I am sure there are quite a few readers that can recall the yearly trip to the shoe store to get a new pair of gym shoes. The best and worst thing about it was that there were only two brands to choose from and often we were required by the school gym programs to wear one certain brand and color.
These were usually narrowed down to Keds and Redball sneakers and everyone had them and used them for school, play and gym classes.
So brand recognition formed an early impression on all of us and that has followed not only us but our children and grandchildren throughout life.
Now Ol’ Dutch has never been one to get stuck on a brand and paying more for something that can be bought at a lower price for the same quality. And never let it be said that I would not settle for less if I were feeling a tad tight in the money department.
Nowhere else is this evident than at my favorite store Harbor Freight Tools where tools of every kind can be had for pennies on the dollar. Oh sure they may not last as long or be as good but often times a cheap one works out just fine
Last week Ol’ Dutch decided to buff out his boat and I went to the magic Harbor and got a buffer machine. This is a handheld motor driven angle grinder type deal and it looked so easy on YouTube.
Suffice it to say it was not my forte and also, the motor cratered out from about minute one into the project so I carted it back to the lighthouse and got my money back no harm done.
The rush to name brands took us all through Nike and Coca-Cola (who would ever drink an RC Coke?), North Face and hundred of other brands that have been able to overcharge people for the pleasure of being “just like everyone else.”
Last summer my sister Miss Bossy Pants came to the mountains on vacation to tell me what to do. When she and her entire tribe showed up they were the epitome of name brand marketing.
Expensive Orvis fishing clothes, fancy Jeeps and 4x4’s, branded hats, shoes and other items bled off them like a sweat pouring off them like a rich man in divorce court. What really caught my eye was their move to Yeti.
When Ol’ Dutch was growing up the yeti was a overgrown abominable snowman who lived in the forests of the Northwest USA and I always dreamed of seeing one. The closest I ever came was in Creede and you will have to look back at the column I wrote about that if you want to know more.
But anyway, Yeti was plastered all over them, their cars, coolers, cups and probably their underwear if I had gotten close enough to look. They had $400 ice chests to keep their lunch cold for a few hours and every person including the baby had a Yeti cup to the tune of $40 each.
Now I don’t know about you but when I was a kid a cold drink from grandma’s thermos water jug right out of the white plastic cap was about all we were gonna see and you best finish it too as there was no wasting a drink.
Somehow though, we have decided that we need to keep our ice chests and drinks cold or hot for days on end like we are heading out on an expedition to Siberia or the Sahara.
No one I know gets far enough away from town to warrant that kind of equipment and even if they do, they are not gonna lug around those heavy chests and cups.
At this point Ol’ Dutch’s $2 ice chest from the yard sale seems to work just fine for the few times I need it.
Ol’ Dutch did spring for a Wal-mart brand drink cup for $10 and it seems to work as well as the most popular name brand one keeping ice for three days at a time.
Now if I could just figure out why I need that when the liquid part of the drink is gone in an hour I would be on my way to nirvana.
Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected] Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com or on Twitter at TroutRepublic.