More Old Jingles

May 31, 2009

This is another busy weekend. Therefore, I’m simply going to add a few questions to yesterday’s list.

11. What product was Charlie warned about from the standpoint that he’d have a “tough time keeping all the gals away”?

12. What product’s ads included a beaver singing “Brusha, brusha, brusha”?

13. What product was sold based on, “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is”?

14. What was “Dad’s Old Fashioned”?

15. Which was the ‘foaming’ cleanser that “washed the dirt right down the drain”?

Don’t forget to remind me to list the answers… some day.

Old Advertising Jingles

May 30, 2009

This is one of those days when the jukebox in my mind refuses to be silent.

It’s not playing all my favorite memories. Instead, it’s playing a bunch of jingles for products that may or may not still be on the market. Since we had a quiz yesterday, I decided to turn this topic into another quiz and see how many of my readers can recall some of those jingles and products.

1. What was brewed on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay?

2. With what product will a little dab do ya?

3. What product proclaimed that the wet head is dead?

4. What commercial used the phrase, “With a bee and a bi and a bo and a bop”?

5. What brand of gasoline kept your car on the go… for business or pleasure… in any kind of weather?

6. What star did the man with whom “you could trust your car to” wear?

7. What product ‘hits the spot; two full glasses, that’s a lot”?

8. Besides wanting to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, what did those singers want to buy the world?

9.What product’s commercials invited you to “Be happy, go _________, it’s light-up time’?

10. What car did Dinah Shore want you to drive when she invited you to “See the U.S.A.”?

Unlike yesterday’s quiz, I’m not going to divulge the answers right away. Watch in the mail, I’ll never fail, if you don’t see the answers by Tuesday you’ll know I’m in jail. Or, I simply forgot to include them. You might need to remind me.


May 29, 2009

One of my high school classmates (please note that I did not use the adjective “old” to describe her) sent me a quiz that prompted me to address the subject of misnomers. I immediately went to the Internet to track down the logic behind misnomers and to see if I could find any other good examples.

The first place I visited was Wikipedia which provided answers to both of my questions. That site listed a number of sources of misnomers, along with some examples of each. They included:

  • Older names being retained. A perfect example of this is the ice box.
  • Well-known product names being used generically. Kleenex, Xerox, and Jell-o are the examples given.
  • Ambiguity. The example given is the ‘parkway’ which was so defined because the roadway traveled through park-like surroundings. Of course this has led to more than one comedian pointing out that we drive on parkways and park on driveways.
  • Association of an object with something other than its origin. See question number 2 in the quiz for a perfect example of this.

There are a number of other sources listed and the entire article is worth reading. But, before you do, see how well you can do on this test.

1. How long did the Hundred Years’ War last?

2. Which country makes Panama hats?

3. From which animal do we get cat gut?

4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5. What is a camel’s hair brush made of?

6. The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

7. What was King George VI’s first name?

8. What color is a purple finch?

9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10. What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

If it makes you feel any better, I guessed correctly on one and knew the answer to another. That gave me a twenty percent success rate. I doubt if that would be a passing grade at any level.

Check your answers below:


1. How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years

2. Which country makes Panama hats?  Ecuador

3. From which animal do we get cat gut? Sheep and Horses

4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November

5. What is a camel’s hair brush made of? Squirrel fur (So that’s what happened to all the squirrels in our yard. And I was blaming it on the fox.)

6. The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs

7. What was King George VI’s first name? Albert

8. What color is a purple finch ? Crimson (I guessed this one right!)

9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from?  New Zealand

10. What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane? Orange (I knew this one!)

There are so many words and phrases we use on a daily basis that would make no sense at all if we stopped and questioned them. If you can think of any we missed, feel free to share them with us. Please click on the comments button to do so.

Thank you kindly for your continued support.

Earliest Trips to New Jersey Shore

May 28, 2009

Because my father was raised in South Jersey and still had family living in that area, most of our annual vacations were taken at the shore.

I can vaguely remember riding in the old Chevrolet. As I recall, it was a green car that looked something like the one in this photo.

Gone by 1949 but not forgotten

Gone by 1949 but not forgotten

I always thought that car was a 1943, but while looking for a photo I discovered that Chevy didn’t make any consumer cars that year. They were too busy building military vehicles.

In any case, you’ll note the car had a large back seat area. It was large enough (and I was small enough) that I could lie on the floor and use the middle hump as a pillow. My older brother had the luxury of lying on the shelf by the rear window. (Back then, seat belts in cars were non-existent.)

I vividly recall looking up and out the windows and watching the utility poles flash by as we ‘sped’ down the road.

In those early days, we were only able to speed between Irwin, Pennsylvania and Carlisle, Pennsylvania – a distance of about one hundred and sixty miles. In the late 1940’s, the total distance we traveled was more than four hundred miles and much of it was on the old U.S. highways that went through dozens of small towns.

Many of those old highways were three lanes that required drivers to be extremely careful when passing. That middle lane – used by motorists going in both directions – resulted in many head-on collisions.

We usually began our vacations late on a Friday night. Dad would come home from work and sleep for a few hours while mom packed the car. Then, around midnight, we’d start on the long journey. We lived about forty or fifty miles from Irwin and it was mostly city driving. The Penn-Lincoln Parkway did not exist and there were lots of traffic lights.

From Irwin, we’d sail along the ‘new’ turnpike that had opened for traffic in 1940. When we got to Carlisle, we’d return to the U.S. highways and continue our eastward trek.

As I recall, we sometimes avoided Philadelphia by passing through Wilmington, Delaware. If we did go through Philly, we’d cross over the Ben Franklin Bridge.

By eleven o’clock on Saturday morning, we’d be greeted by Uncle Lewis and Aunt Nellie. I’m sure dad was exhausted, but Lewis and I were ready to go crabbing and fishing.

In 1951, the Pennsylvania Turnpike was opened from the Ohio line to Philadelphia. That cut an hour or two off the trip and also made it possible for us to stop at a Howard Johnson’s for more than gasoline.

Coincidentally, a song that sticks in my head because I heard it so much during our travels between Pittsburgh and South Jersey was also recorded in 1951.

Les Paul and Mary Ford were popular recording artists of the time. Several years later, they divorced, but Les Paul continued playing guitar and began designing his own line of guitars. I’m sure my step-son, the rock star, has heard of Les Paul guitars… but he might be left wondering who the guy in that video is.

Getting back to our vacation journeys… the Walt Whitman Bridge opened in 1957 making the trip even easier. Then, in 1965, the Atlantic City Expressway opened.

Today that trip that took at least eleven hours in 1948 can be accomplished in under seven.

Many people have come to take the Interstate Highway System for granted… as though it has always been there. For the younger generations, that is absolutely true – it has always been there!

But those of us who remember being stuck behind trucks and buses winding their way along two-lane U.S. highways cannot thank President Eisenhower enough for pushing the idea through congress.

However, let me let you in on a secret.

If you are not in any big hurry to get from one city to the next, get off that Interstate and follow the old U.S. highways. In many cases, you’ll find the road surface to be in much better condition. It has been resurfaced and doesn’t carry the heavy burden of trucks, buses, and cars.

If you like looking at old buildings (many, unfortunately, abandoned) along with farms and forests, you’ll find the travel much more interesting.

Just keep the secret to yourself. We don’t want everybody to get off the Interstates. Smelling the roses won’t be so sweet if you’re stuck in a traffic jam.

Deja vu

May 27, 2009

In 1984, I dragged my family on a cross country tour. In six weeks, we covered almost ten thousand miles, visited twenty-nine states, and saw two oceans.

I was forty years old at the time and thought I’d seen just about everything one could imagine. But when we arrived in Vernal, Utah, my mind went into another sphere.

To begin with, I saw Reddy Kilowatt.

The one and only!

The one and only! Watt a lot of jobs he does!

I hadn’t seen the logo of the electric companies in years, and yet there he was – standing proudly in front of the local power company.

Things got even more interesting when we decided to visit the Vernal Dinosaur Museum. Walking around and looking at the displays gave me the strangest feelings – I’d been there before! And yet, it was my first visit to that part of our country.

Finally, I looked down and noticed a small brass plate attached to each display counter. It read, “Donated by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.”

These were many of the same display cases I looked at when I was a grade school student on my annual field-trip to the museum. The only things that were missing were the basement cafeteria and milk in the one-pint glass bottles.

I asked one of the employees to explain why the museum in Pittsburgh had donated so much to a museum in such a small town as Vernal, Utah.

The answer was quite simple. Andrew Carnegie had hired a team of archeologists to go out and find dinosaur bones. That team found them in the area of Dinosaur National Monument… just outside Vernal, and sent them all back to Pittsburgh.

An escapee in Pittsburgh

An escapee in Pittsburgh

Carnegie then selected the best specimens to be placed in the museum in Pittsburgh. He sold the rest to museums throughout the world.

Eventually, the people from Utah had had enough and insisted some of the bones should stay where they were found. To repay the state of Utah, the museum in Pittsburgh sent the display cases, along with many artifacts from around the world, to Vernal to provide them with a ‘world-class’ museum of their own.

If you’ve ever visited Dinosaur National Monument, you know that today, every effort is made to leave the bones where they are found.

I want to thank the author of a dinosaur website who calls himself Dinoguy for reminding me of my visit to Vernal. If you’ve ever been interested in being part of a ‘dig’, this is the guy you need to talk to.

Traveling is on the Mind

May 26, 2009

Ever since I started sticking pins in that map on Facebook, my spirit has been urging me to go… somewhere… anywhere!

My wanderlust was not helped at all by our Memorial Day activities.

A group of folks from church got together for a cook-out yesterday and I found myself reminiscing about Atlantic City’s Steel Pier with Karen Taylor. Karen grew up near Burlington, New Jersey, which is the town where my ancestors landed around 1676.

Karen was fascinated by the fact that, on my very first date back in 1961, my lady friend and I went for a ‘ride’ in the diving bell. Karen had done likewise many years ago and had never encountered anyone else crazy enough to go under water in that big metal monstrosity. The sad part is we both agreed that we couldn’t see anything as we peered out the small portholes. The waves crashing on the beach made it impossible to see any kind of fish.

Karen and I got to talking about the diving bell after a discussion of the ‘diving’ horses on the steel pier. Personally, I never thought the horses got any real thrill from jumping off the platform into the ocean. In fact, as I recall, the ‘diving board’ dropped out from under them. The horses had no choice in the matter.

My other memory of that day in Atlantic City was sitting in the large auditorium on the Steel Pier and listening to Xavier Cugat and Abbe Lane.

Naturally, all of this talk made me want to rent a house on the beach and return to the spot where my family vacationed all those many years ago.

Of course, if I couldn’t do that, I’d have no problem returning to Texas and walking along the River Walk in San Antonio. A visit to the San Diego Zoo would be nice… especially if we won the lottery and could take our grandchildren along.

There are so many places I’d love to see again… almost as many as the people I’d love to see again.

But there are also those places to which I’ve never been. Winning the lottery would go a long way toward paying our airfare, meals, and hotels as we visited Rome, Athens (not the one here in Georgia), Berlin, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Brussels, and so many other places.

I know that I will now be watching the travel web sites looking for that great bargain. When I find it, we’re gone!

My Wunderlust

May 25, 2009

I guess I could’ve listed this as ‘childhood memories’. Gogi Grant was much younger when I heard this song for the first time.

My oldest son recently found a Facebook application that allows one to place a pin in a world map for every city and town one has ever visited. I’ve been having a ball with it!

So far I’ve stuck pins into 329 cities in nine different countries. I knew I’ve been to a lot of places, but I’ve never had a good way to pin-point exactly where I’ve been… until now.

When I started blogging I had every intention of writing about many of the places I’ve seen. Going through the maps and sticking pins has already brought back some memorable events. Watch for future posts concerning the results of my being the next-of-kin to the wayward wind.

In the meantime, my hats off to all our veterans and those currently serving in the military. They’re our only hope for everlasting peace on earth.