Monday, June 05, 2006

Early Air Pollution

We were having an interesting discussion on the subject of advertising, today at work and I suddenly started harking back to my youth to obtain stories that would enthrall my listeners who were all much younger than I. ”Well I remember when planes used to fly over and drop advertising leaflets to the general population!” “Go on”, “Yea right”, ”this is just another of your tall tales that we can’t verify, right?”. “No way, because OSHO, or the Police, or even the EPA inspectors would get you,” was another. Back in the early 50’s, to where I am harking back too, there were no OSHA or EPA inspectors and the Police could care less. No one really cared as they couldn’t see anything bad about it because it was just paper and it would eventually rot back to dirt.

My visual image of those events always was a yellow airplane dropping the leaflets and sometimes they even dumped candy along with the flyers. A big user of this service was an upcoming circus and they usually had candy with the droppings. For the circus the dropping was usually some type of flyer, a few free tickets, and candy. For us, it was a bigger occasion than the circus would be as we fought and climbed over each other to get to the candy and the free tickets. I can still see the tickets falling as they flipped end over end showing yellow-white, yellow-white, and these were the ones we wanted. Sometimes the wind would be blowing and we would be racing for blocks trying to recover the flipping tickets, through neighbors yards and over fences.The airplanes were used to advertise coming events like a rodeo or motorcycle race and usually it was advertising a politician and then there was never any candy involved. It was good we couldn’t read because when I would race home with some type of political flyer my Mom wouldn’t even read it to me but just call it garbage and throw it in the waste basket. Somewhere along the line, someone said “hey, this isn’t a real good thing as all were doing is polluting things” and it stopped. I also remember planes pulling banners and skywriting and those two things are still with us today. Must have worked.

Way back then, there were cars that were equipped with big horn shaped speakers on the roof and they would drive around town advertising a big event, a store opening and, as always, politicians. I remember a pickup with speakers on the roof and a chair with a desk in the back and a local political hack would sit at the desk, with a microphone and espouse his views on some subject or the other. I don’t think it ever got anyone elected but we sure had fun running after the slow moving vehicles and climbing on the bumper trying to out shout the noise coming out of the speakers. People probably got tired of the noise pollution and an ordinance was passed banning the speakers. These speakers were then replaced by ones, in the back of today’s cars, belting out base notes that shake the windows in our houses as they pass. Same problem and it should be the same solution.

Sorry no photos with this one. I tried everything I could but I couldn't get it to upload my photo. Looked normal but when I clicked on Done nothing was there. Anyone got a clue??

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