April 15, 2019
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Well, I was tempted to write something about taxes today, since it’s April 15th, but I don’t want to waste any precious space in Week 395 of our weekly visit talking about such a dismal subject.
So, how about coffee? Yeah, that’s more like it. I heard it again the other day in the coffee aisle of the supermarket: “I’ll get my usual plain old Folgers. Coffee’s pretty much the same anyway, no matter what brand you get.”
Wellll, not quite. Let me say at the outset, I am not a coffee snob. You know, the one who just cannot live without their exotic special blend from Indonesia or wherever, or the one who grinds his own beans with a burr-type grinder, thank you, not one of those horrible knife-blade grinders. Nahh, that’s not me. I know a few folks like that, and I’m fine with their little quirks, but mainly I just like a pleasant little morning lift from a decent-tasting coffee that doesen’t take much effort to throw together.
Maybe it’s because I started with a pretty low bar. Back in my youth (or “yoot” as Joe Peschi says in ‘My Cousin Vinnie’) my parents drank Nescafe instant coffee, a taste-free product which became popular during World War II as some sort of real coffee substitute. Anyway, Mom and Dad loved the stuff, and let me to try it for myself around the age of ten or so. Not knowing any better, I thought it was pretty good, especially with milk and sugar added. They limited me to a half-cup per day at that age, but even given that paltry allowance I was hooked on caffeine.
After high school I tried several other brands, including Taster’s Choice, which Nescafe had brought out as sort of an upscale version of the basic brand. A Buick for its former Chevrolet customers, so to speak. It was okay, but somehow I knew there must be more in coffee life. So I went and got myself drafted in 1969.
While in the military I finally realized that real brewed coffee from actual beans was pretty darn good, even from one of those huge Army mess hall perco-monsters, which were the size of a garbage can. The quality varied from post to post, but the intensity was the same. The stuff woke you UP and had that “full-bodied flavor,’ a phrase beloved by coffee advertisers.
After Sally and I married we tried a handful of different brands, and yes, had a thing for Folgers for a while. You must remember, in the ‘70s there were not many brands from which to choose, nothing like today’s variety. I do remember trying Maxwell House one time and disagreeing with Teddy Roosevelt’s famous assessment that it was “good to the last drop.” I never got to the last drop.
Fast forward to the ‘80s. That’s when the real coffee revolution began. We began exploring some of the supermarket house brands and some of the big names, including, of course, Starbuck’s. For a long time I thought Starbuck’s was just too strong, so we drifted through a bunch of other options.
At some point they came out with their Breakfast Blend and we gave it a try. Hey, not bad. But since I was drinking wayyy too much coffee at this point (hosting an early morning radio show will do that) we decided to ‘cut’ it with an equal amount of hazelnut decaf, giving it a 50/50 blend of decaf and ‘leaded.’ Perfect. Great taste, but you didn’t get jacked up after two cups. Our decaf of choice these days is Dillon’s Private Selections Hazelnut in already ground form. We tried whole bean coffees for a while, but the grinding and fiddling just wasn’t worth it.
So, that’s where we stand at present. We’re happy. Yes, there IS a difference in coffee and it’s worth paying a little more to get it. Just ask a former Nescafe addict. You know, looking back, I think my hair started thinning right around the time I was drinking that stuff.
Congrats to Paul; he got the typewriter sound in ‘Everyday’ by Buddy Holly! Good ears. Julie dropped in a day later and got it right too. It’s just one of those things you don’t expect to hear in a song, so your mind doesen’t decipher it the first few times.
Terry guessed ‘grandfather clock’ as the answer to the furniture question. No, sorry.
Roger remembered Gunn’s Clothing on Main and also George Wilson who worked there and later at top shelf clothing outlets in KC. Lyle Gunn was manager/owner, I believe.
Edith knows her 9th and Morphy. Yes, that’s where Larry’s Garden Center (Larry Drescher) had a popular store years ago. Justin (prominent local historian) got it as well.
Two leftovers: name the type of furniture that’s been popular here since the 1860s, but saw its first wave of popularity more than 2000 years ago.
A political person made fun of someone’s neck recently and used a ‘50s-era term to do it. Who originated that particular insult?
Let’s toss three new ones into the fray: The Dreschers had another ‘growing business’ a few years later. Where was it?
One of the biggest pop groups of the ’60s had a brief sampling of a popular major college fight song in the middle of one of their hits. Name the group, the hit or both.
A certain type of men’s shoe is named after a British castle. What type is it?
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SPECIAL NOTE: Our next post will be on Monday April 29. I’m taking a week off due to a home renovation project that’s taking up a lot of my spare time. I hope you will understand.