THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Tales from the old-timer
By Jane Thibodeau Martin,
daughter of the Old-Timer
We grew up with pop being a treat reserved for eating out; an occasional payday treat or a bribe for being good when my parents left us on rare occasion with a teenaged babysitter.
We had some friends who came to visit occasionally, and on some of those visits the adults would go get some adult beverages, and also a case of pop for the kids. These cases of pop were returnable bottles of 6 or 7 ounces each, and they came in a rainbow of flavors which you could mix in your case selection of 24 bottles. Some of the favorites were black cherry, an aggressive orange, Sparkle Up, a lemon lime variety, a deep purple grape that stained anything it spilled on, and a bright fluorescent lime green. Having so many choices was remarkable, and we sometimes spent long minutes deciding which one to pick.
There was no such thing as sugar-free soda, and given the small amount of pop in a bottle it probably didnt matter. None of us cared that there was no trade name soda like Coca-Cola in the case.
What I notice is that what was once a serving of soda - around 6 ounces, has grown steadily over the years, and now a giant container of 24 or even 32 ounces is sold as individual servings. When the medical community warns against too much soda, they arent saying that small amounts of soda are necessarily harmful - but its that what we drink as one serving now, would have been 4 servings years ago. And what would have been consumed sitting down for enjoyment is now something toted around with us, into our cars, on our desks, and even stuck in a holder for that purpose on the cart while we shop.
At the same time I see more people drinking water - a healthy habit, but given our affinity for bottled water the source of a tremendous amount of landfill waste and more plastic contamination. They even sell little bottles of flavoring to dump into your bottled water.
One very popular convenience store near my home sells two-quart plastic drinking cups with a giant handle on the side. I think people drinking out of them look almost cartoonish. And no matter WHAT is inside that cup, I think its not good for you - really, a two-quart serving?
Recently I was in a small store in Crivitz, Wisconsin and was astonished to see the small soda bottles of my youth on sale. I was overwhelmed with nostalgia, and if I hadnt had to come home on a plane I would have bought a case to show my kids what the good old days looked like.