Mister Grocer’s

Philadelphia, PA – 1970

One chilly night I was in the VW minibus with my dad and my older sister. He decided to stop at a local convenience store on the way home on Rising Sun Avenue.

The shop was called Mister Grocers and it was an early convenience store. These types of stores would giveaway to later giants like 7-Eleven and Wawa. (Back then Wawa was a dairy farm. Incidentally, Wawa is the native American word for goose.)

I don’t remember why we stopped there but maybe he needed to pick up some cold cuts. My sister and I wandered around the store while he did what he had to do.

I came upon a rotating display rack full of little toys. The ones that caught my eye were these toy cars on little cards. I was checking them all out and they were really cute little cars. So for some reason unknown to me to this day, I stuck one in the pocket of my red baseball jacket.

It was the first time I had ever stolen anything. I don’t even know why I did it. I had plenty of little cars at home. It was almost as if this other power took over and compelled me to shoplift. It was definitely a compulsion. I think this may be a common thing in children that they eventually grow out of.

I remember sitting in the car on the way home and saying how I felt cold so I kept my hands stuffed in the pockets of my jacket. There was no reason for me to say that but I obviously wasn’t a good thief.

We made it home and I went up to my room to get ready for bed. I closed my bedroom door and took out the little car. I ripped open the package and looked at the toy. It was yellow, and not a color car I would have ever wanted, so maybe it was just the thrill of nicking it from the store. I have no idea. I placed the little car in a box among some other stuff in my room that sat on my radiator.

Gama Toys - Wikipedia

I went into the bathroom and got cleaned up for bed, and then headed back to my room. My mother was standing there holding the car and the ripped open package. Did I simply throw the package into the wicker wastebasket in my room? That’s very sloppy. I don’t remember. My room was full of all sorts of toys. How did my mom find this one thing that I just clipped tonight? ESP? I’ve never been able to solve this mystery.

The next thing I know, I’m sitting on the toilet seat and both of my parents are grilling me about where I got this little car. I lied and told them my friend Dave Archut gave it to me. Was this some kind of go-to lie I would use going forward? Probably not if it didn’t work.

It didn’t.

After a few minutes of intense interrogation, I cracked and told them that the package was already ripped in the store and I just took the little car from Mister Grocers.

It would have been awesome had it ended there with a stern scolding. But no… that would not be the order of the day. My mother and father left the room for a moment while I sat there having an anxiety attack on the toilet in my pajamas like a prisoner in the Gulag.

My mother returns with my jacket and slippers. It’s bedtime. We’re going in the wrong direction, mom. But apparently, we were going in the right direction. My father marched me downstairs and took me back out to the minibus and put me in it. I’m shivering as he proceeded to drive us back to Mister Grocers.

I’m terrified and nearly go into paralysis as we pull into the parking lot and there are two police cars parked there.

philadelphia police vehicles from 1969 | Police cars, Old police cars, Philadelphia

I see that, and I’m practically filling my pants in fear. My father tells me to go in with him and what I need to say to the clerk. We get out of the van and head into the store. I can’t believe the cops are on the case of the stolen car already! This is a serious offense. I’m in deep trouble. Grand theft auto? Juvenile Hall? Hard time?

My dad places the car in the ripped-open package in my hands. We walk up to the counter to the clerk behind the counter.

“Go ahead, son.”

“Sir, I took this. It doesn’t belong to me, and I’m sorry.”

Then my father tells me to go stand over there. Of course, I complied because there was no alternative but to obey. I was caught. Nabbed. No longer on the lam. My days of thievery were officially over.

He spoke with the man for a few minutes, and then we left. I don’t remember the conversation in the car on the way home, but I felt really bad but relieved I didn’t have to go with the police.

We never really spoke of it again, but it was a lesson well learned. My days of shoplifting and thinking I could get away with it had begun and ended on the same day.

Philadelphia, PA – 1978

I was 16 years old and shooting pool in my basement with a few of my buddies one evening. I’m sure my buddy Michael Mitchell was there, but I can’t remember who else. Maybe my friend from school Hugh Deissinger. (Yea, we had a pool table) I remember by then, my dad was working at a bank at the shore now and only came home on the weekends. Life was good, and it was a typical Friday night. My dad was cool with us listening to our records on his stereo, and the sounds of Aerosmith, Boston, Kansas, Foreigner, The Cars, ELO, and Peter Frampton filled the air.

My pop had an old wooden desk in the corner where he used to write out the bills and do his thing. That desk and its contents were completely off-limits to us kids because it was all dad/work stuff inside. We had no business touching anything in that desk. I remember going over to it to look for a pen or pencil to write something down that we were talking about.

I pulled open one of the drawers and there was the little toy car from my childhood crimewave days. I pulled it out and held it in my hands for the first time since the night I stole it. Did I have a moment of nostalgic wonder? No, I felt only revulsion for the object because of what it represented.

I told my friends the whole story that I just told you, and they all laughed. I felt better about the whole thing. My dad had paid for it that night back in 1970 to make things right. He righted my wrong with Mister Grocers but never let me have the stolen toy as part of my punishment. I get that, and it was the right thing to do. I didn’t deserve the spoils of my wicked handiwork.

He later told me that when we pulled up to the convenience store that night to return the stolen property, the police cars were there by pure chance. Just a couple of Philly’s finest grabbing a donut and a cup of coffee on the night shift. But he never said anything about it to me to further drive home his point. You steal stuff, the cops can come and haul you off to jail.

Well played, dad. Well played.

But what became of the little toy car?

That night that I accidentally found it and told the guys about it, was to be its final appearance. I took it from its package and placed it on the pool table. We then proceeded to blast billiard balls into it until it was smashed to bits.

I never said anything else about it and my dad never asked. I’m sure by then he’d forgotten about the little car in the drawer, but I’m sure not the incident.

Don’t take things that don’t belong to you!

 

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15 Sexy Texts To Send Your Long-Distance Partner To Really Turn Them On

Even though being apart from a partner can feel like absolute torture, learning to craft the perfect sext is a hot way to help keep the passionate energy between you burning bright. If coming up with sexy texts to send your long-distance partner sounds intimidating, don’t panic. There’s no need to write anything that’s not authentic to who you are. According to Jessica O’Reilly, Ph.D., host of the @SexWithDrJess podcast, sexting can be anything sensual or flirty that makes you feel more connected to your partner.

“It offers a different form of being creative and describing what you might like to do together or try out, and encouraging your partner to use their imagination can be really sexy,” O’Reilly previously told Elite Daily. “Sexting helps cultivate anticipation, which can intensify the physical pleasure [when] you eventually meet up in person.” Here are some examples of texts that will make your lover want to buy the next ticket out to you ASAP.

1. I was just in bed thinking about you. I’m sure you can imagine what was on my mind.

2. The only thing I want is to see you in my bed tonight.

3. Just got out of the shower and had the urge to text my bae. Still naked BTW.

4. If you were here right now, we’d be doing a lot less talking.

5. Just took some very sexy pics, I’m still not sure which one I should send you…

6. I had a dirty dream last night. Try to guess what it was about.

7. I think it’s time we had a Skype date, there are some very important things you need to see 😉

Young girl in loft apartment missing in white bed and chat with you

Shutterstock

8. For some reason, I keep thinking about how sexy you looked in that [button-down/dress/shirt] I love. Next time I see you, you won’t be wearing it for long.

9. I want your body pressed up against mine — preferably with no clothes in between.

10. I’m counting down the days until you’re back in my arms… and back in my bed.

11. I need your hands all over my body.

12. I keep staring at my favorite picture of you and can’t stop thinking about kissing those lips.

13. I want you so badly. The things I would do to you are almost too scandalous to discuss via text… Almost.

14. I can’t stop looking at the pictures you sent me. You’re so sexy, it hurts.

15. Wish you were here, baby. [Insert sexy pic.]

16. I want you so bad right now. I can’t stop thinking about that time we [insert sexy memory here.]

There are no rules when it comes to sexting, as long as everything is consensual. Next time you’re missing your long-distance bae, don’t hesitate to let them know exactly how they make you feel.

 

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Tales of Rock – SPECIAL REPORT – Phil Spector Dead at 81

Legendary music producer Phil Spector — who was convicted in 2009 of murdering actress Lana Clarkson — died Saturday at age 81. His death was announced Sunday by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which said that he had died of natural causes. His official cause of death is yet to be determined.

Spector produced some of the greatest recordings of the 20th century, working with Stevie WonderThe Beach BoysThe Beatles and many others.

Back in 2009, NPR reported about Spector’s murder conviction for shooting an actress named Lana Clarkson. Spector had vanished from the music industry for decades and had not completed an album since the 1970s.

Shortly before the shooting that led to Phil Spector’s arrest, journalist Mick Brown taped the reclusive producer’s first interview in years.

“Almost as soon as I sat down with Phil Spector, he started to talk about his mental state,” Brown told NPR in 2007.

“I have devils inside that fight me,” Spector told Brown. “And I am my own worst enemy. And for all intents and purposes, I’d say I’m probably relatively insane.”

Insanity and insecurity haunted Phil Spector’s entire life. Spector’s older sister had to be institutionalized, and his father died by suicide when the boy was nine years old. The traumatized family moved from New York to Los Angeles. Spector’s first hit song, at age 18, was inspired by the inscription on his father’s grave: “To know him is to love him.”

Spector sang in the background of that song, harmonizing with The Teddy Bears. His perfect pitch and knack for a melody soon made Spector an A-list producer. He was only 21 when he co-founded his label.

“Every Phil Spector session was a party,” session drummer Hal Blaine recalled in an interview with WHYY’s Fresh Air in 2001. “He used to be in the booth and he’d run back and forth, like he was conducting a symphony, and use certain symphonic movements, the way a conductor would do. Certain times he would look at me and he would say, ‘Now’ — which meant, ‘Go for it.’ ”

Spector’s trademark “wall of sound” propels “Be My Baby,” the hit song performed by The Ronettes. The group’s lead singer, Ronnie Spector, married her producer.

She told NPR in 1990 their songs were love letters. “We always rehearsed them alone,” Ronnie Spector said, “so we had this romance between my singing and him teaching me. It was like the best feeling in the world.”

Those feelings began to be spiked by abuse. Spector wouldn’t let her wear shoes in the house for fear she would run away. He bought a glass-lidded coffin in which he threatened to display her if she left. Still, Spector produced an extraordinary string of hits, too many to name.

But the song he considered his personal masterpiece, “River Deep — Mountain High,” performed by Ike and Tina Turner never achieved the success he expected.

By the 1970s, Spector’s career was in shambles. He produced the legendary Concert For Bangladesh. But Mick Brown says his mounting obsession with guns signaled a psychic free-fall.

“He was drinking very heavily,” Brown says. “He wasn’t a man in control of himself. He’d even wear guns on the phones with record executives — in order to give himself a bit of an edge, it seemed, over the telephone.” When Phil Spector produced the 1980 Ramones album End Of The Century, he reportedly pulled a gun on the group in the studio.

Spector soon entered near-seclusion. He tried to record albums with Celine Dion and a British group called Starsailor, but ended up fighting with them. Music, it seems, was only a temporary balm for his pain.

“He had this one priceless gift, which was a musical ability,” Brown notes. “And he was able to create out of this gift these extraordinary records, these grandiloquent dreams of romance and love and escape, and fling those back into the face of the word. It was flinging them at his father, who killed himself; flinging at the kids who wouldn’t talk to him at school; flinging it at the record industry, who thought he was a madman. These records were Spector’s revenge.”

And they are his legacy.

Tales of Rock: Famous Songs With Surprising Back Stories

Some of the biggest songs in history were written about unexpectedly deep subject matter. While many of history’s best songs are straightforward,  others aren’t so cut and dry.

Whether it’s the disturbing incident that inspired Van Halen’s “Jump,” the court case that inspired Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” or the love triangle behind the Eric Clapton-penned “Layla,” there are some truly crazy backstories behind some of your favorite songs. Here are a few of the most surprising.

Billie Jean is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Songs With Surprising Back Stories

“Billie Jean” might be one of Michael Jackson’s most beloved songs, but the story behind it is terrifying. According to legend, Jackson had been receiving letters from a woman who claimed that he was the father of her child. The letter writer was relentless, constantly proclaiming her love for Jackson while trying to convince him to start a life with her. Jackson was so disturbed by the letters that he often had nightmares about them.

One day, Jackson received a package from the same woman that included a letter, a photo, and a gun. She wanted him to kill himself and said that she’d kill herself and her baby so that they could be together in another life. The incident inspired Jackson to work through the horror he felt and write a song that addressed the woman indirectly.

I Wish It Would Rain is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Songs With Surprising Back Stories

The tragic story of The Temptations‘ hit “I Wish It Would Rain” began and ended with lyricist Rodger Penzabene. Prior to the song’s recording, Penzabene caught his wife having an affair, and became so distraught and depressed that he wrote a song about it.

The song was recorded and released in 1967, but Penzabene never got to witness its success. Two weeks after its release, Penzabene was so overcome with emotions over his wife’s affair that he took his own life.

Led Zeppelin – “All My Love”
Led Zeppelin -

Led Zeppelin‘s “All My Love” sounds like a simple love song but masks a devastating back story. The ballad was written about singer Robert Plant’s son, Karac, who died suddenly at the age of five from a stomach virus.

“I think it was just paying tribute to the joy that (Karac) gave us as a family and, in a crazy way, still does occasionally,” Plant later said of the song in an interview. “His mother (Maureen) and I, often, the memory… changes, the contrast, and the focus changes as time goes on. It’s a long time ago that we lost him. 40 years ago.”

Just two years later, Plant and then-wife Maureen gave birth to another son, Logan, who the singer says is so similar to his late child that the “two images are blurred.”

Bonnie Raitt – “I Can’t Make You Love Me”
Bonnie Raitt -

Bonnie Raitt’s heartbreaking “I Can’t Make You Love Me” was written by songwriters Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin. In an oral history of the song, Shamblin recalled that the inspiration came from the story of a homeless man who’d just gone through a difficult divorce.

“There was a guy living under a bridge, somewhere close to downtown Nashville, and in the story, he said his wife came to pick him up, under the bridge and took him down to the courthouse to get a divorce,” Shamblin said. “And he said, ‘We hugged, and we cried, and then we went through the divorce.” And he said, “You know, you just can’t make a woman love you.'”

Let It Be is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Songs With Surprising Back Stories

Paul McCartney‘s classic Beatles song “Let It Be” was inspired by a dream he had about his mother. McCartney claimed he was struggling personally at the time, delving deeper into drugs and alcohol. One night, he came home from a long night and fell asleep. When he woke up, he realized he’d dreamed of his mother who died when he was just 14.

“My mother appeared, and there was her face, completely clear, particularly her eyes, and she said to me very gently, very reassuringly: ‘Let it be,'” McCartney said. “It was lovely. I woke up with a great feeling. It was really like she had visited me at this very difficult point in my life and gave me this message: Be gentle, don’t fight things, just try and go with the flow and it will all work out.”

McCartney woke up with inspiration and proceeded to write about his “mother Mary” in one of the most legendary songs in music history.

Dude (Looks Like A Lady) is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Songs With Surprising Back Stories

Aerosmith were working on music when songwriter Desmond Child was brought in to help them write. The band wasn’t particularly welcoming towards outside writers, except for singer Steven Tyler. Tyler showed Child a song he was writing called “Cruisin’ For The Ladies,” and Child told him he wasn’t a fan of the title.

It was then that Tyler explained that the original title was “Dude Looks Like A Lady,” and that it came from an experience he had while sitting at a bar. The singer looked over at what he thought was a girl with large blonde hair only to discover that it was actually Vince Neil from Motley Crue. The band started chanting, “that dude looks like a lady” to mock Neil, and a song was born.

Child said that Neil later found out about the song, and appreciated the humor in it.

“He had a good laugh. He knows that,” Child said in an interview.

How to Save a Life is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Songs With Surprising Back Stories

The Fray‘s “How To Save A Life” was written after singer and songwriter Isaac Slade worked at a camp for troubled kids.

“One of the kids I was paired up with was a musician. Here I was, a protected suburbanite, and he was just 17 and had all these problems. And no one could write a manual on how to save him,” Slade explained.

The singer received a lot of heartbreaking responses after the song became a hit, one of which was the story of a young man who died in a car accident.

“I guess it had been the last song he downloaded from his computer. They played it at his funeral, and some of his friends got ‘Save a life’ tattooed on their arms,” he said. Slade added that the response to his hit song was “overwhelming.”

Fastball – “The Way”
Fastball - "The Way" is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Songs With Surprising Back Stories

The 90s hit “The Way” might sound like an upbeat pop song, but it was actually written about a mysterious disappearance. The song was about an elderly Texas couple who disappeared from their home and the investigation that followed. The couple reportedly had medical issues that often made them confused, and they ended up 500 miles from home without their family knowing.

The couple’s remains were ultimately found at the bottom of a cliff in Arkansas, just a few weeks after they went missing.

“I enjoy singing it and I never forget the fact that without that one song, Fastball would have just been one of those bands I was in for a few years. Because of fame and success, I get to be an influence to a few folks out there. I am grateful,” songwriter Tony Scalzo later said of the song.

Jump is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Songs With Surprising Back Stories

One of Van Halen’s biggest singles, “Jump” came from an unexpected source. The lyrics were written by singer David Lee Roth, who wrote the song’s hook after hearing guitarist Eddie Van Halen’s iconic synth line. Roth immediately thought of a story he’d seen on the news about a man who was threatening to jump off of a tower and commit suicide.

Roth recalled thinking that there would’ve been at least one person in the crowd around the jumper telling him to “go ahead and jump.” He wrote that single line first while being driven around Los Angeles.

The Kinks – “Lola”
The Kinks - "Lola" is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Songs With Surprising Back Stories

The Kinks‘ hit “Lola” was written about the band’s manager, who went to a club one night and began dancing with someone he thought was a woman.

“Lola’ was a love song, and the person they fall in love with is a transvestite. It’s not their fault – they didn’t know – but you know it’s not going to last. It was based on a story about my manager,” singer Ray Davies said of the song.

The Beatles – “Hey Jude”
Hey Jude is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Songs With Surprising Back Stories

Paul McCartney wrote “Hey Jude” after learning of his bandmate, John Lennon, getting a divorce from his wife Cynthia. He’d visited Cynthia and was thinking about the couple’s son, Julian, when he wrote the first line.

“I was going out in my car, just vaguely singing this song,” he told Rolling Stone. “And it was like, ‘Hey, Jules. . . .’ And then I just thought a better name was Jude. A bit more country & western for me.” The opening lines were “a hopeful message for Julian: ‘Come on, man, your parents got divorced. I know you’re not happy, but you’ll be OK.'”

Julian’s father ended up loving the song, though he famously interpreted it as being about his relationship with his then-new girlfriend Yoko Ono.

“He’s saying, ‘Hey, Jude — hey, John.’ Subconsciously he was saying, ‘Go ahead, leave me,'” Lennon later said.

Layla is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Songs With Surprising Back Stories

When Eric Clapton wrote the lyrics for his Derek And The Dominos hit “Layla,” he was directing his words towards George Harrison’s wife. At the time, Clapton was trying to win Patti Harrison over and get her to leave her Beatle husband. In particular, the lyric “What’ll you do when things get lonely?” was meant as a question for Mrs. Harrison.

Generally, Clapton wrote the song after reading a 12th-century story called The Story Of Layla And Majnun, which was about a father who marries his daughter off to a man who wasn’t her true love – driving her actual true love insane.

 

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

The Perfect Man and Woman — According to Other Men and Women

What physical characteristics do you consider hot? Sexy? A turn-on?

Well, if you’re a man trying to come up with what the ultimate woman looks like, your answers will be far different than what a woman believes is attractive about another woman.

That’s the finding from lingerie brand Bluebella, which polled people from both genders to find out what celebrity attributes they preferred. When it came to building the perfect female form, it shouldn’t be too surprising that men like bigger and rounder attributes — think Kim Kardashian’s chest and Scarlett Johansson’s big hair period. Women, however, went for smaller and perkier options, like Jennifer Aniston’s chest.

One fun fact, when it came to picking attributes for the perfect man, men and women were much more closely aligned. Both sexes love a ripped body, quibbling between things like Brad Pitt’s biceps versus Hugh Jackman’s, which we think may have more to do with who the current movie stud is rather than an actual difference in diameter. The biggest difference? Women liked floppy Harry Styles’ hair, while men went for a classic Brad Pitt buzz.

To illustrate both these points, Bluebella melded the different celebrity body parts into the sexiest Frankenstein creatures you’ve ever seen.

It would be interesting to know whether or not the respondents saw random body parts when making their selections, or if they knew the celebrity those appendages belonged to. Why? Because if you look at the perfect woman pictures, men seemed to select slightly wilder women than the gals did, perhaps letting personality influence their decisions.

As a side note, Bluebella is a London based company, which is why some of the celebs are more Euro-focused; if you’re a US reader, you may not necessarily recognize all the names mentioned. That said, the results seem to hold true no matter what side of the world you live on.

Check out the results below, then let us know if you agree.

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