Washin’ Powder Wash Rags

I spent yesterday on Brown Lane in Maplesville.

Aubrey and Patricia had invited me down for a celebratory retirement lunch.

Y’all, my sister-in-law can cook!

Salmon patties, homemade biscuits, squash and onions, string beans, and fried green tomatoes fresh out of William Earl’s garden.

And then…lemon cake for dessert. Patricia even added a little limoncello to the batter. But, y’all…the frosting…so, so rich and sweet.

I asked for a swallow of milk to wash it down.

Patricia obliged, serving me ice cold sweet milk in one of the finest glasses from the Hardee’s 1983 Smurfs collection.

“Did this come from Daddy’s house?”

I remembered seeing the blue creatures on a few glasses in a kitchen cabinet in the little house on Highway 22.

“Sure did.”

“Do you have the Archie jelly glasses?!”

“Yep. They’re in the kitchen.”

Back in 1971, nine-year-old Stevie decided he wouldn’t be satisfied until Momma had bought enough Welch’s jelly to get the whole collection.

Well…he didn’t get satisfaction but he did get two Archie glasses.

Patricia brought them out and that was all it took.

Reminiscing all around.

We moved quickly from the toys inside boxes of cereal and Cracker Jacks to the promotional treasures for the grown-ups.

Open up the Duz washing powder boxes and find a drinking glass. Open up the Breeze box and there’s a wash rag (hand towels in the large boxes).

Spend five dollars at the Dixie Super Store in Clanton, get a plate or saucer or cup for twenty-nine cents. Every so often they’d offer flatware, too.

Dig into the big round box of Quaker Oats and pull out a small juice glass.

Empty the Bama jelly or preserves jar and soak off the label for a drinking glass. Lord have mercy, we had dozens of these.

Carefully remove the stitching from the top of the Martha White “Hot Rize” cloth flour sack so the attached dish rag wouldn’t be damaged. I eventually found out that those flour sacks became diapers for the babies Latham.

Spend a few cents at the Union 76 gas station and get an orange “76” ball ┬áto stick on top of the radio antenna.

Drive down to the Exxon station and get a tiger tail to attach to the gas cap behind the tag to show the world you had “Put a Tiger in Your Tank.”

Doubtless there are many similar brands and items that didn’t come to our aging gray matter yesterday.

Do me a favor? If you have any memories of promotional items, please mention them in Comments. That’d mean the world to me.

I don’t remember when the washin’ powder wash rags stopped, but I for sure know it’d be mighty hard to fit one in a Tide Pod.

High efficiency, my foot.

Steve Latham – June 12, 2017

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5 thoughts on “Washin’ Powder Wash Rags”

  1. Marvelous memories shared here of childhood Steve! I also experienced memory of using Bama jelly jars as drinking glasses! Mike

  2. When we bought a box of Bubble Gum it had a glass that was red with gold trim. Miss Dot probably had some of those also. Seems we had plenty of them.

  3. I can remember getting an Archie’s 45 LP off the back of a cereal box. And for some reason, I have held on to a handful of Blue Horse trading stamps. I just can’t seem to let them go.
    Also, when I was pregnant with Matt, Krystal had the Wizard of Oz glasses with the purchase of a coke. So each week Whitney & I would make a trip to Krystal to get the glass of the week. Whitney would never drink from the glasses and has them in her China Cabinet.

  4. Seems like Mother got some kind of glassware in oatmeal containers. Not sure but that is my memory. Sweet fellow, we sold our house and will be moving. I would love to go to lunch with you before I leave the week of July 4th. Will stay in touch though and continue this wonderful journey with you! As my youngest Grandson says, I love you to Jupiter and back!!! Email me a number and I will call and we’ll set up a time!

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