I have been reading this website for many years. I first came across Retro Junk by typing the words 80s and nostalgia into a Yahoo search engine back in 2004-2005. Three sites that stuck out were this one 80snostalgia.com and X entertainment. X entertainment is cool and all but the one that has stood the test of time has been Retrojunk. This is my first article so go easy on me my friends.
Starting out I had a great time growing up. My parents were not incredibly wealthy or anything but I was an only child,
and slightly spoiled so they gave me a great child hood.
I also was a little on the troublesome side.
Always getting sent to the principals office, Getting into mischief with other kids from church and school, ya know, The usual things.
My tale begins when I moved to the town of Lehi Utah for my third grade year.
(The same place where they held the dance at the end of the movie Footloose.)
It was an incredibly small town when we moved in and I liked it like that.
One of the neighbors in the subdivision we moved into had a pop machine that all of the kids would go to and put money in, to get Shasta soda.
For those of you who do not know, or remember Shasta, it was the generic soda that was slightly cheaper, sort of like Faygo or Sams Choice.
Like I said earlier I was an extremely mischievous boy and would always be getting punished for getting into trouble. My parents used the whole bribe tactic when I was growing up. Basically what it boiled down to was, be good and we will buy you a G.I. Joe, be bad and we will take away Your Gameboy. etc etc. Well on one of these occasions I had my Gameboy taken away recently for making fun of a classmate at school. It was a few days later and I had arrived home before my parents got there. Being the trouble maker I was, I viewed this as a perfect opportunity as I proceeded to snoop through their room looking for my stolen treasure. What I would find would get me in loads of trouble.
Under my mothers side of the bed I found a small plastic tub and in it were rolled coins. Pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters. Hundreds of them all rolled up. There must have been 700 hundred dollars in that thing. Hmm I think if I just take the quarters rolls she wont notice, I thought to myself. Dont try to point out any logic in that thought process because there wasnt any.
With that I stole the rolls of quarters and went out side to spend my treasure. There were only a few problems with my epic scheme. Number one I was only in third grade and my mom would have to drive me any where worth while to spend my new treasure. And I think its obvious why that would be a problem seeing that it was my mom who I had just robbed. (I promise I felt bad about this after the fact.)
There were however two places in walking distance that I could spend my loot at, the Shasta machine over at the Jenkins house and the maverick gas station over on main street, the problem was though my parents had forbidden me from going to the maverick at this time in my childhood because they said it was to far away, Now I do not know why in the world I thought I had to obey this stipulation but stealing from them was just hunky dorey, but again thats the incredible mind of a third grader showing through. So I proceeded to the Shasta machine with my wagon and spent over 50 dollars in quarters there until everyone of the little buttons on the machine went orange. With my wagon full I headed over to the elementary school with a plan. Bury the pop go home and Hide the loot. So after a few hours of binge drinking moon mist and grape soda I had a huge hole dug in the middle of the play ground, It was summer at this time so I wouldnt have to worry about too many people finding it. I proceeded to dump the wagon filled with cans of Shasta into the hole and went about my business covering up the stash.
The sun was coming down when I decided to come home. I walked home alone looking up at the sunset realizing what I had done was incredibly wrong. Guilt set in. I started to feel bad about what I had done but I had already spent most of the money and there was no getting it back out of the machine with out my neighbor Snitching me out. There was an old hollow pole that went deep into the ground in my back yard that I decided to hide the rest of the quarters in. Again in my head I figured they would think it was a burglar that took them if they ever noticed at all. It didnt take long for the Shasta machine neighbor and the neighbor kids that were out playing to piece what had happened together as at least some what fishy and go inform my parents of what I had done. My mom cried and cried. I felt bad, extra bad when they grounded me for the rest of the summer and took away my allowance for the year to pay for it.
Thats me top row third from the right.
Remember the Maverick Gas station I told you about earlier? Well I had redeemed my self enough by the end of my 3rd grade year that my parents had finally granted me permission to go to (where everyone else in my neighborhood were already aloud to go to,) The Maverick.
Destination Number 1 Maverick Country Store.
Now this place was the beginning and then end of a lot of adventures growing up all the way until even a little bit after high school. It was torn down and rebuilt bigger and better in 96 or 97 with the new logo and slogan Maverick Adventures First Stop, or something to that effect. I always missed the old one though with the John MCsames famous saying, Im a Maverick! lol.
Me and my friends would always stock up on junk food and soda pop at this place all through my elementary, jr high and high school years . Some of the things that I absolutely loved from there were. Flaming Hot Doritos
These bad boys were on shelves before flaming hot Cheetos and boy do i wish they would bring them back! It was so hard to find anyone that has even heard about these much less a picture so be thankful i got one. I do not know how to explain these other then saying they were awesome.
Gameboy Bubble Gum.
Now this case to this gum was so cool and looked so much like a real game boy (To me at least) that i would put my Gameboy games in it and carry it around pretending like i was cool enough to have 2 Gameboys all to myself BWaahhahah! Now in retrospect I realize no one thought that it was a real Gameboy or even if they did, i do not see why that would make me any cooler then they were. but hey it was that grade school logic shining threw yet again.Surge!
The best thing in the world to wash down those flaming hot Doritos was none other then Surge a Fully loaded Citrus soda. This was and still is one of my favorite sodas of all time. It was eventually cancelled and a web campaign sprung up called savesurge. After a few years of people campaigning Coke brought out Vault. The fans were still not happy and a Facebook campaign actually brought the drink back in Norway last year. (Now lets just get the ball rolling here people. ) Anyways I remember before we would go on our boy scout camps we would always gear up at maverick snagging lighters flamin hot Doritos and like 10 of the one liter bottles of Surge. they always had a deal going on at Maverick that would give you the liters bottles 2 for a dollar. Smoking deal for boy scouts on the money our parents spotted us.
Another place i want to talk about growing up was Kohlers Food And Drug.
Kohlers was and still is one of those small town family owned grocery stores. I actually went to high school with one Chase Kohler one of the sons of the owner of this fine establishment. Almost everyone that I know worked here or tried to work here at some point in there life. Now granted this was an age before there was super WalMart, and the places to buy food were either Albertsons Or Smiths Both of which were a town over in American Fork.
From what I noticed Kohlers seemed to have lower prices on just about everything it just seemed the majority of the selection of things were generics like western family (The knock off of just about everything in any grocery store brand.)
and shasta which i mentioned before. Now keep in mind this was a smaller grocery store so since the majority of its products were generic it had less of a selection of mainstream. Now my mom for some reason liked either paying more or the bigger selection, because the majority of the time she would drive all the way to AF to the smiths there.
It was one visit in paticular that makes me bring up this place, I remember I was really amped up about the Nintendo at the time. My dad had just taken me over to the American Fork McDonalds to get a Happy meal. My favorite Happy meal when I was little by the way was the Super Mario happy meal. Which was incredible seeing how awesome the toys were that came with it.
I would have liked to have thought that this was the day that I had first got that particular happy meal but i think these two promotions were off a two years. anyways.
I was now sitting at home munching on some fries when my mom asked if I wanted to go back out a second time that day and go to the grocery store. I agreed and we set forth. This time she must have really been in a hurry because she actually went to Kohlers instead of over to the next town. And boy am I glad she did. As we walked i saw a tower of soda pop in the middle of the produce section with a bunch of kids with there parents gathered around it picking up boxes and putting them in there carts. What was all the excitement about? I thought to myself. They dont even carry quality pop here just stupid Shasta I thought. (Yeah its still the Shastas fault I stole from my mother lol.) As we approached the giant wall of soda pop I witnessed the coolest and probably the only promotion Shasta has ever done.
My mom ended up buying me like a whole case of them and I remember the appeal was with these bad boys were that you had a chance at winning a damn original Nintendo with every can. At this point in time I only had a Gameboy and my parents would only commit to renting me the nes from time to time. So I was forced to play Nintendo at cousins houses and such. I didnt win much to my disappointment. But every time I got to the bottom of one of those little cans it was a rush.Mistic
Drink mistic and go naked. Now i have never ever actually drank mistic but I sure have gone naked,,,,, ok that joke was horrible dont judge me lol. But on a more serious note growing up my parents were always turbo ultra megazord religious and they had over heard the ad campaign for this particular product over the radio. (Drink Mistic and Go Naked!) It would exclaim, in turn getting me banned from the drink until it was discontinued. You should tell me if i was missing anything. lol I remember always seeing them at Kohlers and Hoping there would be like some hot naked Baywatch chicks on it or something but all i got was this.
Kohlers is still there after all these years but no matter how hard i searched I could not find any pictures of the place online. The place still looks exactly the same as it did when we moved into town all those years ago, so this morning me and my wife before work went and captured these photos of the place.
These were just a few of the stories places and memories that I had growing up here. In part 2 i want to write about how we used our imagination to make this small town into an awesome adventure everyday.
Please excuse the absences of puncuation my computer kept bugging out. tell me what you guys think.Hopefully i brought you back as many of you bring me back time and time again. thank you all and we will see you next time. I will leave you with this painting of Lehi as seen from the freeway.