Tuesday, April 2, 2013

'C' is for Cigar Boxes - Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

The Letter 'C'

I remember having some exactly like these.

'C' is for Cigar Boxes

We were little when Daddy used to bring them home. Cigar boxes -- they were great for so many things. That’s what we had. Looking back, I’m certain we took them for granted.

I don’t think there was such a thing as a plastic box in those days. You know the type I’m talking about. I'm talking about the ones shaped like cigar boxes that people bought for their children in the eighties. They had snap-down lids, and sharp edges. I remember a lot of purple ones. People personalized them with balloon lettering using bright colored paint pens. Some had little drawings of ballet shoes, or balloons. No, I wasn’t aware of those things until I was an adult. If there was such a thing when I was little I think we'd of had them. I came from a family with a Daddy who drove all over Mobile looking for Slinkys when they first hit town. What we had were cigar boxes. They were a staple at our house.

Daddy owned laundromats, with little convenience stores tucked inside. He had shelves for penny, nickel, and dime candies. I liked the malted milk balls. There were shelves for things like potato chips, detergent, and after-shave. I remember one time when Daddy refused to sell blue hair tonic to a lady who was very insistent. I thought he was being mean to her until he explained to me that she was going to walk outside and drink the stuff. Daddy also had to keep an eye on who bought those little packages of laxative gum. Some of the high school boys liked to buy the stuff, switch it with regular gum, and then share it with their friends. Maybe they weren't their friends. My daddy had a lot of items in those little stores. There was a freezer with ice cream, a gallon jar for pickles on the counter, and lots of other things on all four walls. But behind the counter there were cigarettes, and, I think there were cigars too. Maybe that’s where he got our boxes. I don't know. 

We always had a new cigar box for the beginning of the school year. Older boxes, with the lids torn off were used to store broken color crayons. I had a box with seashells, and another one that I used for a collection of pennies. There was one that held special treasures found here and there. One treasure was my grandfather Frank's red frame glasses. I also kept my great-grandmother Emma's wireframes. Other items included an old corncob holding a roll of twine from my grandparent’s house in the country; a little pair of white church gloves that were too small for my growing hands; and a rock that I brought home from the Smokey Mountains. I used another box for my collection of envelopes and cards that were sent to me from family members. That's where I tucked away my weekly allowance.

Sometimes I drew balloons, houses, or flowers on the boxes but most of the time I didn’t. They had such pretty pictures and writing that I enjoyed them as they were. I’m almost certain that I wrote my name on them, and probably phone number or address too. Everyone I knew had cigar boxes, and although we didn't talk about them very much, they were an important part of daily life. I never thought they'd go away.

Here is a partial list of blogs that I am enjoying:

http://www.joylcampbell.com - I am particularly enjoying her topic of blog tours. I'm learning a lot.

http://nancysthompson.blogspot.com - Nancy is alternating between grammar and emotions. 'B' was very interesting.

http://writingforpleasure3.blogspot.com - Music, beautiful music...and more.

http://www.laugh-quotes.com/2013/04/always-bring-toilet-paper/ - Because this woman is funny.

http://laughatalzheimers.blogspot.com - Because she is very brave.