Sippin’ Soda

Before We Knew Much of Anything

By Leona Campbell

In the corner of the dilapidated laundromat sat an old-fashioned soda pop machine filled with our favorite bottles of carbonated beverages.

We didn’t have money to buy those sugary treats but we figured out how to outsmart the machine with a small bottle opener and a long paper straw. It was easy. Pop the cap off, stick the straw in, and sip. This was our little secret, which we never told anyone. We thought we were being inventive, and it never once occurred to us that we were stealing from the company that sold the soda.

I now think that some of the best times in my life were spent with my older brother at that little laundromat in downtown Eagle—before things happened that we had no way of knowing would occur. If the place was empty, we’d push each other around in a shopping-cart type laundry basket, boasting about who could make the wheels spin faster. If we saw someone coming, we’d quickly climb out of the cart, push the cap back on the open bottle of soda, and skedaddle. We could entertain ourselves for hours at the laundromat before trudging up the hill past the grade school to our old farmhouse home on the corner.

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