Tuesday, September 8, 2009


In December, 1970, when Amalie was grocery shopping, she noticed that 7-Up was having a drawing, the grand prize for which was a week long trip for two to the Hawaiian Islands, air by Western Airlines, and accommodations by Sheraton. All one had to do was mail in 7-Up bottle caps. There was no limit as to the number of times one could enter, nor were there any restrictions as to the time of year one could take the trip. The drawing was being handled by 7-Up’s ad agency, J.Walter Thompson (one of the largest American agencies).

A month or so later Amalie was notified that she had won! She was teaching at the time, and the only time available was over the next Christmas holiday. She so notified 7-Up, and then the fun began.

Western Airlines had no trouble with the reservations, but then we received a letter from Sheraton saying that they were already booked up over the Christmas holiday. Besides, the letter went on, they couldn’t possibly honor the request for free rooms as it would (their exact phrase)” hurt their profitability index”. This was the same year that San Diego was hosting the Republican National Convention, and Sheraton was giving special rates to the delegates. Profitability index, indeed!

It so happened that Amalie had to be in New York that summer, and on a whim, stopped in at a Sheraton to inquire about space availability in Hawaii over the Christmas holiday. “Sure,”she was told. “when would you like to go, and to what islands” (or words to that effect) When she returned home, she phoned 7-Up to complain, and was told that if Sheraton wouldn’t pay for the space, 7-Up would. We decided that we wanted to visit several islands, adding a couple of days to our trip. We made arrangements through 7-Up to leave San Jose Airport at 9 a.m. December 24, as well as reservations to stay at Sheraton hotels starting in Maui, then the Big island of Hawaii, Kauai, and finishing up at the Pink Palace on Oahu. We made our own inter-island flight arrangements. So well before 9 a.m. on Christmas eve, having checked our luggage, we were at the Western ticket counter in San Jose. Boarding time came and went, 9 a.m. came and went, 10 a.m. came and went, and we were getting antsy. After all, we had an inter island flight to catch. Finally the group of travelers were told that there was something wrong with the aircraft, and the flight was being cancelled. Oh, good grief!

There were no other flights to the islands out of San Jose that day, but Western was checking with Oakland and San Francisco airports for space that Western would pay for. As luck would have it, there was some space aboard a United flight leaving San Francisco airport at noon. We opted for that. Since the bags had been checked, I had to uncheck them, and in the process, gave up my luggage tags. Time was growing short. We were piled into a taxi, along with a couple of other travelers, and took off for SFO. Time was running very short as we dragged our bags to the United ticket counter, and the last I saw of those bags was as they disappeared down the baggage chute. And off we ran to catch the plane. We did, but our seats were at the front of the coach section, right up against the bulkhead. Oh, my aching legs!

(To be continued tomorrow)



We all get heavier as we get older because there’s a lot more information in our heads. So I’m not fat; just really intelligent, and my head couldn’t hold any more, so it started fillling up the rest of me.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it!


  1. I love 7-Up! Cool they sent you to Hawaii, although traveling at Christmas is not something I'd choose to do.

    And the saga ends how....