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)
How can it be? Can there possibly be an entity, a person or thing that is anti Thanksgiving, that wishes to do it harm? I believe that the answer is yes an d that I have positively identified the culprit. This opponent is something about which I have warned previously. But now, its nefarious tentacles have launched a personal attack against our household. What is it? You should know by now, it is , it is the evil cholesterol. Yes that despicable villain, that alters our diets, has taken away my potato chips, and turned many of us into constant label readers at the grocery store.
Its stealthy approach has required Mrs THT to employ the use of medication to fight the battle. Now, don’t get me wrong. i am thankful for te medication for when one must, one must. But Thanksgiving, the feast of thanks, whatever one’s choice of food to feast upon, has been forced to adjust.
So, adjust we have and adjust we will. No longer will one eat with no thought of consequence( except a few extra pounds) we will fight the good fight. Adios potato chips, it is Utz no more. Popcorn has surpassed you as a weapon keep ourselves healthy. I trust your day of thanks was blessed, enjoyable and a healthy as possible. We know the enemy, it is not us, but those choices that can and will be improved. (As long a sI can drink Mello-Yello, that is.) Didn’t Snoopy serve popcorn on A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving? Sure he did. Always the role model, that beagle.
At long last, after a stealthy attack, the inhibiter of the e njoyment of food has forced Mrs THT onto medication, a swell a sdietary adjustments.
Where else could this come from but San Francisco? yes, the good ole left coast, where I actually have a couple of friends. The mayor of Frisco, Mr Gavin Newsom wants to go after the soda. ( He does not have a slogan; maybe soak the sodas or sink the sodas would do) He says that it is for health reasons, reducing obesity, cutting health costs etc. The mayor even called soft drinks the new tobacco. Bet he will have trouble with that second hand part though.Lots of interesting things about this. Keep one thing in particular in mind. Ideas, particularly those rooted in government, that appear offbeat, often begin in California. If they work, i.e. raise revenue, they often migrate eastward. That may well be Mayor Newsom’s main goal with any health benefits that ensue, just gravy(pardon the pun but I could have said icing on the cake).
Individual containers of soft drinks cannot be taxed sans voter approval, so the approach is to tax retailers, Safeway, Kroger , etc. Do you think his Board of Supervisors will approve? Pretty good odds on that one. No word yet on the amount of the tax or how it would be spent. Check out this quote from Newsom. ” We know we’ll be sued…But I really believe this is important to do.” His idea gained traction from a UCLA study linking soda and obesity in California. The study’s lead author is Susan Babey. She pointed out that teens are unaware of the dietary and health risks associated with consuming “liquid sugar”.
A few numbers before we go. The UCLA study said that adults who drink one soft drink per day are a whopping 27% more likely to be obese.( Question, how do we know that soft drinks are the sole or even main reason for that number?) Second number states that 41% of children and 62% of teens (presumably in California) drink at least one soft drink daily. Big, big question. How do they know that? And a major emphasis on that word, know. Gotta hurry and stock up on Mello Yello while I can and figure out a safe hiding place. Or would it just be easier to once again thank the government from saving me from yet another evil foisted upon me by the evils of advertising? Tough question.
Health issues can be quite complex and hard to decipher. I present 3 examples that illustrate how that is true. About 2 weeks ago the President nominated Dr Regina Benjamin to be the next Surgeon General, our nation’s top doc and #1 health care advocate. Dr Benjamin practices on the Gulf Coast of Alabama and has had very noteworthy medical career. She has focused her practice on those who number among the under served. Her clinic has had to overcome the wrath of Katrina as well as a devastating fire. She has received a number of honors, all seemingly well deserved.
In her personal life, she has lost a number of family members to disease, such as diabetes, lung cancer(due to smoking) and HIV related illness. She says that she would want to focus and wellness and prevention plans to keep people from dying of preventable diseases.
Ok, now for the mixture angle. Dr Thomas Frieden is head of the CDC. He apparently considers obesity as a preventable disease, but not by individuals themselves. He alluded to the 26% obesity rate in our country and has this quote”Reversing obesity is not going to be done successfully with individual effort,” it will be done successfully as a society( translation -government). CDC researchers also said that spending on obesity-related diaeases takes up 10% of health care spending.
Number 3 comes from the left coast, courtesy of the LATimes. The article is titles Tough Love for Fat people, Tax Their Food to pay for healthcare.Don’t laugh just yet. The Urban Institute has a report that suggests using strategies that were employed in the tobacco wars against fatty foods. Simplified, tax those chips, cookies , sodas, candies etc. What a government gold mine , all to be used for healthcare of course. They say that a 10% tax on theses evil foods along with new labeling identifying the healthier foods would work wonders. Now whose work do they site? The Surgeon General who reported on the dangers of smoking way back in 1964 (this report was key in getting my dad to quit smoking) and continued to raise the bar .
Ok, do we have any connections? Our Dr Benjamin is herself an overweight person. Some have already raised this issue, both as a factor in her favor-different perspective, knows the issues etc- and as a negative- how can she advocate against weight related issues if she is struggling with them. A conundrum, we have, as Yoda might say.
Personally, I have always had a bit of difficulty with physicians who seemed of the mindset- take my advice, but I don’t . Could our Dr Benjamin fall in that category, perhaps. Would she be wont to push aggressive measures that target what one eats and seeks actually to influence or control ones behaviour in that area? It will be interesting to watch. Too bad, one can only stock up so much Mello Yello ahead of time.
We are all somewhat familiar with the that (largely) childhood toy known as the yo-yo.It is said to be the second oldest toy in history, second only to the doll. It dates back to ancient Greece, some 2,500 years. So, a new phenomenon, it is not. I guess you could say that its foundation is that what goes up must come down, gravity, anyone?
But how do we handle it when something, say a commodity that we use every day, and cannot stockpile, turns into a yo-yo. Not at all what D F Duncan, Sr had in mind when he acquired U S rights to the yo-yo in 1929 and trademarked the name yo-yo.
Yes,, that ubiquitous commodity would be gasoline. Those of us with a little age can remember a price of 29 cents per gallon and then just a few years later, waiting in gas lines. Remember those odd-even purchase days, spending your lunch hour to get gas and even parking your car in a gas line the night before to get a prime spot? Yes, Mary Hopkin,” Those Were The Days”.
Now what. Last year, prices in our area peaked at around $4.00 per gallon and just when all hope was virtually gone, began a rather rapid decline that peaked in reverse at around $1.40 per gallon. Cue the y0-yo. Back up they went for a while and then seemed to stabilize. Au contrarie. The yo-yo is back. Within the last week or so, I have noticed prices go up to $1.89, down to $1.76 and back to $1.86. Dizzy, yet?
Wonder how we would cope with say, the price of milk or bread or heaven forbid, Mello Yello, fluctuating bin such an unfathomable way? No, don’t tell me it is tied to the price per barrel of west Texas crude (gasoline, that is ) since that continues downward. To paraphrase Casey Stengel when he managed the Mets in their infancy, does anybody understand this game?
Yo- Y0 Ma , anyone ?
The past week has been for me a good example of Psalm 23:5 …” my cup runneth over ” . In this period of time my son and his wife have travelled from their urban domicile up here to the hinterlands. We had several good days together and were even blessed by the companionship of the world’s most talkative feline, my first grancat, Galadriel. Due to their schedules and the distance between us we see each other about twice a year so a Christmas visit was an extra special treat. Definitely good times !
This week my 4 sisters made their semi-annual trip from their scattered homes to our west, coming this time in 2 waves since one brother-in-law was able to come also . Just to prove that miracles do happen all around us, the Mello Yello express rolled in with afresh supply of the golden nectar. Heartfelt thanks to each of you for your contributions in that regard. Alas, they could only spend a few hours so we made certain to pack that time full of food, fun, storytelling and as much frivolity as we could muster . Sisses, it is never a dull moment when you come and the wife and I certainly enjoyed it.
So, I am most assured that my family ties do not bind but rather bring us all closer together .
For the first time in quite a while , I must confess that I have no Mello- Yello in the house . For those of you with easy access to the world’s fastest soft drink, you might say ho-hum . But as the line from the old protest song, Big Yellow Taxi said so well, ” you dont know what you’ve got till its gone . “ And alas, my supply lines have been temporarily interrupted .
A brief word of explanation . In Elizabeth City, NC where we live , my drink of choice cannot be obtained at a retail store . The closest source is about 60 miles away . Therefore I rely on the kindnesses of friends and family to keep me supplied and it has worked well until now .
So I have 2 choices :
- Go cold turkey until January 1 when new suplies arrive
- Drive 60 miles to Williamston and stock up
Stay tuned. Aargh !!!
Old Mother Hubbard went to her cupboard
To fetch her poor dog a bone
When she got there, the cupboard was bare
And so her poor dog had none
I know you are familiar with the above nursery rhyme . My wife might very well say that it represents my philosophy of grocery shopping . Not quite true but there is an element of accuracy there . As I get older , I find that I dont necessarily eat as much so I dont ‘” need ‘” as much food , so less shopping . Voila ! At this point my beloved and I part ways . I have a shorter list, shall we say , of food stuffs ( used in a broad sense of the word ) that I would consider essentials than my wife .
My list would probably be somethimg like this “
- Tea bags
- Mello Yello
- Something quick for breakfast ( poptarts, Quaker Breakfast cookies )
- Utz chips
- Good Bread
To run out of one or more of these items is just crazzzy !! My wife on the other have would have a more extensive list of essentials, not there is anything wrong with that , I probably accept some of her list , but more as optional / I realize how risky it is to list for her , so I will just suggest some of what might appear.
- Kashi or horsey food
- Bathroom tissue ( isnt there duplication here )
- Vitamin C
So let the games begin.
So that wonderful day has arrived that celebrates the anniversary of my birth . A spectacular day, no, but a good one nonetheless with cake and phone calls and cards ( online and otherwise ) and perhaps the proverbial icing on the cake, my very own AFLAC duck who with a simple prompting will sound forth with the glorious sound of ” AFLAC ” . No wonder Carl Edwards is jealous , huh ? At my son’s suggestion, I visited Wikipedia to learn about the people ( living and dead ) who share this day with me and all the momentuous events that have graced this day . I select two people from that list, both living, one male and one female to be fair . Journalist and tv personality Joan Lundenand I share both the same birthday and birth year . Even cooler for an NCIS fan, David McCallum, aka Dr Ducky Mallard shares this day with me . So, Mello Yello salute to you both . And, to be equitable two events from today . On a humouous note , today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day- Aargh!!!!!!!! And for history buffs, today in 1881 President James Garfield died as the result of an assassin’s attack . He really didnt have a chance but he might have done a good job . So when your day of birth come around, give the Wiki a looksee .
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