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Oranges, Scissors, and Walt Disney

By Crystal Mosher

Have you ever thought of an orange as an exotic fruit?

I grew up on a farm in Huron County, Michigan. It was a simple life. My upbringing wasn’t filled with the sort of excess that most American children experience today. If my dad took my family on a trip—it was generally a trip to the dump on Saturday, church on Sunday, or to the stockyards on Tuesday. The stockyards are where animals are bought and sold and slaughtered. That was good clean, family fun back in the good old days!

My siblings and I measured our years with 3 events; The Bad Axe 4-H  Fair, Halloween, and Christmas. Of course, we celebrated birthdays, too. They were always fun with a cake and a present—no parties though. Not only do I not remember ever having a birthday party in my entire childhood — I never attended a birthday party either– in my entire childhood.  I had my very first birthday party the year I turned 23. I was already married by then!

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We had apple trees when I was a child. I still remember the first time I tasted an orange. For me—an orange was an exotic fruit! My mom gave me an orange one morning for breakfast. I was about 6 years old. She set it on the table in front of me and told me to eat it. Then she left the room. When she came back, she asked me what I thought. 

“Did you like the orange?” she asked. “Well,” I stammered—not wanting to appear ungrateful. “I liked the inside—but I didn’t care for the outside.”

“What? You weren’t supposed to eat the peel!” She screeched.

When I was growing up—we had one pair of scissors in the entire house. The scissors lived in a special drawer. It was called the scissors drawer. When I couldn’t find the scissors, I would say to my mom, “Where’re the scissors?” “Look in the scissors drawer” was always the reply. Nobody ever put that scissors back. I spent half of my childhood looking for the scissors –and the other half looking for the scotch tape.

I couldn’t wait till I grew up. I was going to have lots of scissors and plenty of scotch tape in my house. I would grow up and be rich, and I would not have just one scissors drawer—I planned to have a pair of scissors in every drawer!  Today, some of the drawers in my house have more than one pair of scissors.   I have a drawer in my kitchen that has 3 scissors!      I do!

Scissors. That’s how I measure my success. (Maybe I shot too low?)

When I was a child, there were only 3 salad dressings; french, blue cheese, and thousand island. Can you imagine living in a time that there was no ranch dressing? That’s how old I am. I remember the invention of ranch dressing!

I also remember when cool whip was first advertised on television! Cool Whip! Man, that sure looked delicious. I wanted some cool whip in the worst way. I begged my mom for cool whip.

“Why do you need cool whip when we have Crisco?” She asked. 

“Crisco? That’s not cool whip.”

“Yes, yes it is. It’s the very same thing—it’s just cheaper. Here, you can have as much as you want.” 

I got a spoon and ate half of the can. To this day I am not impressed with the flavor of cool whip…it tastes nothing like Crisco!

Another treat we always had at my house was Pepto Bismol. My mom bought Pepto Bismol all the time. I considered it a delicious treat and snuck it from the cupboard as frequently as possible. 

My grandmother used to give me tums. She carried them in her sweater pocket and I loved them. She ate them like candy and she shared them with me!

I have been blessed with a good constitution. I am certain it was the Pepto Bismol and the lint covered tums that I devoured with reckless abandon as a kid!

I remember Sunday nights with fondness. We always gathered around our black and white TV and watched Walt Disney. It came on at 7:00 pm on Sunday nights. Our Sundays were planned around this television show. Wherever our Sundays took us—we were always home at 7:00 to watch Walt Disney. That’s what we called it—Walt Disney.

“Walt Disney’s gonna start in 2 minutes!” “Hey, Walt Disney is starting!”

One Saturday, the television advertised that the next night Walt Disney would be on in living techno-color! Living Technicolor!

I could not wait to tell everyone! “Hey- Mom! Tomorrow night Walt Disney is going to be on in color!”

“No it’s not.” My Mom stately flatly.

“Yes it is;” I argued “The TV just said so”.

“You have to have a color TV to watch it in color.” My mom was certain.

“No! No you don’t! Not tomorrow night—it just said Living Technicolor; I just saw it advertised!” I was even more certain.

Turned out my mom was right.

Walt Disney was in black and white at my house.

And that great disappointment lives in my heart to this day— and what it taught me—you can’t believe everything you see on T.V. but you can believe most of what your mother says.

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