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Chmnofbrd

New Yorks Past.....I'm feeling nostalgic today

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Hey, how's about Calgon? They actually gave us TWO jingles/taglines that stick in your memory banks: "Calgon, take me away!", and the somewhat politically incorrect "Ancient Chinese secret"...I have a strange feeling we won't be seeing that one resurrected any time soon.

I know what you mean. I have been watching old cigarette commercials (one with the Flintstones).

I'm going to have to check out this whole youtube phenomenon. That Flinstone commercial must be the one where Fred and Barney are watching Wilma and Betty doing a bunch of housework. One of them says "I hate to watch the girls do all that hard work", and the other replies "Me too. Let's go around back where we can't see them" (or something to that effect). They are next shown leaning against the back of the house, smoking the brand of cigarette that was being advertised (don't remember the brand). That's an awesomely funny commercial that I haven't seen in years.

Glad to know that youtube is out there with all the great (or not so great as it were) stuff from the past on it.

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Oh it takes Fluff Fluff Fluff

to make a Fluffenutter

marshmallow Fluff

and lots of peanut butter

I hope this topic can handle at least one more post...

Chairman's mention of Fluff came at an interesting time. Not only was Fluff invented right here in Massachusetts, it's still made here. And it's the ONLY product produced by the company. Last week a senator from Mass got all up in arms about his child's school serving Fluffernutters to its students. Talk about not having anything better to do! Anyway, here's an AP article about the whole to do, as well as a neat history of Fluff, that appeared in today's Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Sorry for posting the whole thing, I was afraid that the link to it might not work (as the Telegram website requires a subscription to view its archives).

Friday, June 23, 2006

Fluff’s quiet owner reveals secrets of family’s success

One-product company follows tried-and-true recipe

By Andrew Ryan THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ingredients of a Fluffernutter sandwich — Marshmallow Fluff, peanut butter and bread — are shown Tuesday in Marlboro. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LYNN— Much of Don Durkee’s 80-year life has been Fluff.

Marshmallow Fluff, that gooey and spreadable New England delight, has been a family business since his father starting peddling the treat door-to-door in 1920. Scores of school children across the Northeast grew up on Fluffernutter sandwiches — peanut butter and a layer of mushy marshmallow on bread.

Now, in its home state of Massachusetts, Fluff has come under fire. A state senator is pushing to limit its availability in school lunchrooms to once a week, horrified at the prospect of it being a daily staple of children’s diets. Another lawmaker jumped to Fluff’s defense, nominating the Fluffernutter as the official state sandwich.

The kerfuffle over Fluff has stirred passions in generations of New Englanders who recall fond childhood memories of eating the stuff, while others question its value in an increasingly obese world. In some corners of the Northeast, Fluffernutters are held in almost the same esteem as lobsters and the Boston Red Sox.

No such debates take place inside the Durkee-Mower Inc. headquarters in Lynn where Durkee and his 20 employees churn out the gooey stuff by the ton.

It is the only product made by the company, which was founded by his father and now is on the brink of selling 7 million pounds of Fluff this year for the first time in its history.

Durkee isn’t one for the spotlight. He’s content to make Fluff and nothing else, and he has resisted hundreds of calls from reporters since the controversy broke out.

“Like most people, I think it is a little frivolous to bring it to the attention of our governing bodies,” Durkee said during a recent interview with The Associated Press as he sat in his wood-paneled office and fidgeted with his reading glasses. “I think obesity is a problem, but I don’t think it can be legislated.”

With wispy gray hair, he leaned back and spoke in measured tones as he picked at the ripped fabric on the arm of his desk chair. On a wall hangs a faded photograph of two members of the 1980 U.S. Ski Team, which the company sponsored. Two cross-country skiers — Durkee can’t quite remember their names — smile next to a 16-oz. jug of Fluff.

Fluff has always been just four ingredients: corn syrup, sugar, dried egg white and vanilla.

The corn syrup and sugar are cooked and poured into 13 mixing bowls that stand six feet tall. One person measures the egg whites and vanilla for every batch by hand.

“I can’t tell you how long we whip it for,” Durkee said without smiling. “That’s about the only part of the trade secret. You could almost invent it by accident.”

Fluff was invented in the Somerville kitchen of Archibald Query, who sold it door-to-door just before World War I.

In 1920, two Army infantry veterans of the war — H. Allen Durkee and Fred L. Mower — bought the recipe from Query for $500. With a barrel of sugar and a secondhand Ford, the pair began driving around looking for customers. Back then, a gallon of the stuff sold for about $1; these days, a 16-oz. jar goes for a little more than $2.

While most other companies start with one product and then branch out, Durkee-Mower has only made one thing: Fluff. About as diverse as it has gotten is making different versions of the gooey substance, such as raspberry- and strawberry-flavored versions.

“While it looks like it’s old-fashioned, they are not so dumb,” said Roberta Clarke, a marketing professor at Boston University. “There is no other word for Fluff. They own the category.”

Durkee-Mower does have some competition in the spreadable marshmallow racket, including Kraft Food Inc., which makes Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme. Kraft would not disclose sales figures or poundage.

No one questions the allure of Fluff, at least in its home state.

Even state Sen. Jarrett T. Barrios, D-Cambridge — the lawmaker who proposed limiting schools to serving Fluffernutter sandwiches to once a week as the main meal served in the cafeteria — says he has the stuff at home.

“He loves Fluff as much as the next legislator,” said Barrios aide Colin Durrant. Barrios later backed off the proposal.

The proposal has stirred passions as it sparked childhood memories of the comfort food.

State Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein, D-Revere, fired off an e-mail announcing her own legislation designating the Fluffernutter the “official sandwich of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

“I believe we need to preserve the legacy of this local delicacy,” Reinstein wrote in the letter to fellow lawmakers.

Durkee took over the business from his father, and his own son, Jonathan Durkee, 42, is a current vice president and treasurer.

Durkee-Mower doesn’t have any of its own distribution trucks, and its advertising budget is “peanuts,” Durkee said.

What’s the secret?

“Long ago we decided rather than come up with new products, we decided to come up for new uses with this product,” Durkee said.

“It makes great Whoopie Pies,” Durkee added, nodding his head.

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Sorry, it's me again. There was supposed to be a photo with the above Fluff story. It (obviously) didn't come out, although the caption did. Anyway, here it is in case anyone was wondering what the caption was for.

Also, here is an editorial cartoon by the great Worcester Telegram political cartoonist David Hitch that appeared yesterday, and refers to how frivilous an "anti-Fluff" bill seems while there are so many other issues that should be addressed.

Glen

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I remember Korvettes. I lived in the Detroit and Windsor area for a time in the early 1970's and they were a presence there as well.

However, I recall many "legacies" of NY's past because I have lived in this state for many years. I can still hear the advertising jingle for May's Department Stores: "Everyday's a sale day at Mays." (This store was not connected with the west coast May and Company Stores.) It was sort of a discount chain.

I remember those annoying television ads for Mi-Lem Cocktail Mix.

I remember Gimbels, B. Altman and I once ate at an Automat.

The Woolworth Building (the Cathedral of Commerce) remains a landmark in lower Manhattan not far from the WTC site. The headquarters of WT Grant and Company is in midtown not far from what Grand Central Station as I recall.

I also recall the afternoon kids show on WPIX (channel 11 in NYC) that was hosted by a guy dressed as a cop ("Officer Joe Bolton," I think he was called). It included cartoons and a Three Stooges short. He was nuts about the Stooges and the highlight came when he actually landed a bit part in one of the Stooges 1960's feature films. Holy crap, he made it seem like the second coming. He also did some weekend anchor work on WPIX. Several times, he took his show to the World's Fair. I remember that so well.

I remember WOR's "Farewell To The Fair," which aired on the Sunday afternoon following the 1965 closing of the exposition.

Wow, I,m old!

After reading this post I had no choice but to watch the last known copy of the Mi-Lem commercial. I agree it is hokey. But on turn why would I have the last known copy? My grandfather founded Mi-Lem in 1957 out of a garage in a place called Glendale. My father was his plant manager and every bottle of Mi-Lem made until 1979 was mixed by him. I rembember the day my dad went to the studio to supervice the produstion very well. It was September 24, 1969. That night my dad was not coming home for dinner due to the fact they reshot some scenes 6 times. My mom was 9 months pregant with my sister. Lo and behold that night my mom went into labor. My father raced from the studio to the hospital. The actual finished commercial previewed on ABC 7 in October of 69. My grandfather was proud of the fact his product was on televicsion and in color no less. So he went out and bought 3 19 inch color televisions so all the family could see it. My grandmother was so happy that she had a grandaughter she made my grandfather buy the slot on ABC so it previewed on the night of my sister christening, that way all the family would be together to watch it. I still remember my father cursing about the fine tuner not working right on the television that night and saying we should never had bought solid state televisions. Little did he know. LOL.

As I write this I get a warm feeling knowing that somewhere someone remembered my grandfather and father's product. Sadly both of them are no longer with us, but I am sure they would have a hearty laugh about this post if there were here. Most off all I admit, your right it was annoying.

The Mi-Lem Kid

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As an addendum to earlier posts of mine concerning the TV show "Naked City" there is one episode "Memory Of A Red Trolley Car" that contains a scene that was shot at the long-defunct Freedomland amusement park, in case fans of Freedomland want to find another glimpse of that place. (Volume 2 of the DVD sets released).

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It always amazes me what a late night town NY used to be. Imagine a 12:15 show even on weeknights? The Copa even had an additional 2am show on Friday and Saturday nights.

AllenRossi.jpg

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It always amazes me what a late night town NY used to be. Imagine a 12:15 show even on weeknights? The Copa even had an additional 2am show on Friday and Saturday nights.

AllenRossi.jpg

AHH, YES! The Copacabana was a favorite of mine. During the fifties and early sixties, I went there many times with my friends including Mel Chernev and his wife Amy. His dad was the famous chessmaster and author of many books on chess. I never could win a game against Mel. I remember the night we saw Joe E. Lewis, one of the funniest men in show business at that time.

The Copa girls and the live orchestra were famous for the pre-show dance routines and the patrons filling the dance floor after the main show ended. It was well worth the $3.50 minimum!

Why can't we have that kind of showplace today? Everything today has to take place in an arena the size of the Colosseum.

Ray D.

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Comedy as always! During the making of a" Mad Mad Mad Mad World", before private motor homes. Basically they took the end of a "18 Wheeler". Cut some holes in it and installed air-conditioners, during California's blazing summer of the early 60's. Winters would keep the all-time comedy giants laughing 24/7:Durante, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Dick Shawn YEAH, Phil Silvers Very Funny, Lennie Pike LOL, Jim Backus I loved him, Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, Peter Falk, Buster Keaton and Don Knotts, Carl Reiner, The Three Stooges LOL, Jack Benny RESPECT, Jerry Lewis, And Stanley Kramer. Thanks we will laugh for ever...

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I met Jonathan at an antique show at the Pasadena Convention Center some years ago. He often portrayed one of his characters that he created whenever he had the chance. He was acting out the Maude Frickett role in front of the folks in the booth. He's still going strong at 80.

Also, I have seen the Cinerama Theater presentation of MAD ............. WORLD many times in the sixties on Broadway. The video cassette has been played at least six times. It should be revived and shown to the present generation instead of the crap they now pay dearly to see!

Ray D.

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I saw IT'S a MAD ............. WORLD at Cinerama on Washington St. in Boston. What an incredible movie to see on that screen!

My grandmother (the one I showed laughing with Nelson Rockefeller) used to buy Cinerama tickets for the whole family every time another movie came out! Then, after the movie, we'd all go across the street to "King of Pizza". That was cool because we never got pizza back at home... and there was mis-thrown dough hanging from the all the pipes that crisscrossed the ceiling! All fabulous entertainment for an 11-year-old!

<a href="http://www.peacethroughunderstanding.org/index.php?showtopic=5843&hl=grammy" target="_blank">http://www.peacethroughunderstanding.org/i...3&hl=grammy</a>

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Look at the great low priced concerts you could enjoy in Central Park and Yonkers Raceway in 1974. Springsteen, Frampton and others in the park for $1.50 and $2.50 and Murray the K hosting oldies at the Raceway.

1974Concerts.jpg

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hey guys, I haven't been around in a while, but I want to also chime in on the following...

BONOMO Turkish Taffy!!!!

Electronics: Sorry guys, I shopped on Canal street back in the day for all my electronic kit needs. Anyone remember Ramaco electronic surplus?

Drakes cakes lost me when they did away with the big RingDings.. What I miss most are Ebingers' Othellos. Anyone out there remember Dugins bakeries?

BoHacks grocery stores?

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A nickel bar of BONOMO TURKISH TAFFY would last all the way through a Johnny Mack Brown western as I sat in the now defunct RIVOLI THEATER, Chicopee, Massachusetts. The Saturday matinee for kids cost 16 cents in the early fifties.

If you had a warm BONOMO bar, (it's size was about 3" X 6"), it would pull apart with a hanging trail of cream colored taffy. If you took a few home and put them in the fridge, they would crack up into pieces as you bent the bar.

The full story is here: <a href="http://www.candyfavorites.com/shop/bonomos_turkish_taffy.asp" target="_blank">http://www.candyfavorites.com/shop/bonomos_turkish_taffy.asp</a>

In New England where I grew up, Bohack was an unknown. I think it was a New York region chain.

I do recollect the merger of a popular New England grocery chain called STOP & SHOP with A&P.

The name was changed to "STOP & P".

Ray

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I'm home sick with too much time on my hands but I typed Bohack into E-bay and this can came up from the 70's. I had one of these waste baskets you got it from saving resister tapes.

Bohackcan.jpg

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