One hundred twenty-five years ago today, in Atlanta, Ga, a momentous event took place. The after effects are still with us in ways that could never have been envisioned by James S Pemberton or the customers of Jacobs Pharmacy. For those untold millions whose thirst has been quenched by a ” Co-Cola” as my wife famously said after the birth of our first child, and Mello- Yello lovers everywhere, it should almost be a holiday. Yep, it was the day in which the first Coke was served.
I don’t really care much about the secret formula or if somebody has actually published it somewhere. I have very little interest in knowing that the beverage actually had cocaine for a time. I just know that there have been many times that nothing but a Coke would satisfy or quench my thirst as jingles have proclaimed. It has settled my stomach many times, has smoothed the way for many a hot dog and hamburger and still does. In the interest of disclosure I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Mello-Yello shares the top spot now. But it is a Coke product, of course.
It is interesting that an NC native, the home state of Pepsi, would be such a loyal Coke consumer, but there you have it. I well remember in my hometown of Leaksville, NC as it was known then, watching the Coke bottles go round and round at a bottler? or distributor and thinking how cool that was.
But in the interest of history as I remember it I recall that while living in Columbus, Ga in the late 70′s and early to mid 80′s that there was the John S Pemberton house located on a brick paved street near the Chattahoochee River where I often indulged my then affinity for running. There was a plaque on the grounds identifying that house as being that of one John S Pemberton who concocted the formula for Coke and then rushed off to the big city.
Actually he probably refined the formula after moving to Atlanta where the product was not well received until being bought by Asa Chandler with the rest being history. Ironically for me, Dr Pemberton, a pharmacist by trade, was actually born in North Carolina and buried in Columbus. Finally I have an NC connection for Coke. Have to go now, it is time for a Mello-Yello!
- Coca-Cola Company Illuminates Headquarters to Celebrate 125th Anniversary (shoppingblog.com)
- Coca Cola inventor, John Stith Pemberton was a Morphines (fmiyar.com)
Had to step away from the health care fiasco for a bit although I guess this may end up being related somehow or the other. One of my fellow bloggers did a great job raising issues and points of concern of which you may be unaware. So check out warrantonegirl for some good info.
Back to our regularly scheduled blog. For the uninitiated, the title refers to cemeteries. I had not heard the term until a co-worker identified where he lived as being across the street from the boneyard. Rather apt term, come to think of it. I actually grew up just a block or two from our local boneyard in Eden, nee Leaksville, NC. The name is Lawson Cemetery, the name of the street on which I lived.
I know very little about the place other than it has always been there( since 1843 I learned) and it was the final earthly resting place for both of my parents. I was always intrigued by the place as a child with all the different tombstones and grave markers and how old I thought they were, little did I know how true that was.
So why boneyards? I suppose with the onset of spring and the approach of Easter I have ben thinking about such issues. I typically read and re-read the Gospel narratives (Matthew,Mark,Luke and John) about Passion Week that of course culminates in Jesus resurrection. There will be a time a bit later for more about that subject.
But, strictly from a boneyard aspect, I remember teaching a high school age Sunday School class many years ago on the above topic and discovering that in New Orleans and in Israel ( not sure where else) that people had to be buried above ground due to those areas being largely below sea level. Not sure if the class was as fascinated with that trivia as was I .
I have noticed since my arrival in the northeastern corridor of our state that not all boneyards are like that of my childhood. There is a plethora of small, family plots in some of the most unlikely places. Usually there are just a handful of graves, often barely marked and separated from a busy highway by virtually no barrier at all. But, ahh the history that lies in these small plots, gradually but inexorably fading away.
Sports Illustrated has a great article in this week’s issue which came today. It didn’t make the cover and for many may not even get much of a notice. It is entitled ” The Last Iconic Baseball Card ” and is written by Luke Winn. What it is really about is the end of an era. The past time of collecting baseball cards has been trending steadily downward for a number of years. For my money, the end began when the makers went from Topps alone to a plethora of other companies. You know, goose and golden egg and all that.
The story took me way back to my childhood in the 50′s and 60′s when for a time, baseball card collecting was at the virtual top of my to-do list. I never collected to buy or sell and never really had that many, although I thought 500+ was a lot. But I dearly enjoyed it. There were 2 places for me to but in small town Leaksville, NC in those days. There was Williams Store on the way home fromschool( yes, I walked home) where cards were purchased individually accompanied by a stick of bubble gum, one penny per card. There was a small department store across town on the Boulevard whose name I forget. Their cards came in wrapped packs of ten with new arrivals usually on Tuesday’s, I think. The joy at getting a new pack or a new handful could hardly be surpassed.
Alas. when I became a bit older and ” more mature”, I decided those childish cards were unnecessary and committed the now recognized cardinal sin of throwing them away. Aargh!! Periodically, I tried to recapture the magic, even convincing my son to collect for a little while. But both he and I soon lost interest and just a handful remain. Thanks to this article, hope may flicker once again. According to Baseball Reference.com, the Yankees have had a total of 1,499 different players in their storied history. Wonder how long it wuld take to collect them all? I have about 30 right now with the one shown
my best, good ole Donnie Baseball. However, I will need to find a new source and that may be a challenge.
Strong words often generate strong reactions such as this line from a Wayne Watson song. ” Sticks and stones can break my bones,lies can break my heart, before you fire your poison tongue, contemplate the scar.” Those lyrics came from a song he did years ago that talked about the destructive power of speech. I trust that my title will not have that kind of impact, for the allusion is not to a person, but rather a thing.
My feelings of antipathy are for the public school system, not in an overall sense, but rather for my experiences as a public school student and how I fit or rather didn’t fit.
These feelings wandered back to my thoughts when I read a brief book review on a book entitled Why Don’t Students Like School by psychology professor Daniel Willingham. Dr Willimgham has been at the University of Virginia sice 1992. Willingham says he in his book content is more important than “learning strategies” . This next part is what got my attention. Kids get bored because teachers don’t know enough about the line between a mind that has too little stimulation and one that is overwhelmed. That started me thinking, was I one of those and was that the reason I struggled so much.
Although, that may have been a factor, I’m inclined to think my shortcomings in the area of social interaction were the biggest issue for me. Again, I just didn’t fit. How does a teacher get a child to fit? I really don’t know. There were some teachers in my early years that I remember positively, more so in the early years, say, grades 1-4. After those years, the positive feelings that I remember became less and less until college, of all things. When I arrived at Rockingham Community College as a freshman, it was as if a light came back on. I liked college there and even more so at Appalachian State. My grades were pretty good but they had been pretty good in public school. When I made it to college, it was if the pressure was off and I could be myself, whatever that was, and no one minded .
Perhaps, it went from being required to go to having an option. Being exposed to different types of people with different backgrounds helped as well. So, those who are afflicted with an antipathy toward school from days gone by, it’s ok. Skip those class reunions if you want, don’t wax nostalgic and most importantly, try to dismiss the junk with which you put up as I am doing. It by no means must define you anymore.
One picture as a close. My very frist school was Burton Grove Elementary in Leaksville, NC (now Eden) Although no longer a school, it still remains the place where it all began.
The caption perhaps tells it all of a school that once served well, now sits empty and abandoned, shuttered and decaying. Rest in peace, home of the Burton Grove Bulldogs.
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