walker Black on the rocks and stay cool. She’ll show up.”

I was an anxiety-ridden mess as usual back then and my nerves were shattered. I ended up calling her on a payphone and talking to her. I may have spoken to her two times that night while I was waiting. She eventually bailed on our date and I knew I was dead in the water.

I sadly drove home in my iron steed.

I talked to my father about it, and he said the following. “Maybe she doesn’t want a guy who works at a liquor store. A warehouse type. She works at the Showboat now. She probably wants a better class of man.”

Thanks for grinding my self-esteem even lower than it already was, dad.

Snowstorm!

Those kinds of statements are what propelled me to get a job in a bank like him. I figured if I had a good job, I would be able to get a quality woman.

Little did I know that that would be the beginning of some of the worst decisions of my life. 20 years in banking. Marrying a girl who came from a nice family for all the wrong reasons. It was the beginning of me losing my true self. But millions of men have made the same choices and been miserable for decades.

I remember describing my future wife to my dad and why I wanted to marry her. His response was, “That sounds like very republican thinking.”

But you’re the one that told me to be more than a warehouse worker, dad!

They’re all equal now, and none of it means anything to me from where I stand in my present life, but these were defining moments.

I loved everything about the car. I just felt so good when I was in it and driving around. I remember when it was new I’d be stopped at a light and people in the car next to me would look at it and say, “What is that?”

It was that cool in the mid-eighties. I loved being that guy.

 

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