A whimsical look at life growing up in the small town of Waldron, Arkansas in the 1960s and 1970s, plus occasional observations from the present. Want to start at the very beginning? Click HERE.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Day UFO's Came To Waldron

The invasion was not a surprise; actually, it had been announced in the previous week's edition of The Waldron News. On Saturday, UFO's would be spotted over the city of Waldron.

Well, maybe not actual UFO's. But, on Saturday, an airplane was going to fly over Waldron and drop "UFO's" that were in fact paper plates printed with fabulous free prizes that were being offered by Buddy Gray's Grocery Store. Now, Buddy Gray's Grocery Store was a magical place, and I hope to write more about it in a later post. So many wonderful things could be found there, and with free prizes raining down on Waldron in the form of paper plates tossed from an airplane, Saturday was shaping up to be one outstanding day.

Early Saturday morning, after my usual Saturday Morning breakfast of a Cracker Sandwich and a Coca-Cola that had been poured into a bowl and frozen overnight, I cut short my cartoon watching so I would not miss The Event. I went outside and began to search the sky. Strangely, none of my friends seemed to be as excited as I was about this. Oh well, I thought, more for me. So, I sat down in the open field by my house and waited. And waited. The hours dragged on, it seemed, with no action from overhead. J.P. Hicks from down the street happened by and reported that he had seen a plane when he was downtown a little earlier, so my hope was restored a bit. However, more hours passed and I began to consider giving up. This was a perfectly good Saturday, I'd already missed Tom Slick on TV, and nothing to show for it.

But then, in the distance, I saw it. A tiny aircraft, and yes, I believe THERE WAS SOMETHING COMING OUT OF IT! It didn't pass exactly overhead, but close enough; probably a block away was a magical UFO with a fabulous prize printed on it. I had this one, I knew it. No one else seemed to be around. I quickly made the block on my bicycle, and after only a few minutes of seaching, I saw the paper plate in a ditch by the road. What would it be? A package of cookies? A carton of cokes? Maybe, just maybe...a box of Space Food Sticks??? With trembling hands, I picked up my treasure.

A free jar of Kraft Mayonaise with Pickle Relish mixed in. I didn't eat Mayonaise. I hated Mayonaise. I despised Mayonaise with every fiber of my being. Matter of fact, there was probably nothing I hated more than Mayonaise with the possible exception of Pickle Relish. And that was my prize. However, never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I rode my bike over to Buddy Gray's and claimed my prize. I was a bit surprised to encounter J. P. Hicks again, who was there claiming his Mayonaise with Pickle Relish. In fact, they had several boxes of Mayonaise with Pickle Relish available to give away.

Well, the jar of Kraft Mayonaise with Pickle Relish went into our refrigerator, where it remained indefinitely. I would look at it from time to time. No one ever used it, it remained there untouched for a long time, no one really sure what to make of it. At some point, someone finally took the initiative to toss it in the trash.


  1. Haha, I remember winning a transformer from Buddy Grays when I was little, around 5 I think.

    I was so happy with it, I still have it to this day, it is in storage at my parents house.

    It is a shame that our children wont get to grow up with memories like that in Waldron

  2. AnonymousJuly 23, 2010

    Probably that mayonaise pickle relish would have really tasted great on that cracker sandwich! Imagine that Buddy Gray's was probably our very favorite store!

  3. AnonymousJuly 23, 2010

    haha! Oh uncle Billy! That is a hilarious story! Where was my mother at this time? I think they should do that again! I'd love to win prizes on a paper plate!

  4. I remember the metal coke box would give you an electrical shock if you touched it while bare footed.

  5. Beverly Spurgin HaleSeptember 24, 2011

    I had not thought about this in years, but I do remember this event. Not sure if we were able to snag one of the coveted paper plates. Very much enjoyed the story!

  6. Beverly, you are the first person I've encountered who actually remembered this!

  7. Hilarious- Randy and I laughed and laughed!