Friday, September 18, 2020
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The Villages

Breakfast of Champions

Barry Evans
Barry Evans

The other day, The Blonde in the House and I were sitting around the breakfast table chewing the fat.  Well, actually we were chewing the oatmeal that we had loaded with a big scoop of peanut butter and some raisins.  Obviously, that makes the oatmeal a more healthful meal with lots more protein and other good stuff. Our only division in this breakfast is that she uses smooth peanut butter while I use crunchy. I like to crunch the peanuts as I eat – and she doesn’t for some reason. There are tests for everything so sometimes I wonder, if one has been done which shows a difference between men and women as to which kind of peanut butter is used – not necessarily in oatmeal, but anytime? 

However, the subject which came up during this conversation arose when I mentioned that I did not think that I had seen any packages of Wheaties on the grocery store shelves for some time, but I wasn’t certain.  Therefore, when I went for some food at our closest grocery store, I checked.  I was correct, and danged if I wasn’t right. There were no boxes of Wheaties, the Breakfast of Champions.  I checked another store with the same results.  Perhaps, they still make them, but they just do not sell well in the area in which we live.  I haven’t read anything of the demise of this cereal so hopefully they are still around.

I can’t imagine that Wheaties has disappeared.  I mean Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy, would be in great despondency if that is the case – assuming that he is still with us. I used to listen to his radio program before the advent of TV, and since he was older than me, he may not be with us anymore.  Another scenario is that, he did pass on, and Wheaties perhaps came up with a black box to note his passing.  It is possible that that folks didn’t like the black box, so the manufacturing company is putting the wheat flakes in new boxes – likely it takes time to pour from the old box to the new one.

As you know, all sorts of prominent sports related people appeared on the Wheaties box with Lou Gehrig being the first way back in 1934.  For some reason Babe Ruth didn’t make it until 1992.  The last folks I can find were in 2018 when a whole slew of athletes was honored.  One of them was a basketball player by the name of B.J. Armstrong – but I don’t think he is related to Jack. The first woman was also honored in 1934 – Elinor Smith who as you recall was a famous aviator.

The names are legion – Dizzy Dean, Jesse Owens, Bob Feller, Ralph Kiner, Esther Williams, Mary Lou Retton, Josh Gibson, Roberto Clemente, Adrian Peterson and so on …   

You may have noted that the last date – that I could find – was 2018.  Thus, perhaps something has happened to one of the old icons. On the other hand, it may be that folks around here like other cereals better. It’s also possible that if you go out to Wyoming you will find the stores with lots of Wheaties on their shelves. One never knows, but I do feel sorry for all today’s athletes who are not  able to see their photo on a Wheaties box.  I imagine that those who did appear received a good deal of street cred – although Lou Gehrig probably did not know the term.

I hate to admit this, but when I was a kid, I liked another wheat flake cereal better. It was called Pep. It had better airplanes inside!

Villager Barry Evans writes about “Life in The Villages” for Villages-News.com.

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