Monday, March 9, 2009

Old School Ode #3 - the Bicentennial Quarter

I went through the drive-thru window at Wendys this afternoon. The cashier handed me change; among it a shiny silver disk etched with a Colonial drummer and star-circled victory torch.

Remember those?

The first time I ever saw one was under my pillow, in exchange for one of my teeth. I don't think I kept it (probably went right back into some sugar treat that by cause for fillings in other teeth) but I remember being enthralled by the idea of the "special edition-ness" of the thing.

I assume 1976 saw a plethora of Bicentennial over-saturation in the market place. I did a little research and came up with these promotions: The makers of Coffee Rich put out a "Bicentennial Kit" that included a copy of the Declaration of Independence and the ad headline Coffee Rich Started a Revolution in Good Taste. d-Con Insecticide included flag stickers and called themselves The People who are helping to free America from Bugs. Baskin Robbins sold red, white and blue ice cream cones.

But it wasn't all disposable trending. The Bicentennial supposedly also influenced the makers of School House Rock to launch "History Rock" (my personal favorite sub-category of that awesome show.) Come to think of it, my first lunch box was a 1776-influenced cartoon. It came with a free pack of gum.

Pulling out of Wendys, I put the quarter in the coin divot on my dashboard. I won't keep it for long, inevitably feeding it into meter when I'm running late and out of change. But its nice to see those things every once in a while...

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