Smokey Bear

Smokey Bear

With World War II raging away, natural resources needed protection at all costs. A forest fire could be devastating in terms of lost lumber. The government handed a very special bear the task of informing the public about the dangers of fire and the need for watchful vigilance. And for over 60 years, he has proven himself worthy of the task. He is Smokey Bear and his contributions to the war effort and beyond have made him a legend. Continue reading...

Snowball Fights

Snowball Fights

There are few times when a kid can throw a projectile at someone without admonishment. Once a sufficient blanket of snow has fallen, however, the rules change. The potential for war looms behind thick trees and parked cars and any other place that offers momentary cover. Attacks come with no warning, nor mercy. Negotiations are futile, retribution is a no-brainer. Let's face it - it wouldn't be winter without a snowball fight. Continue reading...

Sorry!

Sorry!

The ancient game of strategy called Parcheesi got a modern makeover in the early 20th century, emerging as Sorry! the game that apologized for your woeful lack of skill and/or good fortune. First seen in England, it was imported to America in 1934 by Parker Brothers and a new family institution was born. Hearing your mom saying "Sorry!" in a saccharine, condescending voice as she denied you victory was enough to make you wonder if the notion of motherly love wasn't just a big crock. Continue reading...

Spitballs

Spitballs

You’re sitting in class, minding your own business, watching the teacher meticulously write the next algebra equation on the blackboard and feeling pretty good about yourself. That is, until you feel the sharp sting against the back of your neck. Is it an insect bite or have you been shot in the neck by a primitive Amazon warrior’s blowgun? You reach behind your head and feel wetness - but it isn’t blood. Rather it is a sample of one of your classmate’s saliva. You’ve just been pelted by a spitball (or spitwad, if you prefer.) Continue reading...

Sugar Babies

Sugar Babies

The offspring of the celebrated confectionery clan we'll call the Sugar family, Sugar Babies are the diminutive nuggets of sweetness that bear genetic resemblance to their proud parents, Sugar Daddy and Sugar Mama. They have satisfied the hunger of sweet-toothed fans for over 70 years and counting. Continue reading...

Sugar Smacks

Sugar Smacks

Back in the glory days of breakfast cereal, it was a no-brainer to include the word "sugar" in the name, at least if you wanted to capture the attention of the kiddies. Given a choice, no red-blooded American youngster was going to pick Special K or Grape Nuts over something as enticing as Sugar Pops or Super Sugar Crisp. And, while many in recent years have grown up with a cereal called Honey Smacks, or simply Smacks, legions of baby boomers would prefer these morsels of sweetened puffed corn be called by their rightful name, Sugar Smacks. Continue reading...

The Blob

The Blob

If ever there was a list of best films to see at the drive-in, The Blob would top the list. Sure, it is low budget. Sure, the monster amounts to little more than a mound of goo, devoid of so much as a scary eye or blood-dripping fangs. But in the 50s, this was scary stuff, the type of film that could make a girl cuddle in fear – and that was well worth the price of admission (even if she might be checking out Steve McQueen a little more than she let on). Continue reading...

DayTheEarthStoodStillFinal

The Day the Earth Stood Still

1951’s seminal The Day the Earth Stood Still had a major impact on atomic-era sci-fi and pop culture. A nuclear-age warning to the people of Earth, it was based on “Farewell to the Master,” the Harry Bates story concerning Klaatu, an alien who arrives on Earth with his robot Gort in a flying saucer from the far beyond. Continue reading...