I had never heard of the once popular shaving cream until 1955 when our family embarked on a 2-week road trip from west Texas to the California coast on iconic U.S. Hwy 66.
In fact, I had no idea we were on Hwy 66, nor did I know that particular highway was considered ‘iconic’. I only knew the adventure was going to be exciting, at least for this 13-year-old whose world traveling encompassed several trips from Texas to Oklahoma.
Our family of five along with my 80-something, hard of hearing, Grandmother filled our hours singing, playing Zit, and watching the landscape and temperatures change from flatlands to mountains and cool weather to desert heat.
Boredom, lots of bathroom stops, cheese and cracker snacks, and constant teenage arguments were the highlights of our travels as we inched our way westward, with not much excitement …UNTIL…we saw our first sign on the side of the road.
The Place to Pass
On Curves You Know
Is only at a Beauty Show
No Use Knowing
How to Pick ‘em
If Your Half-Shaved
Whiskers Stick ‘em.
Forest Fires Start From Scratch
Where You Throw
They kept popping up.
To Steal a Kiss
He Had the Knack
But Lacked the Cheek
To Get One Back
“Good Morning, Nurse”
Within This Vale
Your Head Grows Bald
But Not Your Chin
Who Guard You
When You Drive
Retire at 65
These boredom breakers kept showing up, keeping us alert, and begging for more.
The O’dell family began the business in the 1920s, but it didn’t prosper until one of the sons came up with the idea of putting up rhyme signs on highways. Scoffed by most, he persuaded his dad to try a few, and soon, the manufacturing firm had two businesses: making shaving cream and making signs.
The small firm had made it big, dotting the highway landscapes with Burma Shave rhymes, and entertaining drivers and their passengers on the long and often lonely roads.
My recollections of that magical trip are highlighted with clever lyrics promoting a product and bringing chuckles to travelers.
Thanks Burma-Shave for the memories!
This is my contribution to this week’s http://weeklypromptsweekendchallenge