Gay Mullins had a dream—a wild, wacky, flagrantly unthinkable notion that one man could force a giant corporation to mend its errant ways. Specifically, he dreamed of making Coca-Cola swallow a big loss on its sweeter, supposedly improved “new” Coke and give us back the original. The Real Thing. The true It that Coke is. In that cause Mullins, 57, spent $100,000, almost all of his retirement nest egg.
Imagine his delight then on that glorious Thursday afternoon when Coke President Donald Keough announced the old Coke’s return. Said Mullins, broke but vindicated: “The experience has been worth the cost. We had power way beyond our expectations.”
We can learn from this man. Now that Coke’s been rescued, let’s make them give back the other good, true things left behind by the march of time. On the following pages are some of the things we want back. Now.
1 DOUBLE FEATURES
Not to mention drive-ins, and fresh popcorn from real poppers.
2 FULL-SERVICE STATIONS
Fill ‘er up. Get the windows. Check the oil and tires.
3 THE OLD SODA FOUNTAIN
Crazy sundaes, malts and the pleasures of innocence.
4 THE VOLKSWAGEN BUG
It still floats, and the Japanese Beetle is no substitute.
5 MA BELL
Now you can reach out and touch someone you didn’t even dial.
6 UNCLE WALTER
Sorry, Dan, but that’s the way it is.
Pullmans and real dining cars, whistles in the night.
8 BIG TOPS
The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd.
9 MILKMEN And their funny trucks, and milk bottles and cream at the top.
10 FRONT PORCHES
Rocking chairs, lemonade, street life without muggings.
•Free road maps
•Doctors’ house calls
•Name prefixes for phone numbers
•The old Book of Common Prayer
•The 70-mph speed limit
•The Democratic Party
•The Latin Mass
•A world without ZIP codes and designated hitters