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For the Love of Soda
I am going to go on record claiming that I have consumed more soda pop than any one my age.
Yup, we lived only 2 blocks from Steve Lynch’s Little Store and 2 blocks from the Phillips 66 Gas/Service/ Forerunner of the convenience store.
In my childhood many people would simply drink a Coke or Coke Plus and just throw the bottle out the window. Well coke, white soda, and orange soda bottles were thick and hard to break. So, my brother and I knew where these lover’s lane spots were and thus hoped we might beat kids like us to salvage discarded bottles. Steve Lynch would give us 2¢ each. So, if you had 2 bottles and a penny you could buy a coke say if you drank it at the store.
Well for years Coca-Cola owned the soda pop market but then Pepsi Cola came on the market with a 12-ounce bottle of soda for 5¢. Well guess what happened to Coke? Coke argued Pepsi would never hurt them. Us kids did not agree, Coca-Cola found themselves hurting and quickly switched to the 12-ounce bottle. Well, guess what, my older brothers out performed them all by making homemade root beer. They bottle it in quart catsup bottles. In my estimation homemade Hires Root Beer was the best of all.
Meanwhile, back at the bottling plant, Coca-Cola had to beat off another upstart, Royal Crown in the big 12-ounce bottle. Royal Crown hurt Pepsi more than anyone else. Then they all had to contend with Hires Root Beer and Nesbitt Orange. Us kids were having a ball watching the cola wars.
But by now you have noticed the competition has made them all better and that Coca-Cola for all its competition is still king of the walk.
So, getting back to the poor man’s drink. It was fun making root beer, the root beer extract box had a recipe for making homemade root beer. It was simply sugar, yeast, extract, and water. You mix it all together, put it in quart bottles; press the cap on the bottle and lay the bottles in the chicken house roof in the sun a few days to cure. Now you put a bottle in the fridge to cool. Uncork it, if it pops, it’s good. Wow is it good. If a bottle or two explodes on the roof you know it’s good!