Lunchbox collection jam-packed with memories
August 23rd, 2012
10:00 AM ET
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Do you remember your favorite school lunchbox? It may have featured an image of your favorite cartoon character, band, movie or TV show. (Mine was a 1978 "Muppet Show" lunchbox with a Kermit the Frog thermos inside it.)

The lunchbox has been a key accessory for American schoolkids for more than 60 years, according to Peter Liebhold, a curator with the National Museum of American History. It's an American status symbol, too. "Today, if you travel to Target, Walmart or other back-to-school retailers, you will see kids and parents constructing their identity through lunchboxes (as well as clothes, backpacks and binders)," Liebhold noted in an e-mail.

The lunchbox as we know it can be traced back to 1935 when Geuder, Paeschke & Frey produced the first licensed character lunchbox with Mickey Mouse on it. But it wasn't until after World War II when the lunchbox entered its prime.

Read the full story: America's fascination with the school lunchbox

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Filed under: Culture • Nostalgia • Think


May 3rd, 2012
07:00 PM ET
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It was a few minutes before 11 a.m. and Bill Adams had two things on his mind: Brunswick stew and cracklin cornbread.

To satisfy his craving for meat stew and fried pig skin, this lifelong Georgia boy made the hour-long drive Tuesday from his home in Griffin to Harold’s Barbecue in south Atlanta. When he and his friends learned this was to be Harold’s last week in business, they made plans for a final pilgrimage.

“Just wanted to stop by for one last meal,” the longtime patron said as he waited in the restaurant’s dusty parking lot for doors to open. He wasn't alone; there were about a dozen others, including a pair of Georgia State Troopers.

“It’s inevitable. Everything changes. Nothing lasts forever,” he said. “We don’t like it but we can’t stop it.”
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Stay gold, Twinkie the Kid. Stay gold.
January 12th, 2012
10:00 AM ET
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“Nooo! Not my beloved Twinkies!”

Upon recent news of Hostess Brands filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the internet rose up with a collective wailing and gnashing of teeth. That’s to be expected, but honestly, how many of the bereft can recall the last time they actually sank said dentition into a store-bought, cream-filled snack cake?

I can. It was 2008, and my colleague Rachel and I were photographing cross-sections of Twinkies, Devil Dogs, Tastykakes, Ring Dings and other classic commercially-baked goods for a feature. We knew we’d have no problem pawning off the still-wrapped extras to the hungry hordes who’d been eyeing our work all afternoon, but it seemed like a transgression against our childhoods just to toss the others into the trash uneaten.
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