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I'm older than Pine-sol®

The Spirit of Tehachapi

 

September 12, 2020

Pat Gracey

I heard an advertisement the other day saying that Pine-sol® could do a bang up job of cleaning and that the company was founded in 1929. Thus, I discovered that I, myself, am older than Pine-sol®! I came along in 1928. Well, I know it can clean just fine and its "piney" scent is immediately discernable. Pine-sol® also came the year of the stock market crash which brought about the grim, depression days of the thirties. I'm surprised that the new company survived during that anxious period in history.

In my early youth the radio advertised many products and musical jingles were much in vogue. Their aim was to catch your interest and it had to be strictly by listening "seein' as how" television was yet to come.

I recall in my primary grades we children would tell one another that at 4:45 each evening we were going to listen to the adventures of Little Orphan Annie – and we did! Our mothers would call us in so we could find out what Annie and her sidekick, Joe Corntassel, were up to. Her absentee father, Daddy Warbucks, was most always gone but she managed just fine. She and Ovaltine! Her sponsor was that famed drink that was "chock full of vitamins and minerals." We didn't know what they were but we wanted them just the same. Her theme song began, "Who's the little chatterbox? The one with all the curly locks? Who can it be? It's Little Orphan Annie."

We'd no sooner get Annie out of trouble when Jack Armstrong, the All American Boy, would be on next. Now his sponsor was "Wheaties, the Breakfast of Champions!" The musical jingle said, "Have you tried Wheaties? The best breakfast food in the land." In the early 1930s depression time, my mother bought Post Toasties because they were cheaper but once in a while she'd get Wheaties for us.

One of the daily soap operas (Hilltop House) extolled the bath soap, Palmolive. It told us that if you wanted that "schoolgirl complexion" you'd better try Palmolive. We did use it but my mother always said, she'd hate to have her schoolgirl complexion again! If you didn't want that schoolgirl complexion you could switch to Camay, "the soap of beautiful women!" And, one could also use Lifebuoy bath soap because, "Lifebuoy really stops B.O." It also made you smell like a bottle of Lysol. It had a great jingle. I am not sure it is even manufactured today but you could have danced to that darned tune.

Ajax, the foaming cleanser, "floats the dirt right down the drain!" It had a really catchy tune to its jingle and even had a drum beat. I used to sing the jingle but was so glad Mom bought Old Dutch Cleanser with the cute little Dutch girl on its container.

In the summer of 1940 I recall Pepsi Cola came out with, "Pepsi-Cola hits the spot! Twelve full ounces; that's a lot!" It was a lot since the Coca Cola bottles were only six ounces at the time. Then Pepsi went on to say, "Twice as much for a nickel, too! Pepsi Cola is the drink for you!" A nickel? Wow! They kept that jingle for several years, or at least until the price went up. It was very nearly their trademark and so singable. I drank Coca Cola and they countered with, "It's the real thing! Coca Cola."

Skipping down a generation I recall hearing on the TV some cartoon program my kids watched, I think the emcee was a person called Captain Jet, who "loved Bosco." It was rich and choc-la-ty! It gave us iron and sunshine Vitamin D. The darned stuff was a mess to stir up and the kids would string it all over the counter. I switched to Nestle's Quik but all the while I'd find myself singing, "Oh, I love Bosco, it's rich and choc-la-ty! Chocolate flavored Bosco is mighty good for me." I didn't really mean to sing those stupid jingles but they get into one's brain and lodge there.

Can you imagine a job as an advertising person making up jingles for a living? Getting paid for, "You'll wonder where the yellow went, when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent!" OR, "Mmm, Mmm Good- Mmm, Mmm good! That's what Campbell's Soups are, Mmm, Mmm, Good!" I think I'd like that kind of job. Here's a nice one: "Call Roto Rooter, that's the name. And away go troubles down the drain! ROTO ROOTER!" It had a dandy melody. Also, when I go to the market and browse among the pastries and breads I nearly always leave humming, "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee!"

My, how one could Cha Cha to the Chiquita Banana song with its calypso beat. "I'm Chiquita Banana and I've come to say, I come from Little Island down Equator Way. I sail on big banana boat from 'Car-ri-bee', To see if I can help your good neighbor 'pol-i-cee'!"

Since I'm older than Pine-sol®, I find that recalling these little bits of musical history is not so bad. Would that our short term memory, the bug-a-boo of we elderly folk, could be as good. So, I will not endeavor to change my habit of singing as I go past the luncheon meat counter and break into song with, "Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener!"

 
 

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