Aren't they lovely? Absolutely l-o-v-e-l-y perfect! I have a letter ready but cannot bring myself to break up the dreams. It's not like I don't have other stamps, but I want to be the first to set them free to a friend or three.
I finally figured out why the World Stamp is my favorite. I got a warm feeling every time I saw them. Well, last night I figured it out. Were you around when S&H Green Stamps drove adults to distraction? If a store clerk forgot to give up the earned stamps you can believe the customer asked, "Where are my stamps???" I know my little mama kept a book in the glove compartment and several at home. No way was she going to risk losing her green stamps by not getting them on a page asap. And watching her, my grand, my aunts, and church women counting the coveted full books, or poring over the catalogs to dream of redemption, made me imagine I couldn't wait until I could buy stuff, collect S&H Green Stamps, and get free stuff too.
Mama got a lot more stamps than her siblings and Grandmother because she had a car. She got stamps with every gas purchase! She was generous with her windfalls to a fault though. When it was time for us to pack up and move to Oklahoma, she gave Grandmother her books and loose stamps. No one saved S&H Green Stamps in Lawton.
Another thing I liked about the Green Stamp craze was being able to listen to the radio all day. The local station, made random calls for S&H Green Stamps give-aways. It went something like this:
Wait! You had to follow the script so they could make a fool out of you if you weren't on your toes. I you weren't, you stood to lose and everyone within the sound of the DJ's voice heard you being dumb on top of losing hundreds of stamps. You could not say "Hello?" If there was silence on the other end, you knew not to ask, "Who is this?" You had to say, "Hello." The DJ knew his part by heart and always said, "Hello? Is this Mrs. Smith?" Mrs. Smith had to say, "This is Mrs. Smith. I collect S&H Green Stamps! And S&H Green Stamps are free!" The DJ congratulated the lucky housewife, told her how many stamps she'd won, and you can guess the rest. The best parts--even better than being able to listen to the radio all day, although it was all country and western music, local news, the cattle report and church bulletins--were the pranks.
Who would pass up an opportunity to get someone's goat? Grown women called at just the right time to get a friend or relative to take the bait, and once in awhile you got to know who was a true Christian, since a true Christian did not say a bad word when she realized it was a hoax. Pity the kid who called to ask, "Is your refrigerator running?" risking a missed opportunity because the DJ could call while the line was tied up! Remember the days of party lines? Someone was always listening, like a community big brother, and they'd tell on the dummy before the sun set.
See how nostalgia can feel like time travel? The World Stamp took me all the way back to my hometown in a blink. I saw all those licked stamps lined up like photos in a century of year books. I thought of all the saliva those housewives used on stamps instead of wetting a handkerchief on Sunday, seeing as how their saliva glands were just too worn out to work on the Sabbath. Thank you S&H Green Stamps for all the times I got the dry hanky when I woke after the sermon, with drool on my cheek.
And there's this. I'll tell you about it tomorrow. Do you remember when there was a box for local mail and one for out-of-town mail? This gem is from . . . Well, wait and see, but without my glasses this perplexed little woman reminds me of a young Elizabeth.
I hope you had a great mail Monday. I did. I mailed some mail, and was mailed in return. Hope you were too.
Wishing you a toothsome Tuesday!