This week, I cleaned out. Then, cleaned out more. Then, panicked. I can only downsize for so long before I panic and put things back on the shelves and in the closets. I am like a yo-yo – give it away, put it back. This is not new news. Thus, I have discovered that the only way I will let go of a “thing” / “stuff” / “keepsakes” / “old designer clothes” is to get it into the dumpster or the car as fast as possible. Usually, I won’t take something out of the dumpster. I have been known to take something out of the car, but not often. If I put clothes going to charity into the car, I usually let them stay – unless I panic, go down to the car, search through the bags until I find what I am looking for.
This week, I worked on closets and bookshelves – trying to “simplify”. As I was trying to get one of the bookshelves organized, I saw three magazines that I have carted from house to house since the 1960’s. Most of that time, these magazines have stayed in drawers, out-of-sight. Why? Why was I keeping a “Saturday Evening Post”, dated August 25 – September 1, 1962; a “Saturday Evening Post”, dated October 20, 1962; and a “Life” magazine, dated November 9, 1962?
On the front of the Saturday Evening Post, dated August 25-September 1, 1962, someone has written “J. D. Jewell, pg 55B”.
My friend, Janice Braselton, says its Mother’s handwriting. Possibly. It is not mine. And, it is not Daddy’s. The “D” looks like Mother’s, so Janice is probably right.
I turned to page 55B. There it was. An ad – “Jesse Jewell’s from our spotless plant to your spotless kitchen TWO NEW WAYS TO BUY CHICKEN! Extra Flavor! Extra Value! Extra Good!
I searched through the Saturday Evening Post, dated October 20, 1962. On page 66a, there is an ad – “Jesse Jewell’s Plenty of Meat…Tasty Gravy…Tender Crist MEAT PIES Extra Flavor! Extra Value! Extra Good!”
In Life, dated November 9, 1962, the ad was further back. On page 124 R5 – “Jesse Jewell’s Plenty of Meat…Tasty Gravy…Tender Crust MEAT PIES.”
The fall of 1962. I tried to remember. What was going on in my life? The world? The Company? And I remembered – J. D. Jewell, Inc. in Gainesville Georgia and Florence, Alabama was riding high. I had just gotten my Master’s Degree from the University of Georgia in Drama in June 1962. And, I immediately got a position, teaching drama at Brenau College (now, Brenau University) in Gainesville, starting that fall. My husband at that time was studying for the Georgia Bar Exam.
During that fall, J.D. Jewell, Inc. was expanding into Frozen Pot Pies, with a plant in Florence, Alabama. Mother and Daddy were constantly sampling pot pies, and so were we. Our freezer was stocked full of frozen chicken and chicken pot pies and meat pot pies. Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken was talking to Daddy; Heinz wanted the Company; and so did Swanson. The stock was going or had gone over the counter. Life was good.
I started browsing through articles to see what was going on in the world – an article “Our Image Abroad” by Robert F. Kennedy; “A Slugger Comes of Age” by Frank Robinson; Irving Berlin was “Back on Broadway; “Advice to Young Men” by Henry Ford II. Then, wait a minute! WHAT???? DEALING WITH THE DEADLY CRISIS – The U.S. and Its People Withstand the Nuclear Threat. As Others Talk, Kennedy and Khrushchev Pull the Strings “DESTINY WAITS UPON THE MEN”. Oh, my god, what have I discovered? The U.S. was in crisis!! I knew that, but….!!!!
While we were enjoying the fruits of success in Gainesville, Georgia, with full-page ads in major magazines, the U.S. was in crisis. “In a take-cover drill at the Elysian Heights elementary school in Los Angeles, children crouched in a corridor under the watchful eyes of their teachers, shielding the back of their necks with their hands. It was a scene to be repeated in many places across the U.S. as Americans braced for what yet might come. “
Then and now – the similarities? And, this is the moment in time I take another look? My heart is full – difficult to put into words. A lot to think about. These magazines are a keeper. For now, anyway.
Remember? Familiar friends, aren’t they?