Long Memory


Rainbow Bread. Logo embedded  in our screen door in Roanoke Virginia; some kind of felt looking material, in color, as I recall. Yes, light bread was special in the 40’s, with color added “Oleo” ie; fake butter. Anything “store bought” was very special then; Baloney, Spam, condensed milk, Potted meat, Vienna sausage, anything canned like Pineapple. Mother made upside down cake.  Watkins products. The Fuller Brush man stuff. Pep, Wheaties, Corn Flakes of course, with WWII fighter plane models, cardboard, enclosed. Cracker Jax with a metal toy and at least 2 or 3 peanuts enclosed. Someone said “Nostalgia is Death.” I say it’s nothing but the “Long Memory” reliving one’s fond experiences with joy.

~Chuck Howell – July 2018



Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    July 28, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    I have so enjoyed the post and all your comments. I was born in the early 50’s…What is amazing to me is how much it truly has changed from the early 4o’s and 5o’s till now….Still I enjoyed many of the things that all of you mentioned, especially Grapettes and orange crush, fried balogna,( baloney ) sandwiches. In the fifties my granny cooked and heated on coal stoves, and had a pile of coal in the yard…the other granny had a wringer washer.( we didn’t mess around those wringers) Monday was always wash day.She hung her wash outside in summer , inside in winter. There was an outhouse, and little red and white bucket in the bedroom in winter… Granny had light bread, but made biscuits every meal, even cold they were good.She rolled those biscuits out on a hoosier cabinet that had the flour bin, wore print dresses, flour sack aprons, and black heels every day.Always they had their spit cans nearby… Had her twist of tobacco and a paring knife in one of the drawers of her sewing machine .One day I thought I’d try just a bit( unbeknownst to her)… whew! Never did that again…we sold coke/pepsi bottles and blackberries to make candy money.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    July 28, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    So true of my early years. Store bought was a rare and special treat. In my later childhood we each got a quarter a week at the local country store. That would get us a “coke” and one other item. I usually got the little bag of corn chips. Farther back in time we sometimes got the little brown bags with penny candy–that old store had worn and dusty wooden floors and the owners house was attached to it or right next to it.

    We almost enjoyed getting sick–Daddy would get a whole case of bottled cokes for the sick one. Of course it was a mix of actual Coke and orange, grape, etc. Now we get cases of drinks all the time but they never taste as good as those did.

    Thanks, Tipper for all your posts. They are one of the first things I go to.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Love PinnacleCreek’s sentence — Fortunately age does not mess with that long term memory as much, and that is such a blessing.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    July 28, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    I too lived a long time and paid attention. Born in 1939 I remember Raleigh Salve to fix scrapes and nicks. Turpentine was another fixture in the medicine cupboard. Riding my bike all over town. Porch sitting and playing music with friends and relatives all Sunday afternoon. I still have some of my ration books from the war issued too me for sugar.
    How about 12 cents for a Sat. matinee movie.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    I remember all those things , even those in the comments so far. I bought my colas from the rolling store and usually got Double Cola because it was in 16 oz bottles. I have preached a sermon a few times called “The Good Old Days” based on the Israelite’s pining for the melons, cucumbers, garlic and onions back in Egypt. Our memories of the past leave out the hard work we had to do for life’s needs.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    July 28, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Amen to Miss Cindy’s comment. I, too, have lived a long time, and paid attention. I know most of the things others have commented and it is refreshing to me.

    I shop for my groceries at Ingles, because they’re the only one in town. The other day I was looking for Banner Sausage, they didn’t have any, but on the top shelf was Beverley Sausage. I was raised on Banner Sausage and there ain’t nothin’ better, when mama mixed it with gravy. And a few of her biscuits. We had a pretty big family of six boys and mama and daddy, so daddy got those big cans of Banner Sausage. …Ken

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    July 28, 2018 at 10:45 am

    My granny always had a tin of Tube Rose Snuff within arms reach. It was the only brand she would “dip.” Everybody I knew either smoked, chewed or dipped.

    Today, there is a lot of talk about secondhand smoke. I really don’t believe that it is a danger.  Hell, the entire atmosphere of Western North Carolina was secondhand smoke during the fifties when I was growing up.  If it was a real danger, then most of my generation would already be dead. Uh, wait a minute… most of them are, but I think it is more attributable to aging instead of the air we breathed growing up.

    Now moonshine whiskey is another story.  Perhaps I’ll tell it someday.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    July 28, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Tipper, I enjoyed all the memories people mentioned. I remember most of them myself. One I had forgotten until Ann mentioned it was the bubble gum with funnies in the wrapper. The vaccines we had to take back then hurt something awful, so afterwards we were allowed to go to the dime store and buy a tiny plastic baby with either a blue or pink bottle. The pain was almost worth it.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Being a child of the 50s none of this has any meaning to me. I feel so out of place just making a comment so I’ll shut up and just listen to the reminiscences of the old [email protected]$ like any good child should.

  • Reply
    Frances Jane Phillips Page
    July 28, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Oh yes. I remember all. Our youngest son, 63, remembers toy (non metal) in his Cracker Jacs.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Oh yes, the long memory. I remember it all and more. Fortunately age does not mess with that long term memory as much, and that is such a blessing. When times are hard and things change we can recall all the wonders of yesteryear to soothe us through. I sometimes love to think about how one Penicillin shot would fix you right up, and now a boat load of different sized and shaped pills won’t do it. Of course, I recall the visiting insurance agent when I served him coffee with salt accidentally. Soda pop was a weekly thing and on Saturday with the weekly grocery shopping. We stopped at Romeo’s store and then on to the Esso station for a fill up. They cleaned your windshields not so long ago. I’ve been around lye soap making, churned milk, and over those many years I have watch this America thrive. Lost along the way was the ease with which life was once lived, or so it seems with the long memory.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Amen to Miss Cindy’s comment.
    The store on the highway a 1/4 mile from my growing up place had the Rainbow screens on one side and Grapette on the other side of those double screen doors (my favorite soda then – I’d iron all day Saturday to earn a nickle to spend on a Grapette there).
    More nostalgia: milk delivered to the door, the Red Wing man selling work shoes from his truck, selecting chicken feed bags because the cloth would be your next set of clothes, riding in the back of a pick up completely free and open, going to town on your bike and knowing that the adults you encountered there cared enough about you to watch out for you – and report you to your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents if you got out of line, . . . .

  • Reply
    July 28, 2018 at 9:16 am

    I don’t remember Rainbow Bread, maybe it’s because I wasn’t around in the 40s. The bread I remember from my childhood is Betsy Ross. It is not available where I live now but it is still on the shelves where I shopped the last time I visited down home. Banner canned sausage was a favorite at our house when it was mixed in gravy. My ex-husband and I bought a few cans at a little store on Mountain Parkway several years ago. We couldn’t wait to fix it when we got home. My boss and a friend came by to deer hunt about the time we were ready to eat. They came in the kitchen and and starred at our plates, not saying a word. A few days later, he asked me what it was I had served for breakfast that day. When I told him, he said he was glad because he thought it looked like dog food. I haven’t bought or eaten any canned sausage since.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    July 28, 2018 at 8:59 am

    One of the great pleasures of aging is memory of the little things. Remember Baby Percy liquid medicine? “Normal” sized candy bars? Fleer’s bubble gum with funnies in the wrapper? Grapette soda pop? Floating Ivory soap? Lava soap for very dirty hands? Bosco chocolate syrup for an occasional treat of chocolate milk? “Monkey blood” (what we used for cuts? Cutting the toes out of children’s shoes with a razor blade when their feet got too long for the shoes? Hanging laundry on a clothesline outdoors? Ladies with blue or purple tint on grey hair?

  • Reply
    July 28, 2018 at 8:44 am

    I was also born in the early 1940’s and I dearly relish my long memory as Chuck states it.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 28, 2018 at 8:24 am

    My father-in-law tells a story about his first taste of light bread. His Dad was working at a WPA quarry during the Depression for a dollar a day. One time he brought home a loaf of light bread, just enough for each person to have one piece. He said he thought it was the best stuff he had ever tasted.

    I like the “lived a long time and paid attention”. Never heard advice to the young to be ‘pay attention and you will end up smart and wise’ but I think it would work very well.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 28, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Tipper (and Chuck)–Perhaps because I was born in the early 1940s and my first memories belong to this decade, I recall virtually all of these things.

    I could add many more but two remain especially entrenched in the vaults of my memory because they were a way for youngsters to earn prizes and/or a bit of pocket money. Those involved peddling Grit newspapers and Cloverine salve door to door. Grit is still around, although as a magazine rather than a newspaper. Cloverine salve, which was petroleum based and came in a round tin, may be but if so I haven’t seen it for a long time.
    Jim Casada

    • Reply
      July 28, 2018 at 8:18 am

      Jim, Cloverine salve is still around but a person has to go to the drugstore to get it now. Or I suppose online.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 28, 2018 at 5:54 am

    The “long memory” I love it, I have it! Well, maybe not everything mentioned but most of them. I’ve had people say to me “how do you know so much” and I reply “I’ve lived a long time and I pay attention.”

  • Leave a Reply