September 1947

Around this time, Sears -- which in its early history sold everything from doorknobs to entire houses -- would begin selling its own make of automobile: the ALLSTATE.  It was a rebadged Kaiser "Henry J." model, the stripped-down subcompact of its day.  And, of course, it was outfitted with Allstate brand tires and Allstate battery.  You could even get Allstate-brand insurance for your new Allstate roadster at Sears.  Talk about the convenience of true one-stop shopping.

(I wonder what became of Sears' experiment in selling insurance?) 

"But what happens if I brew a pot of EIGHT O'CLOCK COFFEE at 6:30 in the morning?"

"You'll fall asleep on your way to work.  The caffeine doesn't take effect until exactly 8:00 a.m.  You might want to try the BOKAR instead.  There's no time restriction on that brand."

+ + + + + + + + +
The funny thing is, while A&P is nearly extinct as a grocery chain (only a handful of stores remain, mostly in the Northeast), their EIGHT O'CLOCK house-brand evolved into a real brand name.

Info and historical background may be found
on their website.

I wasn't that observant the last time I was in a Birmingham grocery store (assuming I was in the coffee aisle at all!), but the website says it's available at all the big supermarket chains.

And the old-style font lives on.  I like that.


Meanwhile, ROYAL CUP replied, "Buy us instead.  We're happy to have your business; we couldn't care less what time you start your percolator.  6:00 ... 7:00 ... 8:00 ... or even 2 in the afternoon, because vampires need joe, too."

(And brother, after all that coffee you've put away, your teeth are gonna look awful; you'll need all the "Irium" you can get!)

Aw, COME ON.  What fools do you take us for anyway??   Look, people, if you're gonna try and appear all nice and 'Home-Town', then at least duplicate the old-west typeface on the little sign.
 This leads me to speculate if other versions appeared in papers across North Alabama....

Or perhaps....

Hey!  I've got it....
(LEFT)I've said it once, and I'll say it again: my hat's off to who(m)ever decided to revive The Clown.  It does my heart good to see it on Golden Flake route trucks in the Savannah area.  It's always a sweet taste of 'home' whenever I find myself driving behind one.

A couple of years ago somebody over here remarked to me in conversation how they "liked that clown they just started putting on their packages and their trucks.  It looks really retro."

Stifling the urge to bore him to death with all the history and lore behind the mascot, I calmly said, "That's because it IS."

And be sure to look for the new thrill attraction out back: The Great Birmingham Terror Climb!  See if you can scale one of WSGN's two towers without being frickaseed by its 5,000 watts.  If you make it, you'll be rewarded with an unforgettable view of of The Magic City!  If not .... tell your family not to sue us, okay?

08/26/2007 -- 1033 PM EDT