Yesterday, I sat down to eat breakfast. It was SHREDDED WHEAT, and since it was my father’s favorite, as well as all my uncles, it had become my favorite at a very early age. Only yesterday, when I looked down in my bowl, I realized that contrary to the cereal box claims my shredded wheat biscuit was not the Original Big Biscuit of my childhood. It was a shrunken version.
RETURN WITH US NOW
TO THOSE THRILLING DAYS OF YESTERYEAR!
Who could forget that un-cereal shaped box with the picture of Niagara Falls. For years I thought the wheat got shredded by falling over the falls. And amazed that it never got soggy. Back then the biscuits were simply stacked in the cardboard box with each layer of biscuits separated by a rectangle of cardboard. No sissy wax paper bag infiltrated with chemical retardants to preserve the freshness of this cereal. Besides the cards were imprinted with things a kid could really use.
Things like the Nabisco Toytown Carnival that I was able to cut out and assemble into a mini-table top carnival. And if I ate enough cereal, I might be able to collect all the different sets of cards to build the entire carnival. With three different cards in a box, I’d only have to eat twelve boxes to complete the set if I was lucky.
When I was ten, Nabisco started sponsoring my favorite radio program … STRAIGHT ARROW! That’s when they started using the jingle at the start of every program.
Nabisco is the name to know.
For a breakfast, you can’t beat
Eat Nabisco Shredded Wheat!”
An indian … oops … a native american sounding voice would chant the words in a tom-tom beat way while an organ pretending to be a drum beat in the background.
“Keen eyes fixed on a flying target… a gleaming arrow set against a rawhide string… a strong bow bent almost to the breaking point… and then… “
The sound of a bow being pulled back, an arrow being released and flying through the air, and a thud as it reached the target!
Golly, those were the days.
Today, NABISCO’s gone … and no one remembers that Indian boy who grow up to be an ordinary old west rancher with out anyone knowing he was really a “redskin.” Except when wrongs needed to be righted and he became that Comanche hero, STRAIGHT ARROW! THUD!!!
And the shredded wheat biscuits are smaller … it’s not just my imagination. Back when I was a kid the package that contained twelve biscuits weighed twelve ounce. Today’s package of eighteen biscuits weighs fifteen ounces. That’s .83333 of an ounce instead of the full ounce biscuit of yesteryear.And the biscuits now come wrapped in three biscuit paper bag that is chockfull of chemicals to maintain freshness. I wonder, if we eat wrapper as well as the shredded wheat biscuits within will we live forever?
Anyway, putting three biscuits into a bag creates yet another quandary. The suggested serving size is TWO biscuits. That means there is always going to be one left over. And Mlle. Renee doesn’t like Shredded Wheat.
Can you possible think of an era without sprawling shopping centers and even ubiquitous strip-malls? When my family moved to the burbs in the early fifties, the main street was lined with small independent shops and stores. Last spring I walked along this street for a trip into yesteryear. In the mid-fifties the first shopping center in the area was built, and gradually the small shops were closed and converted for other uses. Eventually, most were bulldozed and replace with larger modern buildings. But dotting the street there were still a few of the old buildings like this one. Mostly in disrepair …
I have no idea what it originally housed, I think it might have been a kids shoe store. I know there was one on that block. Or perhaps it was one of the several neighborhood barber shops that were on that street. (Men used to get their hair cut more often back then. Sometimes even every week.) You can tell it had wide plate-glass windows on the front, and a much wider front door. The ceramic coping stones still top the side walls, but the cornice has fallen away. Also the aged building is starting to shed the coat of latex paint that was used to spruce up it up. The same can be said for the for the last business to occupy the building. Action Printing hasn’t seen much printing later. But the building is still around after at least a century.
As to the shopping center that brought the little shops and stores to their demise, it didn’t even last fifty years. Bigger and fancier centers and malls enticed its customers away, until it was as vacant and forlorn as the little independent store is. When that happened, its multi-levels were demolished. And about ten years ago they started replacing it with a new shopping mall with individual small shops and larger stores arranged in single level block like formations.
If it wasn’t surrounded by acres of parking spaces it would almost look like the rows of little shops that once lined the street where these now stand. What goes around, comes around.
I know it’s still winter, but the temps were in the 60′s yesterday when Renee took me for my walk. And here’s what we saw …
I got a little laugh out of that billboard … mainly because DIY always results in OMG whenever anyone in my family attempts a seemingly simple home improvement. I guess that makes it an inherited trait and/or handicap.
I posted a picture of this old farmhouse a couple of years ago. This time one of the tall old trees that stood next to the house has just fallen over at ground level. The roots had all decayed. We saw three more trees at various location that had done the same thing. We also saw this tree that is starting to pull out of the ground.
I checked the trees in my yard when we got home and they all seem firmly grounded.
HIGH ENERGY REFLECTIONS IN A RAIN PUDDLE
We also had to walk around this big puddle of Thursday’s all-day rainfall on one of the side streets on our way home. Renee does not walk in rain puddles.
We skipped our walk today. Though the weather was nice early this morning, we have had very strong winds. Also the temp has been dropping a degree or two every quarter-hour, and it’s getting rather frosty out. It’s supposed to hit the low 20s by midnight with freezing rain turning into sleet and ultimately snow.
Think I’ll make a pot of soup or chili for dinner.
REFLECTIONS ARE FOREVER
My favorite spot for reflection in the City of Saint Louis is the historic Palace Of Fine Arts designed by Cass Gilbert for the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition … known locally as the Saint Louis Worlds Fair. Today, everyone simply calls it … The Art Museum.
It was the only permanent building built for the fair, and second only to the Arch it is probably the most photographed building in the city. I started this blog by noting it is my favorite spot for reflection. And I mean reflection in both senses of the word. And this is because of the East Stair case where you can find a reflection that literally goes on …FOREVER! And while it goes on forever, you’re only reflected once. Well, actually, twice … but I’ll never know because I’ve never held a camera behind my back to see what the other side of this photo would look like.
I never really realized how many photos I’ve taken actually fall into various shades of green classifications. The shaded pool is a lush summer green. The blue parrot in front of the background trees is a wild and free green. The swimming fish is obviously a Mississippi River green. The hazy buildings seemingly being swallowed up the encroaching growth is a victorious green. The Green Planet is going to win in the end! The same goes for the Chihuly Glass artwork in tropical swamp. The Chinese garden is cool, comforting green. The head of cabbage is a nutritious green. The sculptures in the reflecting pool is and artistic green. The praying mantis shows a creepy green and the dandelion puff a fairy-like green. The Granny Smith apples is an end of summer green. But the green of the old bird house among the budding branch is the finest green of all … the green of spring and the season of rebirth. (Clicking on each thumbnail will allow you to see the full sized photos.)
This apartment building built between 1900 and 1905 stands on the city limits border of the city of Saint Louis. I first became acquainted with the building when I became a student at Washington University.
This was because, while Wash U is two blocks south of the building, my bus stop was directly in front of it. So I spent a lot of time … rain, shine, snow and sleet … standing in front of the building studying the details of its brickwork while I waited for my bus to arrive.
Jump ahead a few years to when I began working in Clayton as a copywriter at the shoe company. My bus from Clayton connected with my bus to home at the same bus stop in front of the same apartment building that was like second nature to me now. Only now I was viewing the building at sunset, twilight and when I worked late night.
Jump ahead a few more years to when I met and became friends with Andy, a grad student and brawny rugby player who actually lived in the building … first floor balcony on the right. Thanks to him, I finally got to see the inside of the building. Eventually he got his degree and moved on and I was back to waiting for the bus in front of the building.
Jump ahead a lot more years when I either retired as the sales promotion supervisor at the shoe company or was downsized … neither of which sounds good on a resume. So, as a freelance creative writer I wasn’t waiting in front of the building for a bus every day. Except when a freelance project would take me in front of it.
BIRTHDAYS ARE REFLECTIONS OF OUR LIVES
A multitude of changing images –
And no two ever alike.
Good … bad…
Happy and sad.
Each a part of us
That make us who we are!
Oh, to be that boy of seven again!
While I had a birthday cake every year,
I never had a birthday party.
Sure we cut the cake with Grams and Gramps,
And Uncles and Aunts.
But never a party to which I could invite friends.
And now I share a self-baked cupcake with Mlle. Renee.
It’s called growing old(er).
30DoC - Day 26