Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's The Real Thing, or, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing

Some of us have been around long enough to remember many of the advertising campaigns of the past. The two slogans above were popularized by the Coca-Cola ® company. We also remember that we can have a Coke ® and a smile. However, I'd like to share a memory that I have a this product from even earlier than those campaigns. It has to do with the bottles.

For those of us who have been around awhile, you will remember that Coke ® was sold in bottles that came in two sizes. There was the 10 ounce bottle which was the size in which most other colas and non-colas (such as Grape Nehi ®) were sold. Then there was the 6 1/2 ounce size. This was the preferred size in my family and in most of the South. Folks said that it tasted better. It was supposed to be truer to the original formula. I can recall many times when I visited my maternal grandparents and enjoyed one of these six and a half ounce treats! I also remember getting them at the beauty parlor out of a machine there where soft drinks cost a whopping 6 cents! I remember that we thought it was terrible when they went up from 6 cents to a dime. I don't think any of us ever dreamed that they'd be charging over $1 for a bottle nearly 40 years later. I don't think we ever dreamed they'd change our beloved glass bottles to plastic either. Of course, you can still purchase Coke ® in a glass bottle in some locations, but these smaller bottles cost as much as their larger plastic counterparts.

There is one thing that I really miss about those glass bottles. It's the fun we had when we would turn the bottles upside down to see whose bottle had travelled the greatest distance. You see, in those days the bottles all bore the imprint of the bottle's original bottling plant. It was fun to see where all the bottles originated. Once in awhile we'd get a local bottle such as "Tupelo, Miss." but often they bore "Birmingham, Ala." or "Atlanta, Ga." or "Miami, Fla." Persons who had a location such as "Chicago, Ill." or "Minneapolis, Minn." would almost surely be contender on most days for the bottle that had travelled the most distance. If you had a west coast location such as "Los Angeles, Calif." or "San Francisco, Calif.", you could almost guarantee that you'd be that day's winner. They charged deposits for the bottles so you always took them back to the store so that the new deposit fee was offset by the returned deposit fee. There are some states which still charge deposits on plastic bottles. This little contest was one of the "simple pleasures" of childhood in the past. It was a game that could be played by young and old alike. The only requirement was to "enjoy Coca-Cola ®" which was the main advertising campaign of a much simpler day and time.


Family Curator said...

Lori, so glad to have found you and your blog. I enjoyed your posting about memories of coca-cola bottles. I don't remember the small size you mention, but I do recall discovering those ice cold green bottles when on car trips with my parents driving through lonesome desert towns. And I do think that the coke tasted better in glass than in plastic.

I'm part of a family that never leaves one meal without plans for the next... hence the focus on Maine seafood. I'll agree with you, the lobster in New England is wonderful.

Lori Thornton said...

Thanks for the comment, Denise. I got teased a lot for all my food posts when I made that New England trip this summer. I still had several restaurants that I would have enjoyed trying when I was in Boston that I just didn't have time to visit while there. Those will have to wait for my next trip to Boston.

Bob Franks said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your article. It brought back fond memories. I'm glad folks in Monroe County played the "where was the drink bottled" game as well. I thought we were the only ones who played that game! The "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" commercial is a classic. Good writing!

Lori Thornton said...

That was a good commercial! I think they've forgotten how to create good commercials now!

Anonymous said...

Oh, gosh, we did that too! I guess kids could do it with dollar bills now, see which mint the money came from.

yes, coke in glass bottles tastes better than in platic (or aluminum!)

Lori Thornton said...

Glass tastes especially better than aluminum!