Saturday, June 2, 2007

*snick* THE FIZZ *ahhh*

WHW made me think of it with this post about the Pop Aisle: in-search-ofsoda.

Faygo. One the tastes of summer from my childhood.

We drove to Michigan nearly every summer. Bucka (that's Grandma to you nonfamily members) always had a dozen bottles chilling in the garage fridge when we got there. We invariably restocked at least twice during the visit and even brought a case or two home to Wyoming with us after. Faygo isn't available in Wyoming.

Sweet sticky strawberry fizz; no one can be depressed while holding an ice cold bottle of Redpop. There are lots of other flavors but it's the one I remember, the one I could still taste if I thought about it hard enough. It'd be polite to say that the best thing about Michigan was my grandmother, and she was a great part, true. It's also true that my relationship with her was always rocky at best. The two best parts were (in the mind of and in order of importance to an eight year old): the rope swing hung from the very tippy top of the rafters and Faygo.

Several years ago Alex and a friend were back in Michigan. They were helping my parents clear up Bucka's estate and made a trip to a grocery store. "All of the sudden," Says Aaron, "Alex yells 'FAYGO! It's FAYGO!' I thought he'd lost his mind." Crazy yes, but my brother kept his wits about him long enough to bring a case back home with him.

Bucka is gone, her house sold. The old barn with the fabulous rope swing belongs to someone else. I relegated Faygo to the past along with all these and many other things; one of many sweet memories locked away in a part of me that no longer exists.

The buzz about The Fizz started with my kids. There's a new juice joint in this town, owned and operated by the parents of their classmates. Several weeks they started asking if they could stop by after school. The first visit produced rave reviews. We drove by a couple times and finally stopped by my first weekend off.

I came in for root beer. I'm something of a connoisseur and the place happens to feature a few dozen (yes, that's right dozen) varieties. The space was formerly a convenience store and the new owners have made good use of the glass refrigerator cases. Row upon row of good old fashioned glass bottles offer instant refreshment and a delicious predicament to a first time visitor. I thought I'd never be able to make a choice in the face of such excess. There really was no choice at all.

Amongst a collection just as impressive as the kids promised, a shimmer of bright summer red. It couldn't be the same stuff, could it? Probably just that sad imitation, Strawberry Crush or an off brand masquerading. A closer look and confirmation: the real, honest to goodness Faygo Redpop. There really was no choice at all.

Cowboy obstinately refused to let me buy a six pack. It is as good as I remember. I savored every sip and fought off greedy and curious kiddoes. You can't go home (or to Bucka's Michigan) again, but sometimes a tiny bit of the past comes to you instead.


Chris said...

Gotta admire a person with this kind of love for a soft drink. Great memory, Christy.

Can you give us a quick rundown on the origin of "Bucka"? A name like that deserves at least a paragraph...

And happy belated anniversary!

MamaChristy said...

Chris, she had the name when I met her (wink). Something my cousin Janet must have come up with. She and my cousins called both their grandmothers Bucka, though with different prefixes. Their paternal grandmother was Strawberry Bucka, because she grew berried. In a little slap at my grandmother, their father taught them to call her Tank Bucka because she owned a company that made steel tanks, something that always riled her a little. I always used to think of a an army tank running over strawberries and figured my grandma could take the other lady.

Chris said...

The names almost sound Native American...or like Starbuck Coffee flavors. "Yes, I'll have a vente Strawberry Bucka with a shot of espresso and my wife will have a Tank Bucka with 2 sugars."

Sorry to poke fun at your grandma's name, but it was too much for my fingers to filter. If it's any consolation, I had a Granny Agnes in my family.

WHW said...

I love this post!! Nicely done.