I like the way my memories are like a garage sale – cheap and I never know what might turn up.
These scraps both appeared last night on the “everything’s a quarter” table.
When I first got to college in Rochester I became obsessed with a ridiculous TV and radio ad for Stroehmann Ranch bread. I’d never seen or heard of it before and it stuck with me the way a goofy ad sometimes will. The jingle was something like “Breakfast, lunch and dinner – RANCH! – that’s our brand of bread.” la, la, la, la-la, la, “RANCH!” The last “RANCH!” was shouted with gusto and verve. It was perfectly ridiculous and I loved it. Stroehmann was part of Sunbeam or vice versa. The bread bag had a creepy little blonde girl eating a piece of bread drenched in butter.
I was so smitten with the ad that my new college friends began calling me Ranch. Sometimes we would even exchange ranch greetings on campus – “Hey Ranch- ” “How’s it going Ranch?”
A few years later when I was in love and dating Cosmo, before the mid-life anvil fell on his head, he lived in an apartment in Olean. There was a Stroehmann bakery around the corner. Stroehmann made Ranch bread. What a ranchy coincidence. Early in the morning a big truck would pull up to the bakery and unload flour. It was noisy and for a brief time a haze of flour hung in the air.