A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My School Lunch Box

Lunch boxes
Lunch boxes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
         I sure wish I still had my lunch box from back when I was in second grade.  That was over fifty years ago so that thing might be worth a few bucks.

         I can't even remember what kind of lunchbox it was.  It may have been one depicting Hopalong Cassidy since I was a big fan as a child.  Looking back, I'm not sure what Hoppy's appeal was to boys back then.  It was an innocent time when television was still new and we were the benefactors of the heroes of our fathers.  Hopalong could never reach hero status in today's world.  In the fifties I don't know that "cutting edge" was used in the sense of something that was trendy.  Cutting edge would not be a phrase that would be used to describe Hopalong Cassidy.   Hopalong was an intergenerational  fad in his day--something not often seen in today's pop culture.

          If Hopalong wasn't the icon on the lunchbox then it was probably some other Western hero such as Roy Rogers or Davy Crockett.  But whoever it might have been was not the biggest item of interest for me.  The metal lunch box was pretty nifty and all, but the Thermos inside was the feature attraction as far as I was concerned.  

         What sold me on the Thermos was that I could carry hot soup to school.  That was pretty amazing to me.  On a cold day during lunch I could open my Thermos and pour hot soup into the little plastic cup that fit onto the top of the bottle.  It was a marvel of marvels as far as I was concerned.  Inside that tin box depicting cowboys was a contraption of science fiction proportions--a wonder of the modern age.

           Hot soup was probably not the only liquid I carried in my Thermos.  I undoubtedly carried cold beverages as well, but I can't remember exactly what they might have been.  What I did know--and something that was part of the Thermos advertising campaign--was that this magic bottle kept liquids hot or cold until needed.

           This was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the school year of 1958.  We'd moved to the Penn Hills neighborhood from Cleveland, Ohio.   We moved to Penn Hills during the summer of 1958 and stayed until almost the end of the school year leaving at the beginning of June 1959 when we were uprooted to San Diego, California.   That year at the Penn Hills school would be the only time I would ever carry a lunchbox to school.

           Seeing as how the lunchbox didn't get that much use, it was probably in pretty good condition after we left Pittsburgh.  I'm sure I found a way to trash it though.  I distinctly remember breaking the inside of the Thermos at some point.  I probably wanted to see how the darn thing worked.  I had a habit of doing that sort of thing when I was younger.

           The tin box is another story.  Maybe I used it to keep things in for a while.  Can't rightly say that I remember.  Somehow the box faded out of my life like so many things I'd had as a child.   If I had known better, I would have kept it and preserved it.   But why would I think of such a thing.  It was just a tin box to carry sandwiches and cupcakes in and it once had a Thermos bottle in it that I broke to see how it worked.

           I guess I probably should have taken better care of a lot of things and kept them.  My parents would have loved that.  Our house would have looked like one of those houses you see in those television shows about hoarders.   I'd bet you a Thermos bottle full of hot soup that some of those hoarders you see on television have old lunch boxes kind of like the one I had.  Their lunch boxes might even still have old sandwiches in them and soup in the Thermos bottles.

         Maybe it's a good thing that I don't have that lunch box anymore.  But still I wonder.

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  1. I don't remember having a lunch box at all. I feel like they were too expensive and a luxury. We always had the brown lunch bags. But I feel like I might have brought soup for lunch a few times, in a thermos. It probably wasn't hot enough or something so I only did it a few times.

  2. If the sandwiches were still in that lunchbox, they'd be moldy or even petrified, maybe even scifi'd.

    I still see some of those lunchboxes at antique shops. At least you got hot soup, Lee. I don't think I ever got that.

  3. I had a superman lunch box but I am not sure what happened to it, I do know I don't have it any longer.

    Maybe that Clark Kent ran off with it he always said he felt it should be his.

  4. I had a Tupperware lunchbox since my mom was a Tupperware lady.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  5. Hahaha! Wonderful post Lee! I had a metal lunch box with David Cassidy on it, and another one with the Jackson 5. I don't know what ever happened to them, but I havn't thought of them for at least 40 years. If we could see all the forgotten things we had as children, stacked up in a huge pile it would be like hoarders....hopefully minus the dead cats and bags of human waste.

  6. I had several with Snoopy on them. Wish I still had them as they are worth money now. I also had one of Planet of the Apes. Both that lunchbox and me made the evening news once when a TV crew came to our school and filmed us eating. I'm sure viewers were surprised when the camera panned up and it was a girl not a boy!

  7. Thea - Second grade was the only year I ever had a lunch box. I always brown-bagged it after that or bought food at school.

    DG -- The hot soup was more of a novelty to me that anything I probably really liked. I've seen the old lunch boxes in antique stores as well, but I'd never buy one. Don't need to add to the clutter I already have.

    Rob -- I was a big fan of the old George Reeves Superman series back then, but I don't recall having any officially licensed merchandise.

    Shelly -- Not sure I ever saw a Tupperware lunchbox. My mom never got much Tupperware stuff until probably the latter 1960's.

    Eve - I was already in college when David Cassidy and the Jackson 5 came on the scene. I don't mind some hoarding, but some of the ones they show on TV are truly disturbing and disgusting.

    L.Diane-- -- Again I would have been probably in college when Planet of the Apes first came out, though I did have the Pierre Boulle novel when I was in high school. That and Peanuts are both classics.


  8. My lunch box was unusual in that it was oval. Red plaid oval with 2 swinging handles, like a picnic basket might have. Inside was a shallow oval tray for holding a napkin, maybe a cookie or crackers provided they were wrapped flat. I keep looking for one like it in antique stores but so far no luck.

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  10. Dear Lee, what a lovely memory. Like you, I find myself wondering what happened to my playthings from childhood.

    I don't know whether we had lunchbox thermos in the 1940s when I was in school. My only memory of lunch is taking my sandwich, apple, and cookie in a paper sack. Mom wrapped the sandwich in waxed paper. Such good memories. Peace.

  11. In kindergarten I had one of those plaid metal ones that looked like you ought to have a tetanus shot just to open it. I remember when I upgraded to a Donny & Marie lunchbox. I thought I was hot stuff.


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