A Nickel

               When I was a little kid, soft drinks, (pop) in machines cost ten cents, then 15 cents, and then a quarter.  The bottles were 10 ounces or so, and made of glass.  Back then, my dad would tell me that when he was young pop was a nickel.  Since I was a kid, I mentally rolled my eyes at his old-ness.  Now, of course, I am frequently reflecting on such things.  I guess it comes with the old-ness territory.

               I enjoy watching the TV channels that have the old situation comedies and such.  They bring back memories.  Some I like more than others.  “The Brady Bunch” is NOT one of my favorites.  That being said, I recently saw part of an episode where Mrs. Brady had a fender-bender, and the other person involved demanded that the Brady’s pay his repair bill.

               First, you need to know that the antagonist was played by the guy who played Grandpa in “The Munsters.”  But, more to the point, he was trying to take advantage of the Bradys by gouging them for… wait for it… $265. 

               Can you imagine a body shop repair bill for $265?  Today it probably costs that much for a new gas cap.

               It reminded me of the first “Austin Powers” movie, where the bad guy, Dr. Evil, who had been frozen since 1969, attempts to hold the world ransom for “One million dollars!”  That was a lot of money in 1969.  Not so much these days.

               Some things’ prices really haven’t changed much.  When I was in college, it seems to me that a pair of jeans was around $18.  Thanks to the globalization of clothing manufacturing, you can sometimes find jeans for close to that price.  They’re made in Mexico, or someplace.  Some jeans are still made in the USA, but they are hard to find, and cost a bit more.  The All American Clothing Company (www.allamericanclothing.com) in Ohio sells jeans for three times $18.  I haven’t tried them yet, but I’m going to.  After all, $54 is pretty much what foreign-made Levi’s jeans cost.

               When we tell our kids that our first new car cost $3,000, and our first house $29,000, I know the mental eye-rolls are happening.  That’s okay.  Perspective is a good thing.

I only hope they know I’m passing-on a tradition, and that must be worth at least a nickel.




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