Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mmm, what's that smell?

I've often thought the sense of smell and sense of taste are powerful. May even have commented on it occasionally. There are certain foods that can transport you to another place and time in just seconds. Last night was one of those taste sensations.

I'm not saying this was a gourmet treat by any means, but I stopped at a Weinerschnitsel hot dog place, and yes, I may have spelled it wrong. Anyway. When I was about 19 or 20, one opened in Lancaster (California). What was really a novelty at the time was that it was drive-thru...really. There were two little a-frame buildings on either side of the drive-thru, one being for their storage I think, and the other for the food order/pickup. They didn't have the little speaker to take your order...if there was a line, someone would come out and write up your ticket. My favorite was always the chili dog with a Pepsi. No other drink with it would taste quite the same. Well, last night, that's just what I ordered, and lo and behold, my taste buds registered about 1970 or so, and I was on my lunch hour at the park on a spring day. Not a bad little trip for just a few dollars.

One time I was at an antique store in some little town on the way back home from Austin, and came across some Prince Albert tobacco tins. To most people they probably don't mean a lot, but my dad "rolled his own" cigarettes for years, using you guessed it, Prince Albert. At the time, Dad had probably died 2 or 3 years earlier. I came across those tins, and I wrote as part of a poem several years later,

But look! Tucked away, almost hid,
tin cans in red with flip top lids!
She rushes over, opens, takes a sniff.
Oh, all she wants is one true whiff.
She opens more, finally succeeds,
faint scent lingers of absent tobacco leaves.
Tears come to her eyes, along with images of Dad...
A comfort to see him, yet it makes her sad.
Dad "rolled his own" in private rite,
pulled out thin papers, Prince Albert, matches for a light...
"Excuse me, ma'am, can I help you?"
The reverie broken: "No, I'm just passing through."

The next time your nose twitches at a certain smell, realize it may be trying to remind you of something!


Holee said...

I closed my eyes and could smell the hot dogs on the boardwalk in Wildwood NJ, sauerkraut and mustard blowing against the salt water air. I must have been 4/5 the first time I smelled that.

And then, thinking of your post, I could smell the cherry tobacco in the can that Dad used in his pipe..I could hear him knocking it against the ash tray, spilling out the leftovers from the day before. That memory brought back the feeling of that pipe tucked in his jacket pocket where I always laid my head as he held me on his lap.

Thanks for the memories. I forgot to stop and look back..how they bring a smile so many years later!

Sherry said...

Hot cocoa - the real stuff, not instant hot chocolate mix - my grandmother.

First husband smoked a pipe and when he found a specific tobacco blend he liked in Eureka Springs Arkansas, he ordered it. It was Chef's or Chief's Blend (never thought I'd forget that). Three years after his death, son got his driver's license...and a car, he came to me and asked me to make a cloth pouch. He put some of the tobacco in it, I sewed it shut. He put it under his car seat.

About your comment on my post. Of course we have the same taste in men. After all, we are BOTH slender, fun loving young things looking for excitement! That's MY story too and I'm sticking to it!