Lynn's Comments: Smoking has always been a problem for me. Both my folks smoked and it was my job to clean the ashtrays. Because of the jewelry/gift shop, we had an ashtray on every surface, it seemed, and emptying them was a chore I hated! The ceiling above Dad's chair was yellow and the curtains always had the stale smell of smoke. I would kneel on the couch, looking out the window through the sheers and vow that in my own house, there would be no smoking. It was therefore a bone of contention between Alan and I when he moved in with his habit and his reluctance to smoke outside.
Lynn's Comments: Aaron was just a baby when Alan became a roommate. Aaron was thrilled to have a man around; one with a sense of humor and the time to play rough and tumble with him. It was surprising to see how well they got along together and today, my son and my brother are still the best of friends.
Lynn's Comments: Al and I tried smoking as kids. Our parents rolled their own, using a long rubber contraption that made five smokes at a time. I became pretty adept at the art. You had to pack just the right amount of tobacco into the trough, wet the paper slightly and roll the mix so that the long uncut cigarette was even and perfectly smooth. The cigs were then cut with a razor blade. It was easy to pinch an entire roll of five. All our chums were becoming smokers, but even though it was the ultimate in cool, I just didn't like the taste, the smell or the awful feeling afterwards.
Lynn's Comments: We didn't have a garage, so my brother's bands practiced in our basement. For as long as I can remember, the sound of their practicing was ambient noise, and when he wasn't rehearsing with his buddies, Al practiced his horn for hours. The scales, the trills and the tricks of the tongue had to be repeated endlessly, and there were times I just had to escape from it. No amount of teasing or pleading kept him from practicing--which is why he was, in later years, such an excellent musician!
Lynn's Comments: A little artistic license here. I don't think I ever showed a fish tank in the house before this sketch, and I didn't show one later--unless it was in the clinic. It simply appeared for this gag. Later on, I paid more attention to such details, but at this time, I just drew whatever came to mind!
Lynn's Comments: The thing Aaron liked about my brother's smoking was that he got to blow out the matches.
Lynn's Comments: The habit of bringing home gifts when I travel has been handed down to my children. Now whenever they travel, I can't wait to say, "What did you bring me?"
Lynn's Comments: Artificial cigarettes were newly on the market when I did this strip. As a non-smoker, I was fascinated by the idea. Could a placebo smoke really take the place of the real thing? Friends and family were eagerly testing this possibility, but couldn't get past the image of the pacifier to take it seriously!
Lynn's Comments: When my dad tried to quit smoking, he got rid of his cravings, he said, by going for a walk. We knew it was an excuse to grab a fast cigarette, 'cause Dad didn't like exercise and rarely walked anywhere!
Lynn's Comments: My dad talked a lot about the war, and any time the subject came up in the strip, I received letters from veterans happy to see it mentioned.