Nelson Clyde's Is It Just Me column: The lingering memories of what we have smelled

Published on Sunday, 16 July 2017 01:09 - Written by NELSON CLYDE,

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Last week we discussed memorable experiences related to how things smell. Several responses seem to cover the gamut. If you are on a diet, some of these may help.


The smell of books when you walk into a used book store. There is still one left in Tyler.


The smell of the newspaper and fresh coffee first thing in the morning.

In 1958, my dad delivered the Tyler Paper in and around Athens. I was 12 years old and we would get up way before the crack of dawn and head downtown to Dee Richardson’s newsstand to fill the car with bundles of newspapers. I sat in the back seat and rolled papers while he drove down the middle of the street and threw out both windows. He would drop me off at Grandma’s house for a quick breakfast while he threw a few more streets. Fried eggs over easy with lace around the edges and lots of bacon.


Nothing worse than a bag of fish heads left in a dumpster in August in Texas.



Nothing on God’s green earth fills the olfactory senses as the smell of fresh baked bread. My mom filled our home with that heavenly scent once a week.



That name (J.M. Dyer) in your column today brought back many memories. My girls used to shop there for beautiful handkerchiefs to give their grandmothers at Christmas! No department stores carry them anymore. My girls still like to carry one in their handbags, especially in church when great old favorite hymns bring puddle-ups! I now have to find them at Canton or at an antique shop in Jefferson!!

Blessings, Carolyn


This got me to thinking. Anyone who has spent time riding a motorcycle can tell you of the things you smell that you just might not pick up on while riding in the family car. Over the years I have enjoyed the smell of fresh cut hay in a pasture, the sweet smell of certain wildflowers and flowering weeds alongside the road. When passing through small towns, I’ve picked up on the aroma of burgers, barbecue and Mexican food being prepared in roadside cafes. I’ve even smelled from vehicles traveling ahead of me someone using a bit too much perfume or that of someone enjoying a big fat cigar! I recall one particular afternoon I was riding in the city of Tyler with a nice southerly breeze. As I traveled West on Erwin in front of the Flowers Bakery, I slowed to enjoy the scent of fresh baked bread. Then when I made my return ride eastbound, I rode past the Tyler Rose Garden on Front Street. The roses were in full bloom and the aroma was awesome. Sometimes, however, the smells are not so great such as following a garbage truck in stop-and-go traffic, riding near an Amarillo feedlot while downwind, or the smell of other vehicles’ hot brakes from overuse on mountain roads. Yuck! Yes, the “nose knows!”




My personal favorite smell is puppy breath.



You are correct - the smell of a hot car in which a child has thrown up is horrendous. It doesn’t matter how many times it’s detailed, the smell lingers, especially on a hot day. As a parent, there are many sickening smells, from boy socks after baseball games left in a bat bag, clothes after a week of rainy, Canada kayaking at camp (you empty the duffel bag in the garage - straight into the trash) and spoiled meat left on top of a freezer for four days.

But the ultimate is when a precious Yorkie furry child decides to stand up to a skunk in your back yard! Score one for the skunk. I’ve never encountered that smell so close. It’s gut-wrenching. After the spray, she squeezed half her body in the back door, therefore, my house smelled for days. After washing the dog in hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and Dawn four times in a bucket outside, the smell was only cut in half. The worst, every time she had a bath, the smell emerged again for about a year!!!!



Last week my friend and faithful reader, Nancy McKean, passed away. Few people in my experience were as affable and agreeable as Nancy. She will be missed by many. May she rest in peace.