Kareem's Memoir & Bio

1979

The toy I never got!
So, whilelite brite toy I was a not a spoiled kid, I did occasionally get some really cool toys back in the 70s. But there was one that I would see on the television commercials all the time and I just had to have it. It was called Lite Brite! It was essentially a small black box where you would take colored pegs and put them onto this box in the shape of a design. You could make flowers, animals, faces, etc. When you were done making your design, you would turn on the bulb that was inside the box which illuminated the little pegs creating a brilliantly lit picture. I loved the TV commercial and remembered seeing it over and over. But I never got this toy. Maybe I'll go out and buy it right now.

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Boys being boys - I do not endorse any of these activities!
I usually found myself getting into little mischievous tasks to pass the time. In most cases, I used good sense and a healthy amount of fear to keep me from doing things too dangerous. But on occasion, the temptation of other seemingly fun activities ruled me at that moment which resulted with me getting cuts and bruises.

One such time was the time when I was playing by myself at my school. I was on the playground playing in area where there were several rows of benches. I stood on one bench and proceeded to leap-frog from bench to bench until I grew bored. As I continued in my little game, I suddenly lost my footing. Instead of ny feet landing on the next bench, my shin stuck the bench - and struck it hard! I found myself on the ground, holding my throbbing shin. When I eventually got home, my mother took me to the local hospital (then known as Brookside Hospital). Everything turned out fine; the injury was nothing more than a bruise.

One afternoon while I was visiting my cousin Akim, I found myself participating in yet another seemingly fun activity. Here was the plan: Akim wanted to ride his bike down an extremely steep hill in the neighborhood. I was going to ride on the handlebars while he steered. We trekked up the steep hill while walking the bike. My sister stayed at the bottom of the hill and served as a spectator. When we reached the top of the hill, he got on the bike and I jumped onto the handlebars. The excitement of the moment was apparently too much for us to consider any laws of physics or what could happen as a result of this plan. When Akim started peddling the bike, I struggled to maintain my balance while he steered around in circles at the crest of the hill building up his momentum. Then, he made the turn toward the slope. At this moment, I never could remember at what point I realized that Akim was no longer able to steer the bike. I also had no idea that I was the one controlling the direction of the bike. He quickly yells out, "you're steering the bike!" "Turn!" I remember Riding on handlebars of bikehearing him yell, but somehow my cerebral cortex was not firing fast enough. Just as we're nearly half way down the hill, I suddenly realize that a parked truck is in our path. The decision at that point was to hit the truck or hit the curb. We hit the curb. Blam!

When we came to, I found myself laying in one place and Akim was at another spot. The bike was lying somewhere else. After the shock started wearing off, a sharp pain and soreness started to hit me in my elbow. I looked down at the source of my pain and found a pink area where my skin had been scraped away. The gash was slowly starting to fill with blood. Akim was checking over himself for wounds too. He apparently only suffered a few minor cuts. I also started to become aware of what sounded like cackling laughter. I looked around and saw my sister, the spectator laughing hysterically - eyes closed, holding her stomach. She really enjoyed our show.

Other TV shows
I hated the idea that I couldn't stay up late and watch television like my brother could. He could stay up watch showsPhantom of Paradise like Creature Features

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. On occasion though, my brother allowed me to watch a few episodes with him without my mother finding out. There were several other shows that came on during the late hours such as Phantom of Paradise. During the Saturday mornings, there were tons of delights for children to enjoy. An ABC short series of educational musicals called School House Rock started debuting this year. My favorite was titled Three is a Magic Number

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and Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs. I also watched my favorite TV show, the animated version of Godzilla.

My dog Jerry
It was an warm weekday afternoon. My family had just let our French poodle named Jerry outdoors to play. I was in my bedroom doing my homework when suddenly, I heard a commotion coming from outdoors. I went to the front door to see what was going on. When I got to the doorway, I was stunned at what I was seeing. I immediately noticed my next door neighbor Charles frantically and desperately beating his dog which was a full-grown Alaskan Malamute on the back with a big Alaskan Malamutestick. Charles yelled and yelled, "stop Kinka, stop!" As I glanced down, I quickly saw what Charles was so frantic about. Kinka was strattling my little poodle, Jerry. It had Jerry gripped in its jaws as it vigorously shook and shook him. I was frozen in astonishment and despair. I couldn't move. Charles continued beating and screaming at Kinka, which seemingly had no affect. Suddenly Jerry broke away from Kinka's death grip and was able to run a few feet only to be grabbed again my Kinka. People in the neighborhood began coming outside to see what the noise was all about. One neighbor even fired a rifle in the air hoping that this would startle Kinka but it too had no affect. I remember seeing my mom crying and the stunned neighbors. The attack seemed to stop on its own. Jerry's near lifeless body was brought indoors. We sat around him, Charles and Frankie were there with us. Everyone was concerned, scared and saddened at what had taken place. Jerry, did not survive the attack. Kinka lived next door and had never shown any agression toward any of us. It was just a big sweet dog until that day.

Bell Bottom pants!
My mom wanted the best for me. I believe she assumed this when she made me wear bell bottom pants to school. I detested it, passionately.

Watching The News
The 6 O'clock News Scene, as it was called, with Van Amburg, Valerie Coleman, and Jerry Jensen of Channel 7 KGO was our favorite TV news show to watch. My parents allowed my sister and me to only watch TV news Channel 7 News logoduring the weekdays and all the other stuff on Fridays and weekends. One of the major news events of that time was when there was a fire on our local subway train systems known as BART. The fire occured while one of the BART trains was inside a tunnel under the San Francisco bay. This disaster was known as the Transbay tube fire and many people were injured, including one fatality. All BART trains were prevented from going across the bay as the transbay tube was completely shut down.

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WeekdaSpace Giantsys on TV
Weekday afternoons, my family and I watched the only existing TV talk shows called The Mike Douglas Show. Later the Phil Donahue show became popular. Just before the talk shows aired, The 3:30 Movie would feature full feature films like Food of the Gods; Days of the Animals; Killer Bees; and many other classics. My sister and I were able to watch regular cartoons and sitcoms on Fridays and weekends. Occasionally we would sneak a peak at TV shows like Ultraman,

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Space Giants, Great Space Coasters
, The Wacky Racers and many others.

Saturday mornings Superfriends 70s version
Saturday mornings were left for cartoons like Superfriends;

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WonderTwins, Buster and Me and Just Kidding. Channel 44, KBHK would air The Monster Mash. Godzilla versus Rodan and Monster Zero were some of the popular monster movies. My brother, father and I often watched these shows on the weekends. On Sundays before we left for church, my brother used to watch the Greatest American Hero and The Bowery Boys.

 
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