Resh’s Red and White
My brother Ken and I often walked the two miles from our home to Indian Head, Pennsylvania. We lived almost halfway the two small towns, it and Normalville. We walked to Indian Head most of the time because it was downhill most of the way and there were two steep hills between our house and Normalville. Water runs downhill and so do kids sometime.
Normalville wasn’t named because the people were noted for being normal folks, but because a teacher’s school was once located there. Teaching schools were called “normal schools” and the town derived its name from that school.
Our walk was not for exercise, but rather to collect glass soda pop bottles and turn them in for cold, hard cash which we spent right away. People then as today, would toss empty unwanted items from their cars along the highway. Three cents for the small bottles and five cents for the large quart size ones.
We would search the berm of the roads for the castoffs and carry them to the local Red & White store. The last name of the owners was Resh. It was no mystery how the store got its name. Red & White was the chain brand and Resh was the last name of the owners.
The highway that we walked was a combined route of routes 711 and 381. It was and still is heavily travelled. It was rare that we would make the walk and not find enough bottles to buy a candy bar and another bottle of soda.
Most often the drink that we would choose would be Cherokee Red, with an Indian’s head wearing a war bonnet of feathers embossed on its side. I can still remember lifting the Cherokee Red out of its cold water bath. It was tall, cold, and gloriously red.
If we didn’t have enough to buy two candy bars, we would alternate out favorites. Ken liked Three Musketeers and I liked Snickers. At times we would have enough for two bars if we bought a Lunch Bar. It only cost three cents. Its wrapper was forest green with white and red lettering on it. It was shaped and about the same size as the Hershey Bar with almonds, but it had peanuts instead.
Once we counted out the money for our purchases we hoped we had enough left over to buy a small box of matches. We would leave the store and cross the sandstone pillared bridge, stopping in the middle. Sitting our buys on the cement, we would open the matches and one by one rest the heads of the matches on the striker, flick a finger against it, and watch as it lit and twirled end over end into the water below.
Now came the walk home. We had already eaten the candy bars and would sip at the bottle of pop, making it last until we got home. We would store the bottle in a safe place. That was the start of our next trip to Resh’.