Tonawanda News

Columns

February 16, 2013

Fondness for days gone by

Tonawanda News — Valentine’s Day is past but my regret is that we were unable to find a bag of Conversation Hearts — those chalky-tasting treats with messages of love and friendship. After stopping at four drugstores, two supermarkets, a party store and Target, it finally dawned on me the company must have quit making them. My daughter found a bag of what looked like Conversation Hearts, only to find the hearts were hard candy and flavored by color: yellow, lemon; orange, orange and so on. She gave them away. Then the other day, small boxes of Conversation Hearts were in the candy aisle at Tops. Unfortunately, they were the same as the ones my daughter found — hard candy. Maybe next year or maybe never.

•••

Speaking of things gone by, an email reminded us of the old Burma Shave signs. If you’re too young to remember them, here’s the history of these iconic signs from the 30s through the 50s.

Before there were interstates, when everyone drove the old two lane roads, Burma Shave signs would be posted all over the countryside in farmers’ fields. They were small red signs with white letters. Five signs, about 100 feet apart, each containing one line of a four-line couplet — and the obligatory fifth sign advertising Burma Shave, a popular shaving cream.

Here are a few of the actual signs:

DON’T STICK YOUR ELBOW

OUT SO FAR

IT MAY GO HOME

IN ANOTHER CAR.

Burma Shave

DON’T LOSE YOUR HEAD

TO GAIN A MINUTE

YOU NEED YOUR HEAD

YOUR BRAINS ARE IN IT

Burma Shave

DROVE TOO LONG

DRIVER SNOOZING

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT

IS NOT AMUSING

Burma Shave

HE SAW THE TRAIN

AND TRIED TO DUCK IT

FIRST KICKED THE GAS

AND THEN THE BUCKET

Burma Shave

Now tell me you didn’t at least smile at some of these.

Text Only
Columns
  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.


    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg [Duplicate] ADAMCZYK: Letterman was on my side The announcement that Mr. Letterman is retiring from his groundbreaking television program, sometime in 2015, is already old news, but it gives opportunity to ponder a few truisms about history and modern life.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leffler Mug 041114 [Duplicate] LEFFLER: 'Need to know' a double-edged sword Inquisitive doesn't begin to describe me. I must know everything. About everything. I hate being in the dark. I guess that's what makes my career choice so very obvious. I think "must know everything" is at the top of most journalists' trait lists.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wallace, Amy BW mug WALLACE: Airplane coverage has gone awry I don't know about you, but I am so sick of the cable news stations' constant coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: Making a list, checking it twice Maybe I was thinking about David Letterman's impending retirement. Or maybe it was because my brother posted it to Facebook. I spent a couple hours the other day crafting two top 10 lists, of my favorite books and movies.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: Letterman leaves immense legacy in late night Television watchers -- and I don't mean people watching TV, I mean people who follow the television industry -- have been speculating for years about what would happen when late night legend David Letterman decided to retire.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo