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.

    Burma Shave

And more…

Forest Fires Start From Scratch


Where You Throw

That Match


They kept popping up.

To Steal a Kiss

He Had the Knack

But Lacked the Cheek

To Get One Back


Brother Speeders

Lets Rehearse

All Together

“Good Morning, Nurse”

   Burma Shave

Within This Vale

Of Toil

And Sin

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


4 thoughts on “Burma-Shave

  1. I remember those signs – small spaces of pleasure on too-long road trips. We took route 66 (now I 40) to New Mexico the first of this month – I didn’t see any of those signs on that portion of the road. I did see lots and lots of land I wondered why anyone would live there. Not my favorite landscape.


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