Wasting time this morning while four new tires were being put on one of our vehicles, I walked next door to a Goodwill store.  For those that may be unfamiliar with that establishment, it is a resale shop, a used items and such sort of place.  Everything from clothes, household goods, shoes, furniture, bedding, bits of this and that.  Revenue generated by the stores help those with special needs; seniors, disabilities, criminal backgrounds, veterans, immigrants and youth learn job skills to help them obtain meaningful employment.  4.42 billion dollars in 2011 was generated through Goodwill Industries, their programs, and stores with 82% of that revenue spent directly on programs.  It's a great organization, and if you are a bargain hunter, a great place to garner a find.

Shopping at a Goodwill is like searching for sand dollars on a beach - sometimes you find one, other times you don't.  You go in with an open mind and nothing specifically particular as it is a mish mash of changing items from week to week.  Rarely can you you go in looking for a three-quarter length sleeve black shirt and find exactly that.  You gotta have an open mind!  Though recently I had on a pair of shorts that needed a brown cloth or canvas belt.  I walked in, perused the belts and found one for .75 cents.  Rare.  I also found twelve cents in the parking lot.  It was a stellar day! 

I wasn't necessarily looking for anything today, just trying to fill an hour instead of sitting in the tire store's waiting room where the air conditioning was turned to -32 degrees!  I wandered up and down the aisles.  There it was!  Sitting on the top shelf of the housewares aisle of glass vases, pitchers, glasses, etc, was an old TANG pitcher.  It was nearly the same as the one my Grandma had in her refrigerator when I was a kid.  My mind and palete were being bombarded simultaneously by thoughts, feelings and tastes! 
TANG was created in 1957 by General Mills scientist, William A. Mitchell.  He also created such items as; Pop Rocks, Cool Whip and a form of instant Jell-O among other things.  Personally I am not a fan of any of those items!  TANG really didn't have a big marketing presence until NASA picked it as one of its foods to be tested in space on the Mercury space flight with Astronaut John Glenn in 1962 and subsequent Gemini flights.  There is a bit of a misconception about TANG.  It was not created by NASA or even for them.  It was created by General Mills though they have NASA to thank for exposing it to the public in an astronaut crazed 1960's.  TANG is still produced, though KRAFT foods now owns it. 
If you have never tasted TANG you have not missed out on anything.  TANG is in essence, a chalky, powdered orange drink mix.  In the 60's and 70's it was sometimes sold in a marketing promotional with a version of the pitcher you see above.  It was touted as a "breakfast" drink and must have been cheaper than real orange juice to buy as I can think of no other reason why people bought it.  It swept the nation.  TANG was a pre-cursor to Sunny D and much, much worse tasting.  Why my parents bought it and made us drink it for breakfast, I do not know.  I hated that TANG pitcher and what it held.  It only solidified my hatred for breakfast items in the Weldy household; cornmeal mush and TANG!
It was a fakie, very opaqueish orange color making it almost mirky looking (and tasting too!).  When swallowed you were left with a strange chalky sensation on your tongue and in your mouth.  It almost seemed to make you thirstier than before you drank it.  

My hatred for TANG was directly connected to the fact that as a child I could not swallow pills.  We had to take a multi-vitamin every day.  That vitamin was essential to replace the nutrients that TANG depleted your body of!  There I sat most mornings before school, glass of tang and a Centrum swallow vitamin that I had to CHEW up and chase down with my TANG.  If flavors have distinct smells, then that combination of chewing an iron fortified vitamin designed to be swallowed, followed by TANG poured from that gaudy pitcher, was a metallic chalky smell that would nearly make me gag.  It was like smelling the mercury from an old filling being drilled out and yet having to swallow it!
TANG is still produced today.  Who buys it, I'm not sure.  My oldest sister has some goofy drink recipe she likes to make called Frosted Orange Creme.  It is basically powdered Tang crystals mixed in a blender with ice, water, milk, vanilla and sugar.  She says it tastes like an Orange Julius.  I say not!  But go ahead, if you don't believe me, and try it yourself:)
My grandma eventually used that pitcher for cold water in the refrigerator.  I never could drink a glass of water from that pitcher without feeling like I could still taste and smell TANG!

1 comment:

  1. Bottom much did you pay for the pitcher?