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Twinkies trigger fond memories of 1922

Carrol Vertrees

Carrol Vertrees

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Updated: September 26, 2013 6:26AM



I have never met a Twinkie that I didn’t like.

Neither has Bert, a college friend. He sent an email note almost dripping with sentiment — this from a guy who majored in something mysterious, maybe engineering!

He rejoiced over the new birth of Twinkies. On our little college campus, it was a poor kid’s delight.

I am an avid, eager reader and collector of information that affects the meaning of our lives. The Twinkie history does that. The first one appeared in 1930, before some readers of this great literature even appeared. The world surely was sad when the Twinkie signed off awhile back, and the comeback has touched our hearts, our palates and stirred memories of good things that happened years ago.

As I caress a Twinkie, I look back to the year 1922. Why that year? Well, I had quietly appeared in a little farmhouse between Elnora and Odon. I was new, but later I read that 1922 recorded some really interesting things.

One discovery was a blessing to mankind — insulin was first used in treating diabetes. There were many other memorable events that touched the world I had just entered.

Like the first public exhibit in our country of the duck-billed platypus, that people gawked at in a New York zoo. Heck, only a few folks bothered to stare at me, I was told. Grandparents, a few cousins, the hired hand, probably.

Somewhere in Egypt, diggers found the tomb of a guy named King Tutankhamen, or just plain Tut to friends. We headline writers liked him almost as much as U Nu, premier of Burma. I am not sure why he became so famous.

You technology fanatics may not know this — in 1922 the first “fax” was sent over phone lines in the nation’s capital. I don’t know why it was sent or what it said.

Babe Ruth was more famous to many than this kid Tut fellow. The Babe signed a $50,000 contract, a big home for the king of swat. One day he threw dirt on an ump and was fined $200 plus being suspended for a game. See, those guys acted like kids even then.

There really was life before Twinkies. Two tasty treats hit the shelves in 1922 — Eskimo Pies and Dry Ginger Ale.

Reader’s Digest was born in 1922 with a subscription of 1,500. Life in these United States would never be the same.

For the record, President Harding left this world the same year I came in. A quiet fellow named Coolidge took over. Harding was a so-so president who was famous for sayings like this: “America needs not nostrums but normalcy.” Nostrums, if it matters, is a pet word for bringing about some social or political reform. Unlike Twinkies, nostrums have never left us.

My earnest, exhaustive research into 1922 has not found anything about me, which seems unfair for two reasons: I was my territory’s champion speller in the fourth grade, and if the platypus thing made the news, why not I?

Well, I do dream a lot, and here I am squeezing some Twinkie stuff all over my keyboard as I ruminate about the year 1922.



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