Saturday, March 28, 2009

Continental Trailways

There are people who will tell you that Continental Trailways didn't go out of business... it just got smaller.
It actually started out in 1936 as the National Trailways Bus System, a loose knit group of regional bus companies that could get people from one end of the country to the other. In time there were the local companies and the national system. They were the worst competition Greyhound had.
In 1987, the company (Continental Trailways, not the other Trailways companies) were taken over by Greyhound.
The thing I remember that they didn't go on the same routes. They went to Cookeville, Tennessee (Greyhound didn't, until 1987!) They had very unique buses. And the drivers drove a lot faster!

Betty Crocker Coupons

They came on everything that General Mills sold, even sponges and mops when the company manufactured cleaning supplies! First introduced in 1929, they were a way that household supplies and gadgets could be sold by mail at a savings. The big thing was Oneida pots and pans. You could also get some unique General Mills brand merchandise, like Cheerios bowls.

The coupons had expiration dates many years into the future. The Betty Crocker Catalog went out of business in August 2006 with everything in it being liquidated, with the coupons working until December 15, 2006, even though they had a date printed on them in 2012!

In 2007, the whole program was put online, though it isn't done through General Mills, but another company. Its website is here.

Cabazon, California

When you go from Los Angeles on I-10 and go past Beaumont and Banning in Riverside County, you will come across the town of Cabazon. It's on the right side of the freeway. If you are looking, you will probably look at the huge buildings on the left side of the freeway. The two outlet malls. The gambling casino. And the cheap gasoline. That's part of the land owned by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. They get a lot of money on that stuff.

Going further, you will see some life size models of dinosaurs, which were made famous in the movie, Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985), starring Paul Reubens. Those are Claude Bell's dinosaurs. There's a coffee shop in front of them. Most of the locals spend their time ignoring them.
There is still a sign that says, "Welcome to Cabazon."
But there was once a city of Cabazon that had its own gambling parlor (and a large liquor store which counted, among its many customers, my grandfather). It was incorporated in 1955 for the purpose of running gambling. But the town had more corruption than cities 1,000 times its size (Cabazon only had a population of around 1,000!)
In 1972, the city disincorporated, the only municipality in the state of California to do so...

Camp Fire Girls...

My sister was a Camp Fire Girl. My mother was her assistant group leader. I remember the meetings well. If I remember correctly, the ladder went:

  • Blue Birds (ages 7-8)

  • Adventurers (ages 9-11)

  • Horizon Club (ages 12-17) [their uniform had a nifty yellow blazer]

The organization is actually older than the Boy Scouts, having begun in 1910 by a physician, Dr. Luther Gulick. They would do things together with the Boy Scouts, at least until a group which began in 1912 as Girl Guides became the Girl Scouts in 1915. Actually, they followed the Boy Scouts a lot until the Camp Fire Girls went coeducational in 1975. Then they became the Camp Fire Boys and Girls. In 2001 the name was changed to Camp Fire USA.

Peter Paul Power House

In the early 1950s, my mother was a teenager who needed some money, so her mom (my grandma) told her to go on a TV game show. The show was called Beat the Champ and aired on KLAC-TV (now KCOP), channel 13. The whole point of the game was to build a house out of playing cards. The players kept building until the houses they were building toppled. Mom says she was pushed and her house came down first. She did win the consolation prize: a box of 24 Peter Paul Power House candy bars.
Power House was the only Peter Paul bar that didn't come in two pieces. It was one solid bar. And sometimes it said "Peter Paul" and other times it didn't. No matter. It was a great candy bar. Not too sweet. Not too chewy. But oh, so tasty. I haven't seen one in over thirty years.
Remember the Bob Lilly and Bubba Smith commercial?