I am a member of the "KOOL..., Lemon Blend" generation. That five cent pack, a cup of sugar and a gallon of water or a cup of concentrated Lemon Blend and a gallon of water, mixed and poured in a glass filled with ice, created a very satisfying beverages that was served on those hot summer days.
I had an aunt and her name Mildred. She was the only one I knew who purchased cases and cases of the most popular soft drink of that time. The only way anyone could purchase that amount of carbonated beverage was to go down to a beer distributor. Clerks would fill the rented wooden crates. After drinking twelve to twenty four bottles of that soft drink, my Aunt Mildred would bring the crates back so that they could be refilled them with the bottles of her favourite beverages. Because she drink the carbonated beverage like water, her trips to the distributor were frequent.
I am reminded of that fact every time I go shopping and I see rational thinking adults, load up their carts with cases of soft drinks. I am mindful of the fact that one day my Aunt Mildred was found on the floor in the new home her and my uncle purchased. They rushed her to the hospital and she never came out of that diabetic coma. Its amazing how that impression never left my memories.
I was watching a group of women on TV and they were, also, at a church gathering. After their Sunday meeting, their congregation came together to fellowship. They, their children and grandchildren gathered around a. table that was loaded with platters filled with fried chicken, French fries (deep fried in an anonymous oil), bowls of instant mash potatoes with a side of store bought brown gravy. They had toss salads, bottles of dressing, cans of soft drinks and of course, desert which was dozens of cake, glaze and icing covered doughnuts. It was notated that many of these women not only suffered from diabetes, they also were over weight. Was it totally their fault if this was all they had to eat? What choices faced them when they sat down to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner during the remaining week? Were they unaware of the other nutritional choices that seemed so abundant when I was growing up.
In contrast, when I was much younger, members of the fold would come together to fellowship after church. The gathering of church folk occurred in the basement. When I walked down the steps and through the narrow door, I was greeted by a cloth covered table that seemed to stretch endlessly across the concrete floor. I saw bowls of real mash potatoes, potato salad (made with yellow mustard, chunks of egg, and celery), green beans or greens seasoned with well cooked streak of lean, streak of fat bacon, home made gravy, rolls, fried chicken, a deep dish peach cobbler that was still warm, and a yellow batter, icing covered cake. All of this was washed down by a glass of water, lemon blend (for those who were from the South) sweet-sweet tea. All the goodies that seemingly filled every inch of that table, were made by the church members. This was a once a week gastronomic adventure as well as a treat.
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