One of the thrills of my boyhood, was walking down past the NEHI plant in Albemarle, NC. NEHI bottled RC, orange and grape sodas. (or dopes as we called them). I have no idea why, other than they say Coca Cola had coke in it at one time. Boys would say, ‘get your bike and let’s go get a dope’. Popular drinks were Coke, Pepsi, RC, Dr. Pepper and Double Cola.
Anyway the folks who worked at NEHI were nice. In the front window was a conveyor that took every drink by a man sitting, with a bright light opposite him, looking thru the drinks. Any drink having too much or not enough, was pulled and placed in a rack beside him. we were allowed to take any of the drinks, pop the top and drink it there. We could not carry them off. There was usually a choice, RC, orange, grape, root beer or Dr. Pepper. They were all warm, but boys don’t care, they were free.
I guess we can never go back to that, but it sure saved the land fills. You could earn money walking the roads and picking up bottles, you got a penny for every bottle (later it was 2 cents). Looking back on that, it is amazing, they sold the RC for a nickel. They could wash and sterilize the bottle, fill, cap and deliver it for 3 cents. The grocer had to make a penny.
Around where I lived, the first thing you did was look at the bottom of the bottle. Every bottle was molded with the city of origin. You were lucky if you got one from out of town, that was a thrill. Someone would always call out, “Out a town ya!” Everyone would say where their drink was from. Man you were something if you got one from Atlanta or Richmond. WOW! Amazing what simple things were fun.
If a boy didn’t have the nickel, he would call out ‘dibs’ or ‘tobies’. That meant you were supposed to leave a little in the bottle for him. Strange, if you could buy only one drink between you, we just passed it around. Sometimes a guy would wipe the top with his hands, but mostly just turn it up and take a drink. Germs were afraid of us. LOL
Ahhhh overalls, bikes, a cold dope and summer.
Thanks for coming this way.
Observations on Growing Older
** You forget names, but it's okay because other people forgot they even knew you.
**The last two outfits you wore had spots on them.
** You ask your husband or friend how your outfit looks, and they tell you the truth.
Daddy’s car in Albemarle, 1951 Buick Special.