Yesteryear’s Memories – Coke® and Peanuts, Please

May 17, 2022

I’m not sure how long ago it’s been and I’m not sure how much it cost. But I vividly remember going to the corner drug store when it still had wooden floors and a big fan in the corner. Our neighborhood drug store looked like it had been there since the 1930s — two aisles, candy counter, and magazine rack in the front window. As a matter of fact, even though it was a ‘drugstore’ they had ceased selling drugs at all, at least the prescription kind. Now it was a mish-mash of hard candy, comic books, and powder for the ladies. They sold aspirin in little tin boxes still, and Mercurochrome in little glass bottles with a glass applicator. But they sold more newspapers and cigarettes.

As a kid, I saw the clerk with his favorite snack. He had a bottle of Coca-Cola®, and dumped in a cellophane bag of peanuts. I was amazed and amused, because the bottle immediately started foaming over the top as he had to drink the overflow so it didn’t hit the floor. I was intrigued. How was he going to get those peanuts out of that bottle? I soon saw the answer. They float.

This may not seem like a big deal to most. And in the scheme of things, it really isn’t. I guess I’m bringing it up because people just don’t think the way they used to. Now, it seems that people have to be lead to a new idea or conclusion. They don’t seem to have to same ingenuity or drive they used to. In the 1950s or 1960s, it was common to have “that neighbor.” You know, the guy who made some contraption that fit on the mower and made it work better or easier. Or that guy who had a novel idea on how to water his garden from the runoff of the roof to the barrel to an automatic valve that conserved city water he paid for. I remember a guy down the street who’s turn signal quit working, so he made a wooden hand to signal his turns at the flip of his wrist. He probably ate peanuts in his soda pop, too.

Now I see kids who have to have the latest toy — the same one we made in Dad’s garage from wood and glue. You toss a thing into a hole and get points. It hasn’t changed, it just costs way more. They have to have an electronic gadget to remind them to buy the newest electronic gadget. It’s a little disturbing because it seems we have lost the ability to think for ourselves. We do as we are told too often and suffer for the consequences.

I think the world would be better if we did more with our hands and feet, and figured out more for ourselves. I know I sound like I’m preaching and maybe I am, but I have to stop now. My electronic thing is telling me I have to do something else and I’m not sure what it is until it tells me when and where. I just hope it doesn’t tell me I suck at it.

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