Those of you who don’t know Stan Brown and his wife Ruthie are missing out. They’re a delightful, laid-back couple, both of whom were born in Chicago and who spent their early years in Illinois before eventually moving to Arizona – first to Tucson, then to Payson, and finally – in 2004 – to Prescott. Stan is a retired United Methodist minister and an outstanding historian who has penned several books. He’s also into Facebook and came up with this entry that surfaced on January 23:
“Does anybody doubt the power of commercial advertising? This morning I awoke with three jingles running in my head, all of them from cigarette advertisements in the 1930s and 1940s. (I was in grade school & high school.) Mind you, we did NOT have TV in those days – it was all radio. Are you able to fill in the blanks on these jingles? 1) “So round, so firm, so fully packed xxxxxx” 2) “I’d walk a mile for a xxxxxx” 3) xxxxxx xxxxxx green has gone to war.”
Following were these responses:
From Bob Deits: “1. So free and easy on the draw. 2. Camel. 3. Lucky Strike.”
From our Stan Brown: “”Wasn’t #1 ‘Chesterfield’? You are old like me, Mr. Deits. Good job.”
From Lloyd Ewart: “Oh yeah, I remember! How about ‘I Love a Mystery’ and ‘Jack Armstrong, the all-American Boy’?”
From Shirley Heinselman: “I never smoked and don’t remember them. But, I used to say the 1st one to my first-born nephew ‘Leonard’. I was 10 years old and he was a cute chubby little guy and I would say that and shake him to get him to laugh.”
Those dips into my memory bank also triggered a bit of nostalgia. For instance, there were a couple of sing-songy soft drink ditties. One went: “Pepsi Cola hits the spot … 12-ounce bottles, that’s a lot; twice as much for a nickel too – PUH! — you know Pepsi is the drink for you!” (That “puh” comes across as a little burp.) The other paean to a soft drink rang out like so: “Royal Crown Cola, red-and-yellow bottle, 12 full ounces UP with a bottle of Royal Crown Cola, give yourself a ‘quick-up’ … the tastiest drink in town – pick up! a tasty bottle of Royal Crown!” (That “UP” reference in caps translates to sort of a hiccup.)
Looking back to my college days, I recall a friend, Paul Stuart, re-phrasing that “Schlitz – the beer that made Milwaukee famous” slogan to “Schlitz – the beer that made me walky funny.” Paul, incidentally, was a starting end, along with Raymond Berry on the other end, on their Paris (Texas) High School football team way back when. Berry went on to become Johnny Unitas’s favorite receiver with the Baltimore Colts, with both of them ending up as NFL Hall-of-Famers. Another teammate of theirs at Paris High was Gene Stallings, who played football at Texas A&M under then coach Bear Bryant, was head football coach with the St. Louis Cardinals when they relocated to Arizona in 1988, and went on to become head coach at the University of Alabama from 1990 to 1996. (His Crimson Tide won the national championship in 1992.) And my friend Paul? Well, he made it to Texas Tech on a football scholarship, but a knee injury in his freshman year put an end to his gridironing days. As consolation, though, he was a handsome dude who was catnip to the coeds, so he enjoyed life without any bolstering gridiron glory.
And then there was my Phi Gamma Delta frat bro, Bill Gaither (not the gospel band leader), who is now a retired dental surgeon in Richardson, Texas, who did a take-off on that lilting Doris Day ditty of yesteryear titled “It’s Magic”. The original lyrics led in with “You sigh, a song begins, you speak and I hear violins; it’s magic!” but Bill re-phrased it as “You smile, your teeth fall out, your breath it smells like sauerkraut; it’s tragic”.
Bill also coined some new words to the “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” standard of years back that began with “They asked me how I knew my true love was true; I, of course, replied, ‘something here inside cannot be denied’.” But I’m not at liberty to offer Bill’s reconditioning in this family newspaper because there are three four-letter words in it that our nation’s president used in disparaging people in not only the whole continent of Africa but Haiti to boot. However, if I sometime find myself in a locker room with some other guys I’d be glad to sing it for ’em!
Contact the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org.