Re-Post of 2011 Entry:
These last couple of weeks was filled with a new task for me.......buying old lunchboxes...lunch boxes..? Either way.....bidding and negotiating on eBay, Rubyland, and Etsy for starters. Have to admit, I had NO idea the value of old lunch boxes!
I immediately called my 89 year old dad and said....."I'm going to run up there and pick up my
For Sale at eBay
old Mickey Mouse Lunch Box.....do you know where it is??" Well.....course I knew it wasn't there when I called.....I'm sure gone for many years now as those cleaning sprees occurred.....childhood toys moved out of the way for record players, newer and better stuff. My old lunch box was a Mickey Mouse. Had a picture of Mickey Mouse going to school. The photo on the right is one like mine. It's actually up for sale at eBay right now! Thermoses tend to get separated from the boxes in most cases, but occasionally you find one that includes the original thermos. The Davy Crockett box in the photo was purchased on eBay. It didn't have a thermos, but we found one elsewhere!
This lunch box has Davy Crockett "King of the Wild Frontier" on one side and Kit Carson on the other. Reading about the both of them was a favorite past time. And who doesn't remember the Davy Crockett TV show with Fess Parker!
Looking at these old lunchboxes really got me to thinking about the days when I carried my Mickey Mouse box. Growing up in the 1950's in a small southern community, carrying a lunchbox to school was a necessity. Don't remember if the Mickey Mouse box was purchased for me, more likely a hand-me-down from my two older sisters. They remember it as well as I do, so they probably used it too. I do remember my lunch being packed. Almost the same sandwich every day: wiener sandwiches on loaf bread with mustard; and Kool-aid to drink. Sometimes it might be bologna and sometimes peanut butter and jelly.......but I remember the wieners.....can't believe I'm not hypertensive today! But I also remember how great that lunch smelled on the way to school. We rode the bus. We were the last stop on our county road and the bus turned around in our driveway. Had the same bus driver for the first five years - grades 1 thru 5.
Mr. Loyt Wallace. Bless his soul, he was a kind man and rarely had to lose his temper with us. If he did have to say something to a kid, it wasn't much! Riding the school bus was the only way to get to school unless your parent was a teacher.....mine were not, so if you missed the bus you were in deep trouble.
I missed the bus one day.....on purpose. I hid out behind the dresser in the bedroom because of the pants I was wearing. For some reason, my Mother bought me jodhpurs for school. Jodhpurs are riding pants.......Now I was a cowgirl....don't get me wrong.....white majorette boots dubbed as my cowboy boots and I wore them year round along with a cowboy hat at home and blue jeans. We had a Shetland pony that we rode bare back with nothing but a bridle.
Jodhpurs are English riding pants.....tight skinny legs with an elastic strap that goes around the foot and full at the hips. You guessed it, the strap around the foot meant that the crotch of the pants was usually about mid thigh. Okay if you were just walked around.....but absolutely impossible to get on the school bus! Those steps were tall! The first time I had to get on wearing my jodhpurs....I couldn't! Mr. Loyt had to get up out of his drivers seat, grab my hand and pull me in!! I was mortified. So, I just couldn't bring myself to wear them to school again. And I had three pairs!!
Well, after hiding until the bus was out of sight.......I had to come out. Course....Daddy had been outside working and saw the bus drive off without me. At that time my Mother was working at a factory and daddy was farming at home. Extra driving around anywhere was just a frivolous use of the vehicle and gas and just not done. I didn't know what might happen to me....I thought I might be killed or something, but when Daddy came to the house and asked me why I didn't get on the bus I explained why. I had already changed out of the pants and he just said....."c'mon get in the truck." Now....I had never been carried to school before, and only picked up early one time and that was to go to the hospital to get a measles shot. I thought, great.....I'm getting to ride to school in the truck.....))) And so far, I hadn't gotten the whipping I figured was coming.....this wasn't turning out too bad after all I thought. Until I found out he wasn't taking me all the way to school.......we were going to RUN THE BUS DOWN so I could get on! This was even worse that having the driver pull me in! So sure enough, we caught up with the bus by driving the back roads at ninety miles an hours and I got put back on the bus in front of Maude Grisham's house amid giggling and laughter ......I didn't miss the bus again. But, I didn't have to wear the jodhpurs again either)))
Back to the lunch box smells......the metal boxes had a little vent in the side and your lunch would just smell heavenly. There was also a place where you could write your name on a piece of paper and slide it into the slot. Sandwiches wrapped in wax paper, sometimes those little wax paper bags, sometimes a cookie or brownie. I'd hold the lunch box in my lap all the way to school and take a sniff every now and then. Seems I can remember the Kool-aid was usually grape. And that was Kool-aid made with sugar....this was way before the pre-sweetened days. I was never a milk drinker and in the lunch room, bottles of milk (sweet milk we called it) or chocolate milk was the only option. And, the lunchroom wasn't even open during the spring or warmer weather. I've often wondered why this was. The lunchroom was a separate building from the school house. There was no air-conditioning or anything like that. I don't know if the lunchroom wasn't open because of the heat....or perhaps no one to work in it because of field work....I have no idea. My daddy says when he went to school, there were no
lunchrooms at all. Quite a way from the lunchrooms of today where children have choices and sometimes three meals a day. In elementary school, you had your lunch at lunchtime, no snacks at recess or anything like that, unless you had brought something. There was no place for the younger children to buy anything. On the "high school side" they actually had a little store run by Mr. Willie Long, the janitor, where they could buy candy and stuff. There was even a Coke machine just off the auditorium. It took a 6 cents to get a coke, the machine had a hand crank.
Grades 1 through 5 I went to Pinedale High School in Union County. After the 5th grade, the school was closed and I had to transfer to Hurricane High School in Pontotoc County, where I graduated. When I started 6th grade at Hurricane I already had some friends there because we went to church together. The road in front of our house was the dividing line between Union and Pontotoc County. So, I had friends that lived across the road that went to Hurricane High School in Pontotoc County and we went to Pinedale in Union County. That is until they closed Pinedale. So starting at a new school wasn't entirely too bad....plus, the best thing of all to me at the time.....was at recess you could go to the school store and buy two cookies and a box of chocolate milk for a nickle! This was big time!
So, surfing around, looking and buying some lunch boxes has been great fun this past couple of
weeks. The boxes weren't for me.....they were for a friend in Northern Ireland. We'll be boxing them all up and getting them ready for their final destination home in a few weeks. Right now we have a Hopalong Cassidy and thermos and a Buccaneer lunchbox and thermos. We have more, but these along with the Davy Crockett are the spectacular vintage lunch boxes.
The Hopalong Cassidy box we found still has the child's name on the box. "Noel Johnson." Vintage items just make you wonder about this person....where did he go to school.....why did he part with it? Probably fell by the wayside like mine....most likely ended up in a junk pile. We didn't have garage sales back then or my family didn't anyway. Wouldn't it be fun if you found a vintage lunch box somewhere and it turned out to be yours?? Wonder what the chances are of that happening.
So you might want to check your cabinets and storage spaces! If you have a vintage lunch box, check it out, clean it up and hold on to it! Or if you want to make a few quick bucks, head off to eBay. Trust me....it will sell))) Now, if you have a Roy Rogers, just give ME a call.....that would be the icing on the cake to this very nice collection.