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Wissahickon Collection


"Clown" Soda Syrup Bottles In The Back Of The Closet.

My mind is beginning to function in some strange ways as I flirt with old age! A few days ago, I suddenly awoke from a sound sleep, with a vivid recall of a childhood experience.

I was having a flashback to around 8 or 9 years of age- THE ICE CREAM TRUCK!!! I was transported back to when that truck, and it's bell brought every kid running from every nook and cranny throughout the neighborhood. The cherry bomb pop was my target of choice; only 10 cents! On most days, that might as well have been $10.00.

Mom and Dad were good for a 10 cent contribution once a week. Leftovers from my meager allowance, covered one more weekly purchase. That left 5 non-financed yearnings every week!

Fortunately, my grandmother lived only 100 yards down the street; and every boy/ girl knows what a "soft touch" grandmas are.

I would head for grandma's house at the first sound of the ice cream truck's tune or bell ringing in the distance. With downward facing chin, and sad eyes, I would begin my well rehearsed begging routine. Almost without failure, Granny produced a dime from an apron pocket.

On one such occasion, she didn't have a dime on her person, so she said, "Come inside with me." She led me into her bedroom; opened her closet door; and said reach in there, in the back, on the floor.

I crawled into the closet and came nose to nose with a 1 foot tall clown-faced, clear glass bottle. A bottle filled with dimes! I pulled it out and handed it to grandma. She unscrewed the top and extracted one dime from the roughly half-filled bottle.

I ran off to my urgent appointment with the "Bomb Pop Pusher"- I was hooked, bad!! Later, I asked grandma about that "clown treasure", and she had me pull out the 2 bottles from the closet. The dimes and the other was halves.

She purchased bottles of concentrated soda syrup to save money over bottled "pop", as we said in Missouri. The caps had an insert pullout that left a coin slot in the top to make the empties a bank.

The dimes were heavily Mercuries and Rooseveldts, and I seem to recall a preponderance of Walkers over Franklins. I never collected coins as a kid, but oh what fantasies I can conjur up about what MUST have been in those bottles. I don't recall seeing a quarter jar.

I was not to begin collecting for another 20 years, but oh what could have been. I would love to have one of those CLOWN bottles,today. Maybe this is the catalyst for my interest in Walkers, still today.

I love and miss you Grandma!

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