It's Not About The Popcorn


Some memories are just tiny pieces of inconsequential experiences. One that comes to mind for me is about my dad and popcorn nights. No kidding!

When I was a kid popcorn didn't come out of a bag, there were no air-poppers, and Jiffy Pop was a luxury invented in 1959 that wouldn't be affordable at our house for at least 5-10 more years. No, popcorn at the Brooks house was made on the stovetop in one of the pots that mom kept for daily use in her kitchen cupboards. Into the pot went some Crisco, a cup of popcorn, and we waited. When the kernels were heard beginning to pop on the inside, the maker began to aggressively shake the pot while it rested on the red hot burner. The anticipation grew. The routine was the same, each and every time.


But when dad made the popcorn something was different. Yes, just like the others, he added a generous coating of butter (never margarine) and just the right amount of salt. The popcorn was a special treat. When dad made the popcorn and brought it to me to eat in front of the family television set, he added a special ingredient. He would go to a secret stash of giant Hershey milk chocolate bars (the big ones with the extra large squares of chocolate) and he'd put one or two along side the popcorn.

I'll never forget his smile and love when he served it to us. The chocolate was dad's way of telling me that there was more to popcorn than corn, oil, butter, and salt. To make it special required an extra dose of rich sweetness.

Now, at least 50 years later, I understand the lesson. For life to be the best it can be, just add sweetness to what you serve others. Thanks Dad. I loved you then but love you even more today.

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The Fine Print

Rod Brooks (that's me) is VP & CMO of PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company and serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).  It's important to disclose both of those relationships and to be clear that this is my personal blog where I share thoughts and opinions that are solely my own.  Contact me!

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