Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you."

(Simon and Garfunkel, in the song "Mrs. Robinson", from the film "The Graduate")

We know where Joe DiMaggio has gone; he's somewhere in the Great Beyond. If you do not know who Joe DiMaggio was, please check a nearby search engine. And even though almost everyone pronounced his name as "Di-MADGE-e-o", he preferred "Di-MAHHZZ-e-o".

This is not about the Yankee Clipper, however.

There are names we remember from our formative years that have gone the way of the buggy whip, consigned to the dustbin of history, most never to be heard of again, unlike Joe DiMaggio.

Whistle (pop), Omar Bread, Diamond Quality-Chekd Milk, Pennington Bread, Post Corn Flakes and Freeze-Dried Strawberries (yucky!), Mars Bars (now Snickers Almond), Chipos, Frosty Root Beer, Beeman's Gum (occasionally available in special promos), Fruit Stripe Gum (same), Teaberry Gum, Kellogg's Puffa Puffa Rice, Powerhouse (candy bar), Milkshake (same), Old Man Adams Sour Gum, Weidemann Beer, Burger Beer, Hudepohl Beer, Gambrinus Beer, Pure (still in existence in the South), Sohio (with Boron!), Texaco (the only gasoline in all 50 states!), Sinclair, Humble Oil (put a tiger in your tank! [now Exxon]), BBF, Burger Chef, Sister's Fried Chicken, Ohio Bell, Western Electric, Albers, and Lazarus.

Even the telephone exchanges had names: CLearbrook, CApitol, HIckory, BElmont, among others. Telephone numbers were recited as CL3-5459 and such, and it was not until the mid-to-late 60s that the names went by the wayside. Somehow, 253-5459 did not have the same "ring" to it.

What do YOU remember?


  1. The Whistle Stop Pop Shop. Reeb's - I think they're only in Florida now? What about the typewriter - Grandma had an Underwood. Was Sinclair the gas company with the dinosaur? What was the name of the gas station by Uncle Bob's house? Wonder Bread - gone but now making a comeback under a different company.

  2. Grandma used the typewriter even after you guys got her a computer!

  3. AM only radios, Lazarus, The Union (dept store), Union 76 gas station. They had the tiger symbol. VCRs have gone bye-bye as well as transistor radios, 8 track and cassette tapes. I guess we are old, but hey, 50 is the new 30!

  4. And Quisp and Quake cereals. They tasted exactly like Capn Crunch.

  5. Liked Quisp and Quake; not as hard on your mouth as Cap'n Crunch.

    I still have a transistor radio, actually two!

  6. In Fifty years I have never heard the name pronounced "Di-MAHHZZ-e-o", Mr Steinbrenner. At what point in popular culture is it now Di-madge-eo?

  7. I did not say it was pronounced that way necessarily. He told a reporter after he retired, in response to the question of pronunciation, that was the way he preferred it. He was too much of a gentleman to correct everyone, so he let it pass.

    Most people would pronounce it Di-MADGE-e-o than the second-most heard Di-MAHJ-e-o, which is closer to what he said he preferred.

    Steinbrenner says, "You're fired, Billy Martin!"

  8. Two more fun things we did:

    sat on the porch and waved at passing vehicles to see how many people would wave, and sitting on the porch counting the makes of vehicles as they passed by, something you could not do today because so many look alike.

    I always hoped Chevy would win since that was what we had most of the time.

  9. It's fun to wave at cars! My class does that on our way to Church, and PDQ and I did it while selling lemonade. We got to 96 waves, 7 honks, and 2 motorcyclists!