Tarheeltalker

Dope Wagons and Bottles of Milk

One of the best perks of growing a bit older is reminiscing about days gone by and of course, emphasizing how much better it was then. This thought struck me today in a brief  conversation I had with an older customer on my mail route. And since last weekend when we traveled to my hometown and talked a  bit about days gone by, the past has been very present with me.

Let me hasten to add that there are no illegal substances referred to in the title of this post. Just wanted to clarify that.

Both of my parents were long time  employees of what was then Fieldcrest Mills, Inc, an Eden,Nc based textile manufacturer. Both were production employes in  what was  known simply as the Blanket Mill. She was  a spooler hand and he was a warper tender. Their careers began around  the 1930’s or 40’s and in those days there were no canteens  or break rooms as we know today to take a few moments for  a soft drink or cup of coffee. If my memory is at least partly accurate, the snacks/drinks etc were delivered by a pushcart that made its rounds through the  plant. Again, this next is my recollection of what I was told. The carts were known as dope wagons since they also distributed a variety of headache remedies, a virtual necessity.  Or they might have been called by that name since  a Coke was  at one time known as  a “dope.”Cant prove but I  bet that Goodys, a Richard Petty favorite,  was a popular choice. I actually  have a  hazy memory of touring the plant as a child and being overwhelmed by the pungent aromas coming from the bleachery department.

Part deux of the title  is from a delightful memory I have of home delivery of our  milk by the Pet Milk  man. The empty glass bottles were placed on the porch the night  before I think with  a note “ordering” the milk /juice to be delivered that morning. For many years I thought that Pet was the only milk available . To this day however, I believe that  milk  should  be available only in glass bottles simply because it is  a”proven” fact that it tastes better.

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February 28, 2011 - Posted by | Culture, History | , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. loved the memories of mom and dad, there are so many things about them that I don’t remember or didn’t even know! I do remember the milk man coming by and I remember the lady who brought butter to the house. The butter had a flower design on the top. I never got to go in the mill to see where they worked, wish I could have. I do remember going to the big gate and sometimes the little gate to pick mama up. keep sharing the memories, love reading them!

    Comment by pshope | March 3, 2011 | Reply

  2. Loved the message about the dope wagon. Your story explained it very well. The chocolate Pet Milk was enjoyed with white powdered sugar donuts which you and Mom enjoyed in the mornings. It is good to have these memories posted.

    Comment by jpatterson | March 19, 2011 | Reply


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