In lieu of life’s more challenging events, today’s subject will span a world war and the evolution of tasteless milk. But first, an observation from Fountain, MN, home to the geology of sinkholes, I have uncovered what might be the only church on earth, or the universe for that matter, which has an adjacent above ground swimming pool.
Nice touch, if John the Baptist and the Jordan River are unavailable
Fifteen miles away on the outskirts of Chatfield, MN, a sign from the 1950’s, but still available today.
The sign is real.
If you are a baby boomer or newer, i.e., born after 1946, this may be an illusion. However, for the more mature, we can recall when milk came in a glass bottle, delivered by the ‘milkman’, and it was not homogenized, the process which rendered milk a uniform emulsion. No, the bottle was sealed with a paper cap, the cream separated to the top, and it was a treat to be able to lick the cap when opened. The cream could be used in coffee, cooking, whipped for a dessert topping, or beat down to butter and whey. Pasteurization, the flash heating of the milk to render bacteria harmless, was unnecessary if consumed shortly after delivery. Milk had a taste, it tasted like milk.
So what is this leading to ? An article in the USA Today stated that each day welcomes 10,000 new baby boomers reaching age 65, and everyday we lose 700 more veterans from World War II. Over a three week span, I had an opportunity to interview three veterans:
Neal N., 92 y/o, retired U.Notre Dame physics department
Melvin G., retired farmer, Byron, MN, age 93
Bob O., Lanesboro, MN, 94 y/o drove milk tanker truck and still has a way with the ladies
Here are a few recollections they agreed upon:
- None considered themselves a hero; they were all drafted and felt a duty to their country.
- The real heroes never made it home.
- They all fathered children and were, in part, responsible for the baby boomer generation.
- You never forget four consecutive days on a troop train.
- Religion was an easy sell in a foxhole; no baptism necessary.
- Milk tasted much better then.
Bill D. says
Well, I was born in 1947 and milk in glass bottles was not an illusion for me when I was a kid in Hightstown, N.J.
The milkman carried 6 glass bottles in a metal carrier from his milk truck to our milk box on the front porch and picked up the empty bottles. The tops were sealed with paper caps secured with a wire.
During the winter, if they were not brought in soon enough, the milk would freeze and break the bottles or send up a curving protrusion of milk ice.
Milk, and just about everything else, tasted better then!