Trading Stamps and Blessings

While we were rooting around down in a basement cupboard for the cigar box Dad always used to pick out pecans, we found another one that had these trading stamps in it. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

The 1968 City Directory lists the Top Value Redemption Store at 2146 William Street. I don’t know who gave out Triple-S Blue Stamps. Here’s a link to more than you ever wanted to know about trading stamps.

The Star Gas stamps came from the Star Service Station at Broadway and Frederick. A book containing 90 stamps would earn you $1.50 worth of gas when the price was about 36.9 cents per gallon. I took a photo of a perky blonde who looked like she might have been promoting Plaid Stamps in what I thought was a Cape store, but it turned out to  be in Jackson. She was dressed like the dancing silhouette at the middle right.

I wouldn’t wish that on anybody

Lew was a photographer on the Ohio University Post. He was a nice guy with curly red hair and a pale complexion. He and a beautiful black reporter became an item. You could tell they were getting serious by the sparks that flew between them, and I don’t mean the static electricity kind you get by shuffling your feet on the carpet.

One day they came over and said, “We going to get married and we’d like for you to be Lew’s best man.”

I gave them a long lookover, then, in my most southern of Swampeast Missouri tones drawled, sorrowfully, “You know I like you two, but I’m sorry, but I can’t give you my blessing. There are some things that are just wrong. Wrong. I’m sorry.”

They were crestfallen. They hadn’t taken me to be One of Those People.

“Lew, your last name is Stamp.”

Looking at his bride-to-be, I continued, “Your first name is Plaid. There is no way in the world that I want to be a part of making you Plaid Stamp until death do you part.”

Of course, I relented. I tried to recruit Lew to work with me at The Gastonia Gazette, but he had the good sense to turn me down. He still pops up on Facebook from time to time.

12 Replies to “Trading Stamps and Blessings”

  1. I still use what’s left of a set of stainless flatware that I got with TV stamps which were redeemed at the Cape store.

  2. THERE WERE ALSO EAGLE STAMPS AND DON’T KNOW IF MANY WILL REMEMBER AND I DON’T HAVE PICTURES BUT THERE WAS A MARTINS GAS STATION ON THE CORNEROF WEST END BLVD. AND INDEPENDENCE WHERE RHODES 101 IS NOW, THEY GAVE TRADING STAMPS FOR GAS PURCHASE. MY GRANDFATHER TRADED SOME STAMPS FOR ME A LARGE COOKING POT. I STILL HAVE THAT POT TODAY AND USE IT FOR COOKING BEANS.

  3. Does anyone rememnber which stamps could be redeemed for cash OR for a slightly larger amount in merchandise – was it Eagle Stamps?

  4. Yes, Eagle stamps had the two redemption methods. I remember my family saved Eagle stamps for years, and one day mother carried a gazillion books of them to Famous and Barr in St. Louis and purchased a dining room hutch.

  5. If I remember correctly, Ken, the Quality Stamps were given out at Ward’s Big Star Grocery store at Broadway and Kingshighway.

  6. I remember some advertising that said you could pay with cash, stamps or money order. I never did know if they meant trading stamps or postage stamps.

  7. McNeely’s Texaco (where I can remember buying gas for twenty-something cents a gallon) was another gas station that offered Eagle trading stamps with gas purchases. McNeely’s was located on Independence at the top of the hill just below the Thelanius house and only a door or two away from the Dixie Cream Donut shop. I was a regular at both stops.

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