Did you know that Igloo Coolers have a foam core between their rigid, molded outside skin and their interior liners? It makes perfect sense that they do. If I'd ever been asked "What do you suppose is between these two layers?" I'm sure I would have said that I thought it must be foam. Now I know
that is the answer, because my Igloo died a while back. The crew that worked on my house and built the new addition was using it. Every morning I would fill it up with ice and water and set it out on the shady carport for them. Each day someone would move it out of the way, usually several times, and it spent many full days sitting out in the tropical sun. Shortly after the work was finished I noticed a split in the outer shell. It ran from top to bottom and exposed that foam core. I threw it away. Perhaps I should have buried it instead, and erected some sort of plaque commemorating its passing.
I bought my Igloo cooler back in the seventies. I don't know the date, not even the year. It didn't seem like a significant thing to note in some journal or date book. It was used continuously when my son played Little League. Several times each week it was filled with water or Gatorade or whatever I had committed to bring to practice or a game. It must have gone to hundreds of "dinner on the grounds" and "supper in the fellowship hall" gatherings. It was dragged out for Mardi Gras parade parties, picnics and impromptu touch football games. It moved with me to Northern California and later here to Hawaii. Whatever I paid for it way back then, I certainly got my money's worth from it.
I just searched the Igloo Online Store
to see if the same model is still available. Mine was white with a blue top, and I think it held two gallons. The sides were a rough, pebbly finish, except where smooth plastic formed a row of short stripes around the middle. The top was a waffle-like texture. It made an excellent stool for a child. An adult could sit on it too, but the squat body was too close to the ground, so that adult legs were splayed out uncomfrotably in front. The closest I found in Igloo's current product line is that green monstrosity you see above. That's pretty close, though there may be minor differences. Looks like they no longer offer the white with a blue lid.
That's a shame. I'd like to have another just like the one that served me so well. I'd like to pretend to myself that the new one was the origianal, and was invested with the history and memories of that old Igloo. There's one thing that I would have to do to alter a replacement, though, if I wanted it to duplicate the old one.
Whenever I used the Igloo in California and later Hawaii, it always got comments and questions. Oh, it was rather ordinary. I doubt that anyone knew or cared how old it was and how honorably it served. That was not what stimulated so much interest. It was my identification of the contents that did that. You see, I drink iced tea. About a gallon a day. For all of those church events and picnics, I always wanted to know that a supply was ready at hand. So I drug the Igloo out, filled it with ice and Lipton Tea (brewed, never instant!) and took it to each event. There were a lot of people at these events, and everyone has their own preferences, so it was necessary to identify the contents of each of the coolers lined up where beverages were served. It seemed like just a little bit of daily life to all of us, but people in California and Hawaii were always bemused or amused by my cooler. I had marked it with an indelible marker early in its life. The letters were worn and a little faded, but still quite readable when the old cooler died. If I ever get a new one, I'll mark it, too. Just for old times sake. Just to help me remember where I came from.
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Labels: memories, Southern idiosyncrasies