In 1954, my parents opened their own store at Knott's: The Inspiration House. The name was something my dad mentioned jokingly to Mr. Knott, but he thought it was a good name, so my dad and mom were stuck with it!
The shop was a Bible, book and gift store. Since it was '54 and kids were still safe out being kids, I had free range of the park. I was only seven but I remember walking down to the office to see my aunt and the receptionist let me sit at the switchboard and pull the lines as they rang. I remember thinking how neat that was...
On one trip, a stop at a restroom was a necessity. As I was washing my hands, I looked at the Kotex dispenser. Now, I sure didn't know what Kotex was, let alone a "sanitary napkin." But I sure knew what a napkin was. Well, I had a nickle in my pocket, so I slipped it in the slot and turned the knob. A funny little box came out which I opened curiously. I could see why you'd wipe your mouth on it but what was with the two little safety pins?
My mom was standing at the cash register watching me walk down the path. Before I knew it she was walking up to me, and very quickly unpinned the Kotex, which I had pinned to my shirt collars. I figured it must be some kind of crumb-catcher napkin thingie. Oh what a dork!
My mom didn't tell me what kind of napkin it was, only that it was for older ladies and not to buy one again. She probably was busting a gut trying not to laugh! Of course, this was the mainstay of many a family get together for some time.
(I'll get back to more of the history of Knott's!)