Carbonated memories

Did you see the news rocking the beverage world earlier this week? It seems there may be some carcinogenic nastiness lurking deep within the makeup of the substance used to give cola its deep mahogany hue.

Soda Wars: Can the Color in Your Cola Give You Cancer?

Cola is not a go to beverage for me, unless – of course  I’m in the presence of Mr. Daniels, my good friend from up the road a piece in Lynchburg. When I was a kid, cola – or more generally speaking  – soda was a treat.

My strongest carbonated memories are of the ten sodas for a dollar we used to get at Shop Rite. Those ten sodas often included cola’s sparkling cousins birch beer, black cherry and pale dry ginger ale. Ginger ale – that magical elixir with the healing powers to quell an upset stomach.  Don’t laugh, 40 years later, I’ll still crack open a can of Canada Dry (Splurging on a brand name) when little John-John has a tummy ache!

I can vividly recall the soda machine at Bullock’s barber shop. If I didn’t fidget in the chair, John Sr. would give me a quarter (big money for a kid back in the 70s – now,  Zoe laughs at anything other than paper). For $.25 not only could you get a real glass bottle of soda, you got a show as the bottle anxiously tumbled its way out of its slot and into the receiving tray at the bottom. Being the husky, and tall for my age little boy I was, I had no trouble reaching and using the bottle opener bolted to the side of the machine.

Funny, back then – so we thought – the worse that cola would do is make you burp and rot your teeth, not cause oncological issues. After all, those were the days when you could eat questionably chilled potato salad at the church picnic with no ill effects (if so, have a ginger ale). We weren’t sent to school with alcohol-based hand sanitizers and we could walk home from said school without winding up on the side of a (whole cow, not soy) milk carton…sorry, I digress.

Even though I don’t drink too much cola these days, I still hope big soda gets this worked out. If not, maybe we can drink more Koo…. Uh, I mean powdered drink mix. After all, I’m sure there’s nothing in there that would hurt us, right?



  1. Vivian Pitschlitz

    It seems everything is going to kill us these days. Our foods are more full of preservatives and people do consume much more fast foods as well but at times I think if I had to heed all warnings nothing would be left safe to eat or drink. I never liked carbonated drinks as a child but sadly in midlife I have developed a liking for them. I am trying to cut down by only allowing myself carbonated drinks on the weekend.


  2. thedooverdiva

    I love your walk down memory lane, very visual. I hardly ever drink soda, but it’s funny. Whenever I eat pizza or chicken wings, I have to have one. And now, I have a craving for pizza and coke. Even if it’s bad for me.


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