Barry ZeVan

Continuously in the professional broadcasting and entertainment industry since age 5, Barry is a Telly Award-winning and three-time Emmy-nominated producer, writer, director, talent and production designer, locally, nationally and internationally. He garnered the highest local ratings in U.S. television broadcasting history as “Barry ZeVan, The Weatherman” in Minneapolis-St. Paul in the mid-1970s. In fall 2013, he was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Bubble gum.

Posted by: Barry ZeVan Updated: March 25, 2013 - 7:20 PM

I guess, here in Geezerland, some of our memories are eidetic, especially when it comes to remembering disappointments along life's trail. One disappointment in my life occurred in 1976. I know most of you will empathize when I relate the story, below. (Not.) :)

BACKGROUND: I have loved bubble gums of all stripes and flavors since I was old enough to chew them. From Bazooka Joe to Jawbreakers to (recently) Bubble Yum, but my all-time favorite was Fleer's Dubble Bubble. Because of my obsesssion with the product, while living and working in D.C. from 1974 through 1977, I decided being so close to Philadelphia would allow me to realize my lifetime dream to watch Dubble Bubble being manufactured. I was incorrect. I actually planned an entire weekend expressly to visit the Dubble Bubble "factory" and revel in what must have been its bubble gum fragrance wafting incessantly through the factory and the Philadelphia air. I decided since it was such an importnant item on my bucket list, I'd better learn the times and days of the tours. I called the Frank H. Fleer Corporation about as excited as Ralphie anticipating getting his Red Ryder BB-gun in "A Christmas Story", knowing I'd be told we'd be welcomed with open arms. Not only was I told we wouldn't be welcomed, but, I guess most important, tours of that manufacturing facility had been suspended several years previously, because OTHER bubble gum manufacturers were "spying" on Dubble Bubble's modus operandi. I begged and pleaded just this one time they bend the rules, as only a mega-bubble gum aficionado could do, but they were staunch in their decision to deprive one of their fans to see how it all originated. Heartless and cruel (just kidding) but, nonetheless, a dream that will never come true. (Please try to contain your empathy.) :)

TODAY: Dubble Bubble is now available in one-pound bags in the candy aisles of various drug stores. Via my undying passion for the product, I buy them at least twice monthly. It's not made by the Frank H. Fleer Corporation in Philadelphia these days, but rather now newly-manufactured by a Canadian company, in Canada. (Duh) They label it America's Dubble Bubble, not Fleer's, for obvious reasons. It tastes almost the same as the original, but what's missing are those all-important funnies with Pud and his pals, as well as occasional words of wisdom  only those of us with minds of three-and-four-year olds can appreciate.

Thanks, as always, for reading and sharing in this blog. I hope you'll also "tune in" to my STAR TRIBUNE webcasts, entitled A SENIOR MOMENT at www.startribune.com/video, then click on Lifestyles and see the 'cast. The subject changes every Monday. Have a good week. Warmer temps finally on the way, to stay.

 

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