Posts Tagged ‘Fritos’

I had one of those wonderful moments when you remember something about a loved one, and that memory transports you back in time, to the very moment.

I purchased a large bag of Fritos to take to work for my mid-morning snack. Yes, mid-morning. I had barely pulled them out of my bag of stuff to bring to work (Secret Valentine, among other items), than a co-worker said,

“OH! I LOVE Fritos.”

Of course, I shared.

But it was while I was sitting at my desk, alone, sucking the salt out of the chips, when I was transported.

The year was 1964. The month was February. We kids had been brain-washed by a series of black-and-white commercials touting the corn chip and we’d begged our mother to buy some. Rare treat when she actually got us something we wanted, like Lucky Charms Cereal (my favorite, but one she would not buy for us). The corn chips were in the pantry.

Saturday night, February 9, we all watched the little RCA television. The Ed Sullivan Show was on (my favorite part was Topo-Gigio). But this night would be remembered fifty years later, not for the little Italian mouse puppet, but for the band that Ed Sullivan (a far-thinking man) introduced.

My little sister and I were in love. I think her favorite was Ringo Starr, but John Lennon was my absolute favorite. Oh, John Lennon!

Sunday, we spent the day pretending we were The Beatles. We had the same haircut as the British Invasion, and my sister could cut it up like Paul. We opened the bag of Fritos and chowed down, our first taste of that singular masa deep-fried and heavily salted, singing “I Wanna Hold Your Hand!” and playing air guitar. It was one of the Best.Days.Ever.

Of course, the memory faded as quickly. My sister was nicknamed for a baseball player she was in a single backyard game where the boys declared “girls can’t play” and Mr. Coffey immediately gave us all boy names so we could, indeed, play. Sam. She never outgrew being Sam. The rest of us left our nicknames behind (mine was George), but Denny remained “Sam” until the day she died.

I have few great memories of Sam, ones where we were best of buds, giggling and loving life together. The Fritos and Beatles moment was one.I left work early, but I left the bag of Fritos on the top of my desk. Several co-workers were helping themselves by this time. Somehow, I didn’t feel violated, but I felt like a part of Sam was being shared, she of the wise words.

(1964: Nevada Centennial. Mayor of Winnemucca asks my sister and I a question: “If you were Chief Winnemucca and all of your people were starving, but you had two chicken eggs, what would you do?” I said I’d fry them and eat them. Sam – who answered second – said, “I’d scramble them and share them with everyone.” Score one for Little Sister Denise.)

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