This whole thing is making me thirsty

You people never cease to amaze me! I wrote a simple story about liking Coca-Colas. It really wasn’t all that great. Real newspaper people would call it “filler” material. I promise I have done better….

Everybody and his brother has called, emailed, or stopped me on the street to talk about Coca-Colas. Half of you agreed with me. It was also your favorite drink. You remembered carefully pouring peanuts down the neck of an ice cold bottle. Or you had a story of when you enjoyed a special Coke at a special moment with a special friend.  

Of course, the other half condemned me for “endorsing, propagandizing, and romanticizing” a drink that was slowly killing me—and anyone else I talked into drinking it—one sip at a time! Goodness gracious, you’d think we were reminiscing about snake-oil remedies, Hadacol, or Carter’s Little Liver pills!

And I didn’t understand that romanticizing part unless they knew something about Cokes that I didn’t!

I did get an email from Somerset, Kentucky. From a Pepsi feller! He made it abundantly clear that Pepsis were far superior to Cokes in every possible way. And only a tasteless, uncouth, ignorant, and helpless soul would venture down the Coca-Cola trail. I believe I quoted him almost verbatim on some of his wordage.

I politely thanked him for his opinion and wished him the blessings of the day. And refrained from telling him about my late Uncle Harvey who raised albino chickens, thought pigs could talk, wrestling was real and the moon landing was as spurious as a three dollar bill!

A message also arrived from a delightful lady in Albany, Georgia. She sent me a recipe for a Coca-Cola cake that had been in her family for generations. I figured if it had been several generations back, it might have contained some cocaine from the original flavored Cokes.

Cathy is at the store right now gathering all the cake ingredients, except for the Cokes. Naturally, I have that covered!

I appreciate every single person who took the time to share their inner most thoughts on the subject. And we’ve really only scratched the Coca-Cola surface. We didn’t mention “last time” about the endless checker games. They were big at our house on cold or rainy days.

The dogs would chew up our wooden checkers. Or sometimes Leon would use them for target practice. We’d save our caps off the Coke bottles and make “checkers” out of them. You could turn one side down and one up for the opposing players. Or you could take the cork out of half of them and play that way.

We’d flip the tops to land them “right side up” in a freshly drawn circle. Sometimes we’d hang a loop made from an old coat hanger on the side porch and practice sailing the caps through the hole. We had distance throwing contests. We’d also see how many half dollars we could place inside a cap so that all or part of each one would be inside the cap. 

But most always, every Coca-Cola cap game, no matter how innocently it began, ended up in all-out warfare. We were brothers growing up in the 1950’s for goodness sakes! We had to invent our own entertainment. Leon would bounce those things off the bedroom wall, the kitchen cabinets, Pa and Gran’s picture in the hallway, me and David Mark’s neck, arms, chest, head….

We practiced our honesty up at Mr. Moore’s Tire Center. When cold drinks went from a nickel to six cents, Mr. Moore didn’t change machines. He just screwed a small attachment on the front of the upright drink box so you could voluntarily drop your penny in. Us Coke drinkers put the extra one cent piece in every time. I’m not so sure about those Pepsi guys….

We did some serious gambling over those six ounce Coke bottles. This was when I was working up at Mr. Hill’s DX service station in high school. Buddy or Yogi would come in and we’d “pull” a Coke out of the top of the chest type box machine. The local bottling company would be embossed on the bottom of each bottle. Mostly we’d have Jackson or Bolivar, Tennessee, Paducah, Kentucky, or Sikeston, Missouri. The guy who pulled the closest bottling company, paid for all the drinks.

We played “spin the bottle” at Susie Branon’s house with an empty Coke bottle. Uh…Ur…Aw…I might have forgotten about Susie’s living room when those anti-Coke people were getting on me about that romanticizing part….



Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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