Brand loyalty through the years

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When Frosty came in from the grocery store, I helped her unload. It took me three trips. I suspect she bent my limit of $15 a week a little bit. I must have a talk with her.

Anyway, knowing that we had a wash day coming up soon, I casually looked around for the Oxydol package – you know, the soap that sponsors Ma Perkins. Didn’t see it. I also didn’t see a Diz package: “Diz does everything!”

Well, surely there’d be a Rinso box: “Rinso white, Rinso bright, happy little wash day song.” OK. Surely there’ll be some Super Suds: “Super Suds, Super Suds, lots more suds with Super Suds, ahhh-ummm.” Woody Herman used it to end one version of “Wood Choppers Ball.”

Not a sign.

And she had been negligent in other areas, too. My hickory twig was worn to a frazzle, and we were low on salt and soda, so I expected to find a tube of Listerine or Ipana toothpaste. Nope.

Not even Colgate. But I gotta admit, as Cousin Artire used to say, that she did buy Colgate for a long, long time, mainly because of one of the greatest advertising campaigns ever. Remember the first grade? They gave each of us students a little packet that contained a toothbrush, a bar of Lifebuoy soap and a tube of Colgate toothepaste. For decades, Mother never bought any other toothpaste except Colgate, nor any other soap except Lifebuoy.

But she did get Pepsodent. Pepsodent used to sponsor Bob Hope, so that’s a point in her favor.

I asked about the traffic at the store. She said she didn’t see a single La Salle or Pontiac or Oldsmobile or Mercury or Plymouth or DeSoto. What’s happening?

Speaking of Mercurys, Daddy  came  within … that close … to trading for one, just about the time brother Jack got to be old enough to drive. He was with Daddy at the time and just itching and praying for Daddy to complete the trade. He had visions of beautiful girls clamoring after him as he tooled around in … a Mercury.

Didn’t happen. Within five dollars, but stubborn.

Mercurys came into being in 1938. The Ford Motor Company needed a car to fill the gap between Fords and Lincolns.

It  couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be a smaller Lincoln or a bigger Ford. It wound up being just a Ford with a different grille …before it bit the dust.

Speaking of soap suds and such, after we got the electricity when I was 6 years old, Mother would listen to the soaps on radio while she cleaned and cooked and sewed and ironed, etc. Ma Perkins, Stella Dallas, Pepper Young’s Family, John’s Other Wife…one 15-minute show right after the other, all morning long.

She’d have to miss a chapter now and then when she was chopping or hoeing or picking cotton or tilling corn.

It was that way in the afternoon with me and the cereal seriels. Every moment when I could sneak in a little time, I’d be listening to Superman (Kellogg’s Pep. Don’t know why they stopped making it. It was about the same thing as Jack Armstrong’s Wheaties. Jack Armstrong whipped Superman!)

Oh, there they were. Captain Midnight. Tom Mix (Shredded Ralston), Little Orphan Annie (Ovaltine), Terry and the Pirates, Tailspin Tommy and on and on, 15 minutes at a time

Oh, well. I’ll speak to Frosty about not buying the proper brands. I mean, how can I get a genuine shake-em-up mug from Little Orphan Annie if I don’t get enough box tops from Ovaltine? Tell me that? – I’ll gently say to her.

Bob Sanders is a veteran local radio personality, columnist, author and raconteur of note. He can be reached at bobbypsanders@netscape.com 

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