Today a short walk to the 1950s is about to take place. Join me if you wish.
10 year old Larry was excited today. Getting dressed for school was special. His shoes were polished and shiny, he had his best pair of pants on and a crisp white shirt topped with a green and white polka dot bowtie. Clip on bowtie, actually tying these was beyond his abilities and perhaps beyond the abilities of anyone in the household.
The bowtie was added to his dress for the day for his visit to the capitol building in Lansing Michigan. You see the governor of Michigan; G Mennen (Soapy) Williams wore a trademark green polka dot bowtie. Larry thought it would be really cool if they came upon the governor and the governor would notice the tie and perhaps make a comment ‘Nice tie kid” or anything along that type of action.
With his sack lunch of sandwich, apple and cookies in hand he boarded the bus. Larry also had a dime and two nickels in his pocket in case they came upon a vending machine to purchase a soft drink and maybe a candy bar.
While the day did not live up to its hopeful expectations, the governor was nowhere in sight, Larry did get to see the massive desk in the governor’s office and the large leather chair behind it. He had a momentary thought of rushing over and sitting in the chair but chickened out in the end.
There was a visit with the local representative who said nice things to the children which no one remembers. You all remember the old cliché in one ear and out the other?
Now in sharing this story I am brought back to another memory. Soapy, the nickname came from the fact that Williams was heir to a personal grooming products fortune. One of their products, Williams shaving soap came in individual boxes and could be purchased for 10 cents at the local dime store.
And this small box with a single bar of shaving soap is what Larry used to get his dad for Christmas for a few years. It cost a dime but was well worth it to Larry. He would watch with joy as dad opened the gift and exclaimed “Wow I can sure use this” giving a warm smile to his son.