News of the Week: Change Changes, Thanksgiving Sides, and Sand Is a Toy (Apparently)

In the news for the week ending November 12, 2021, are a coin shortage, a million-dollar Rockwell, all the Thanksgiving sides you could ever want (and then some), and more.

Thanksgiving side dishes

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We’re in a Coin Shortage

There’s a commercial running right now that really irritates me. I know, that doesn’t exactly narrow it down, but I’m talking about the Citizens Bank “Ding Ding” commercial (that’s the official name for the ad).

If you see the commercial enough times, the music will get to you (“ding ding dita da ding ding … ticky ticky ticky ticky”), but I could handle that if the point of the commercial didn’t make me want to kick a puppy. It’s one of those ads that tries to show how the “old” way of doing things these days just won’t do, and we need to adapt to the “new” ways so we don’t look like feeble, stumbling dolts as we try to go about our daily lives.

In the ad, a bunch of people on a city street are having the hardest time paying for the things they want to buy. One guy can’t get his bills flat enough to go into a vending machine; a woman has to (gasp!) actually count her bills and change; someone can’t swipe their card the right way; and a woman practically slices her hand open trying to take her credit cards (that “old” way of paying for things) out of her wallet.

These people aren’t just using old methods of paying for something, they’re so inept it’s a wonder they can even dress themselves in the morning.

The hero of the spot is the woman who pays for her drink by simply taking out her smartphone and tapping the machine. Ding! This woman is a woman of 2021; she doesn’t have to deal with stupid cash or debit cards! That’s sooooooo 2018.

And if you don’t have the latest smartphone and all the apps? One day you’ll be banished to a remote island where you’ll have to live with other people who still carry wallets and use flip phones.

Anyway, I thought of that ad after watching this Today story about how we’re in a coin shortage. People either don’t like carrying change now and/or they’re hoarding them at home. Don’t just save all those quarters and pennies in a jar, bring them to a bank or a coin machine!

Rockwell Painting Update

Last week, Post archives director Jeff Nilsson told you about the Norman Rockwell Home for Thanksgiving painting that was going to be auctioned off after hanging on the wall of a Winchendon, Massachusetts, American Legion for many years. The auction was held late last week and it sold for $3.6 million — with a “Buyer’s Premium” taking the price to $4.3 million.

Uploaded to YouTube by Heritage Auctions.

By the way, Rockwell passed away this week in 1978 at the age of 84. November 8, to be exact.

North Dakota Really Loves Their Fruit Salad

When I think of Thanksgiving sides, my mind immediately goes to mashed potatoes and carrots and stuffing and maybe Campbell’s famous green bean casserole. It doesn’t go to fruit salad, at all, but according to the annual map of the most popular Thanksgiving sides in every state, that’s North Dakota’s favorite.

My state of Massachusetts loves mashed potatoes, Maryland goes for collard greens, and Alaska can’t get enough stuffed mushrooms.

By the way, Idaho’s most popular side dish is a side salad. Side salad! In the land of potatoes!

And Kids Really Love Their Sand

Another year, another announcement of what toys have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

The three toys that kids love that made it this year are the board game Risk, American Girl dolls, and sand. No, I’m not talking about a board game called “Sand” or an actual toy; I’m talking about sand. You know, the stuff you find at the beach, deserts, and on golf courses.

Sand. Sand is in the National Toy Hall of Fame. What’s next, mud? Water? Old cardboard boxes? Kids love playing with empty boxes!

The toys that were nominated but didn’t make it this year? Cabbage Patch Kids, Battleship, Mahjong, billiards, the Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Masters of the Universe, The Settlers of Catan, piñatas, and toy fire engines.

But sand! Yay!

A Statue of Rod Serling

I would have thought that Twilight Zone creator Serling would already have had a statue in his hometown of Binghamton, New York, but there’s a Kickstarter that has been, well, kickstarted to raise funds to build one there.

Quote of the Week (That I Don’t Understand)

“This is going to cause more confusion than a mouse at a burlesque show.” —Foghorn Leghorn, in 1955’s All Fowled Up

RIP Dean Stockwell, Max Cleland, William Lucking, Aaron Feuerstein, Marília Mendonça, Linda Carlson, and Lisabeth Hush

Dean Stockwell starred in the popular ’80s show Quantum Leap, but he had a long career before that. He started as a child actor in movies like The Boy with Green Hair, Song of the Thin Man, Anchors Aweigh, Gentleman’s Agreement, and The Secret Garden. As an adult he appeared in films like Blue Velvet, Dune, Compulsion, Long Day’s Journey into Night, and Married to the Mob, as well as dozens of TV shows, including Columbo, The Twilight Zone, Dr. Kildare, and Battlestar Galactica. He died Sunday at the age of 85.

Max Cleland was a former senator and Georgia secretary of state who lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam after a grenade he was handling exploded. He died Tuesday at the age of 79.

William Lucking was a veteran character actor who appeared in many TV shows and movies. He died last month at the age of 80.

Aaron Feuerstein was the mill owner who not only continued to pay his employees after a fire destroyed his Massachusetts factory in 1995, he spent hundreds of millions to rebuild it. He died last week at the age of 95.

Marília Mendonça was a popular Brazilian singer. She won a 2019 Latin Grammy for her album Em Todos os Cantos. She died last week at the age of 26.

Linda Carlson played the TV station manager on Newhart and appeared on other shows like Murder One, Westside Medical, Kaz, Clueless, and Days of Our Lives. She died last month at the age of 76.

Lisabeth Hush appeared in movies like Thoroughly Modern Millie, X-15, and Bus Riley’s Back in Town, along with TV shows like Perry Mason, Route 66, The Untouchables, and Night Gallery. She died in February at the age of 86.

This Week in History

George S. Patton Born (November 11, 1885)

Patton was one of the generals featured in a piece in our February 6, 1943, issue that introduced generals to the troops fighting overseas.

Route 66 Established (November 11, 1926)

It’s one of the original highways of the U.S. Highway System. Some trivia: The song “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66,” recorded by The Rolling Stones and many other artists, was written by Bobby Troup, who played Dr. Joe Early on Emergency!

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Storing the Corn” (November 6, 1948)

Farmers storing grain in a barn.

Corn, in one form or another (creamed, cornbread, and cornbread dressing), was the most popular side dish in four states in that poll above. This cover is by John Atherton.

Recipes: Thanksgiving Sides (Of Course)

It’s a no-brainer that we have to start with corn, so how about this Slow Cooker Creamed Corn from Damn Delicious and this Golden Sweet Cornbread from AllRecipes. Smitten Kitchen is one of my favorite cooking sites, and she has these Old School Dinner Rolls and these Green Beans with Almond Pesto. This Crunchy Sweet Potato Casserole from The Saturday Evening Post Fiber & Bran Better Health Cookbook looks great, as do these Rosemary-Garlic Hasselback Potatoes from Betty Crocker. has these Maple Brown Sugar Baby Carrots, while Recipe Girl has a Homestyle Baked Macaroni and Cheese.

And if you want to be like your friends in North Dakota, fine, here’s a recipe for a Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit Salad from Cooking Classy.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Clean Your Refrigerator Day (November 15)

You might as well. You need more room for all those sides.

The Great American Smokeout (November 18)

It’s 2021, so I hope you know that smoking is bad for you.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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  1. I loved Saturday Evening Post as a child, my parents read it religiously. Now I enjoy the nostalgia.

    Since this is the 21st century and smartphones have taken over many ‘chores’, I must stand up for using the phone credit card instead of your actual credit card. The e-card is more secure than your actual card, and it is so much easier and handier. The first time I used ApplePay, I was hooked. Never going back. I now actually sort of resent having to open my purse, then my wallet, remove my card, swipe my card, then reverse the process. With the phone, it’s open your wallet [where your credit card is kept], face recognition, double click. Done. So easy. Try it, you’ll love it!!!

  2. You’re right, Bob. That ‘Ding Ding’ commercial IS irritating. It’s also manipulative and ridiculous. The only thing I liked was the dog (of course) at the :20 mark. He didn’t like it either. I don’t like “apps” and that we’re pressured into using them by lower prices only if you use it. Another user name and password. No. I’d NEVER pay using the smart phone either. You’re just asking for trouble. The only ‘app’ I use or need is ‘WAZE’ for step by step driving directions. It’s the best!!!

    I had the chance to make some good (under-the-table) money last week which involved a trip from West Hills to Pasadena, then from there to Figueroa St. in Downtown L.A. I Mapquested the whole thing out first with written directions and the first part was fine. The 2nd (shorter) part I realized was too complicated, so I used WAZE and it was easy. Imagine that. Something being easy for once. A Suri-like lady tells you exactly what to do, and she’s right.

    There had to have been a massive shortage of quarters over 50 years ago when the real silver quarters ended in 1964. I can remember 1965 quarters still being among the most common even into the 90’s. Yeah, I admit it. I used to look at the years of coins. I have around 10 ’57 nickels and a bunch from 1963 back to 1939. They’re not worth any more like the quarters; just sentimental value.

    The kickstarter program for a Rod Serling statue is very impressive. Fortunately I think it should turn out great, especially in light of the (first) disastrous ‘Lucy’ statue of several years ago. The 2nd one is beautiful. I don’t get the sand thing unless I’m at the beach. Do kids even have sandboxes to play in at school (kindergarten) anymore? Monkey bars, the rings? I seriously doubt it. Just like diving boards and climb-up-the-ladder pool slides. What about swings at public parks or that spin-around thing? Most likely ‘outlawed’ years ago too. God its been a long time since I’ve been to ANY park other than driving by one.


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