My nephew Doug, was helping me search the attic for a particular box. Naturally, he did more looking around than being actual help. He came over with a book of what he called funny looking postage stamps. No, they were not postage stamps; they were trading stamps I told him.
A few of us remember the day of “trading stamps” from Gold Bond, Eagle,
S & H Green, Top Value and others. They were given out by grocers, gas stations and some department stores with each purchase.
The stamps had to be put in books, which usually meant my sister or I would sit around the kitchen table, licking stamps. Although my mother used a sponge to wet the stamps, my sister and I would resolve to lick the stamps till our mouths went dry.
At different stores, you would get fulfillment books to put your trading stamps in. The pages of each book outlined that enabled you to paste your stamps in the proper place.
Each page required a total of fifty stamps. Stamps came in point system: singles, ten, and fifty. You couldn’t mix the points. If you wanted a page of singles you had to press fifty singles. If you wanted a page of tens you needed to press five tens. With the fifty point stamp you need to press only one on a page.
Several books full of stamps could be redeemed for all sorts of merchandise . . . small kitchen appliances, sporting goods, children swing sets, radios, televisions — you name it.
I remember vividly my family planned to save trading stamps for a blender. Only after mother explained that we could make milk shakes did my sister and I agree with her plan. My father simply went along with the program. He would just bring home the stamps. We only needed 10,000 stamps to get the blender.
Saving up 10,000 stamps seemed like a daunting task. There was a Osterizer at the end of that rainbow, so we patiently filled up stamp books until we reached our goal.
Eventually, a few stores discontinued the stamps and cut their prices accordingly. Trading stamps vanished from most places. “So you got things from just saving these stamps and stuff?” Doug asks.
I tell my nephew, “You know the silverware you use at grandmother’s house came from Betty Crocker/General Mills box tops.”
Condescending, Nine year old Doug rolled his eyes, “No Way” he said shrugging his shoulders. I shook his little shoulder. “Yes Way.”
Happy Saint Patrick Day! One day in the year that a great deal of people can celebrate their Irish Heritage. You will see shamrocks and people wearing the traditional green at more than one party. What makes the typical American turn Irish for one day?
Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day could be an excuse for a day to celebrate after the winter blahs. It could be the corned beef and cabbage. Maybe just maybe it’s the green beer.
With warmer days not too far away, we will be able to plant the garden. Maybe Mother Nature knows best. Yes, there are signs of tulips popping out in the front yard. Hello Spring !
The road maintenance crews are busy, working on the streets before it’s too late for your automobile. County roads are lined with hubcaps lost by passing motorists while ruts in the road wreak havoc with car suspension. I can’t say for certain how deep the chuckholes are but I have heard that if you look in one of the massive chuckholes on the way to Linton you can see the top of a Jeep Cherokee that has been reported missing.
You have to feel sorry for folks who go to Florida at this time of year. No comparison could be drawn to any climate on earth that compares to Indiana’s first blush of spring. A few days from now those daffodils that defy any remaining cold weather will jump up out of your long silent lawn.
Yes, the promise of spring in Indiana has no equal anywhere.
More than one person braves Indiana elements to go ice fishing
I have one question: “Why go fishing in sub-zero weather and how do you know that the ice won’t break?” Okay, that’s two questions.
My brother-in-law went ice fishing and wanted my husband to tag along. In some years, conditions allow for only one week of ice fishing in central Indiana.
My husband opted not to go ice fishing. Although he agrees there is no better food than fresh bluegill, he decides against ice fishing. Some people shudder at the thought of wind chill.
On this Friday afternoon, the brother-in-law would be standing on the edge of a small pond nestled in the rolling hills about seven miles out of Linton. There was only a faltering whimper of wind. The sun was dingy in the dreary sky. The noise of the city was far away.
The rumor in town was that there was some real good fishing and obviously it was true. In just over an hour he would catch nearly a dozen bluegills. His German Shepherd scrambled from hole to hole, keeping his eye on what was coming out.
The nice thing about ice fishing is that it doesn’t take expensive equipment. Just a little five dollar ice fishing rod and some thin fishing line. Some fishermen, who are more elaborate, bring portable huts equipped with heaters onto the ice.
My brother-in-law says that sometimes you can’t help but get excited about what you’re doing. You see geese flying over, or see a deer out looking for food. It can be snowing, sleeting, the wind blowing and it doesn’t bother you at all. Gee, this from a couch potato.
His wife states that ice fishing cures his cabin fever.
In this tiny corner of central Indiana, cabin fever is on the decline. The sale of tartar sauce is rising.
The fascination of the holiday season is that Christmas is a time to treasure all the magical events of the past and hope for the joy of the future.
For my family, the most favorable memories that relate with the holiday are childhood memories. We also share the memories of our loved ones no longer with us.
There was great uncle Mount, who would come for Christmas dinner and then give each of the children a two dollar bill. My Aunt Edith would always stop by soon after we had finished our meal. She would say she didn’t come to eat but she filled the plate that my mother would get her. She would then tell of how many other houses she had visited that day.
Remembering the holiday season of past years, we clearly shared happy times. Our family gathered around the dinner table. A snowman stood outside the living room window. Giggles coming from the back room as the young children were busy playing games. Happy voices filled each room. The scent of the fresh evergreen tree blended in with the kitchen smell of freshly baked pecan pie.
I will always have the memory of the holidays with my parents. They knew the spirit of love and goodwill. There was the Christmas morning I ran to see my easy bake oven on which there was a typed note. It said simply: “Have your daddy finish putting this together … Santa is in a hurry.”
In our house, we will make this holiday season another joyous year–one to join the memories of holidays past.
Halloween is a uniquely magical time of the year. Children turn into adults. Adults turn into children.
Halloween past was spent with my three nephews. With only a flashlight the three kids dressed as ghosts were shuffled from one house and on to the next. By the end of the evening each bag was filled to capacity. What other time of year could a kid load up on a mountain of candy and other teeth rotting goodies?
“Whatcha gonna be for Halloween this year,” is a dilemma for children this time of year.
Little girls opt for costumes like an angel, or a princess. Cheerleaders and Cinderella are popular as well as the Ice Queen Elsa or perhaps a teeny bopper (complete with a poodle skirt).
Young boys want a costume that makes a statement. A zombie maybe a vampire. Costumes like a Count Dracula, or Sorcerer Harry Potter are typical. Perhaps dressed as Batman, or Pokémon, even a pro football player (complete only with an agent)
All the little skeletons, ghosts and goblins will come out of the closet this Halloween. So, get ready to have a spooky good time October 31st.
When the neighborhood kids come to say “Trick or Treat” be prepared to see a variety of costumes. This is the best part about Halloween–a kid can be whatever he wants to be.
As friends relived old times during the course of last evening the subject of nicknames arose. So, I started scribbling them down — which is basically what I intended to build this column around.
I went to school with Carla whose nickname was Hurricane. While in grade school, there was an actual Hurricane that made the headlines in Texas called Hurricane Carla. She brought the newspaper to school and everyone called her Hurricane from then on.
Moose got his nickname while playing high school football. A nickname the coach gave him. What if the coach hadn’t liked his players? What other animals would he have used? A weasel perhaps?
Tiny, was a kid in high school who stood over six feet five inches. Yes he was the tallest kid in school and played center on the basketball team.
One friend has the least original nickname ever. He has natural red hair and his nickname is “Red”. My friend Charlotte goes by the nickname Char. Simple idea really, like we don’t have to use both syllables when we call her name.
At times, nicknames make perfect sense and sometimes they do not.
My cousin’s name is William and he goes by the name Will.
Yet another cousin, Michael, answers to the nickname Ronnie.