Coca-Cola touches the lives of millions of people each and every day. From special occasions to exceptional moments in everyday life, Coca-Cola is there. The brand has become a special part of people's lives.
Over the years, thousands of people have sent us personal stories about howCoca-Cola has affected their lives. Whether it is a favorite childhood memory, a reminder of family gatherings, or a recollection of good times with friends,Coca-Cola has touched the lives of people all over the world.
Here are some of the stories that Coca-Cola fans have shared with us over the years.
- My father always collected Coke bottles while I was growing up. We lived on a farm and he would visit various stores and even abandoned old houses looking for bottles. My mother was a schoolteacher and she used to play games with the other schoolteachers on their breaks. They used to all put in $1 and whoever got the bottle of Coke from the machine from the city the farthest away [imprinted on the bottom of the bottle] won the money.
- I’m 36 years old. I remember as a very small child we would go to my greatgrandmother’s house in Live Oak Springs, CA. She always gave my sisters and me $1 to climb over the rocks to the local store in the mountains. (The town was about 200 people.) The first thing I would get was a 6-ounce Coca-Cola in the bottle. I would then go sit on the rocks with my sisters and drink (savor) myCoca-Cola! These are some of my fondest memories! I hope I can have Coca-Colafor the next 36 years and longer.
- The year was 1953, and Grandpa owned a gas station in a little town named Mastic, Long Island. Across the street was the Long Island Rail Road station, and outside the front door was a red Coca-Cola machine. I enjoyed going over to it, putting in a nickel and pulling on the grey handle. The bottle would move down one slot and you could pull open the glass door and take the bottle of soda. Since electric service was not yet at our house, buying soda for home was not even an issue. So most people would meet around “old red” as we called it and discuss the day’s events. It was a place to meet your friends when you were going out -- even some girls, too. Old red was there a long time, but in the middle of the 60s, he too was removed. When the station closed, the meeting place of Mastic was soon forgotten. With the new station several miles down the track, a new square box appeared, but it was not the same. Long gone were the bottles, the yellow wood crates -- replaced with cans and a trash bin. Maybe that is progress, but some of us remember old red.
- This story is about my dad. He grew up in Asheboro, NC. His first "job" in 1936 when he was 10 years old was to purchase a case of Coke from the distributor in his truck. He put the cold drinks in his wagon and walked to the company his father owned. He sold the bottles -- cold! -- to the employees every day. They loved it and he made a great profit for that day. He owns the company now and, of course, they have Coca-Cola vending machines. He works there every day and enjoys Coke all day long.
- Ever since I was a girl, I can remember my father drinking the small 6 1/2- or 8-ounce glass bottle of Coke. He would drink it all until it got to the last inch in the bottle (where the glass curves). He would then give me the rest of the bottle. I literally could not wait until he got to the bottom. Now every time I see one of the little bottles, it brings back wonderful memories of my father.
- My grandfather owned a small grocery store in east central Saskatchewan, in Canada. Coca-Cola was delivered to this community of about 150 people by truck. My sister and cousins, when we were little (the 1960s), would bug my grandfather for candy, chips, chocolate bars, but always with a Coke. It would cost 25 cents for a Coke and a bag of chips, with a few pennies left over for candy. We would find empty bottles, most often where my grandfather stored them for returns, to pay for the Coke and stuff. He knew we were doing this, but never failed to give us a Coke, especially on a hot summer day. All is gone now, the store and my grandfather has passed on, but this lives as a great memory of my youth. Thanks.
- I remember when I was young, my family was returning from vacation and our car (station wagon) broke down in Pique, Ohio. It was then towed to a nearby service station to be fixed. It was in the summer and very hot. The car was fixed but the best thing for us four children was when the gas station attendant gave us a "family size" Coca-Cola. We had never seen one and were so amazed at the size of it. Not to mention how refreshing it was when we drank it all. I will and have not forgotten this. I tried telling my husband about the "size of that bottle," but he never had seen it until we came to the World of Coca-Cola. Thanks for the memories. They do last forever.
- As I was growing up, my parents owned a "mom and pop" store. As one of my duties as a helpful employee, I would have to take all the empty bottles to a back room to put them in order for the Coca-Cola driver who delivered new cases of Coke. He then would take the empties back to be recycled. Those wooden boxes got pretty heavy. Those were the Coca-Cola days.
- In 1973, we moved to Florida from New York. We were building our home and, as we were clearing the lot, a large tree was felled; the tree was about 200 feet (a live oak). And in a piece of the top of the tree was a Coke bottle with a piece of the tree growing around it. In the early 1930s, I'm told, workers on the land must have left the bottle in a small tree. I still have it.
- Coca-Cola was a great treat for my younger brother Charles and myself every Saturday. They cost 6 cents each at that time. Not only was the drink a special treat, it was fun saving the bottles. When I was 12 and my brother 9, we used his wagon and gathered 100 Coca-Cola bottles to buy hula hoops. They were the biggest thing since Coca-Cola at that time for us. What wonderful days. And now I'm here at World of Coca-Cola enjoying this great drink with my oldest daughter Cecilia and my 11- year-old grandson Crosby. These are great days also andCoca-Cola classic is still my favorite beverage. I am the proud owner of a Country Convenience store and sell lots of Coca-Cola products every day.
- When my family went on long trips back in the early to mid-70s, we always had a special contest. We'd all go into the store and get a Coke, without looking at the bottom of it. After drinking them, we would all turn our bottles upside down to read the city name for the bottling company [on the bottom of the bottle]. The city nearest home to Americus, GA, would "win." I could never win. One trip, to be fair, my father announced that the "winner" would be the one the farthest from home. You guessed it -- mine was finally Americus. I might not have won the games, but I won lots of great memories. Each bottle of Coke brings one or two back.
- When I was approximately 12 years old, I would pick up bottles for deposits. I would save this money and my allowances to purchase a six-pack of Coke for mama for Mother's Day or her birthday. I would ride my bicycle (banana seat) to the local grocery store and buy the sixpack. I would hang the cardboard carton on the handle bars to get the gift home to mama. I would put the sixpack under the sink and instruct my brothers and sister that they'd get in trouble if they drank the Coke. There were four of us kids and we usually drank the Coke and mama didn't get any. This was her special gift.
- At the office about five to six men and women would place a bet on who got the bottle of Coke from the farthest state. The state was stamped on the bottom of the bottle. The bottles were dispensed from a machine in our office. The winner received free Coke for five days. I might add that foreign countries were also included. The winner received Coke for two weeks.
- My uncle is a supervisor for one of the Coca-Cola bottling companies. When I was about 10 years old, I lived with my aunt and uncle. I had a friend spend the night, and my uncle had a lot of Coke bottles and other bottles around his house. My friend and I wanted to cash in his bottles [for the deposit] to go to the store. Well, we took ALL of the bottles, and when he got home he was really upset because some of his bottles were VERY old and collectors items. Luckily we went back to the corner store and he knew us, so he gave us the bottles back. From that time on, I started to collect glasses and I now have over 100 Coca-Cola glasses, all styles.
- When I was younger I collected Coke bottles. My children wondered why. I collected them for the 2 cents and later 5 cents deposits. My brothers and I would go around the neighborhood collecting bottles so we could turn them in for the deposit. If I knew then what I know now, I would have collected them and saved them. My kids would have a ball with these old bottles!
- After my parents divorced (1972), mom and I were sitting at the table eating lunch one day. She bet a quarter that her Coke was bottled the farthest away from Dallas, Texas. I remember wondering, "What could she possibly mean?" She held up her Coke, we looked underneath and on the bottom was the city name where the Coke was bottled! I won! It took me a while, but I figured out she had probably set it up so I would win to make me feel better! It's a small thing, but a very nice memory of a quiet Sunday afternoon; just me and my mom, a tuna fish sandwich and a Coke!
- When I was a little kid, about 8-10 years old, the movies on Saturdays were 25 cents for the matinee. My two cousins, my baby brother and I used to take our wagon and go looking for Coke bottles. They used to pay 2 cents for small bottles and 5 cents for big bottles. This is how we used to get our 25 cents for the movies. I'm in my 50s today and the picture is still so very clear in my head. It was a great time. Our families did not have a lot of money, and this was our only way to come up with 25 cents for the movies.
- I have always been a Coca-Cola drinker for as long as I can remember. When I was a Brownie and later a Girl Scout, my mom and dad would each work overtime so I could go to summer camp. There wasn't enough money for "spending" at the camp store, so I would go to all my neighbors in the Brooklyn apartments and ask them for their empty bottles, so I could get the deposit. Luckily, there were a lot ofCoca-Cola lovers in my neighborhood, and people were always willing to help me out so I could have a little extra to buy a few treats at the camp store. (That way, I could be like the other camp kids, and I wouldn't be reminded my family was poor.) So, my favorite drink also became my financial friend when I needed a little help (to go to the movies, buy an ice cream cone, a Coke, etc.). As a teacher and an environmentalist, I now recycle at home and at school. With the money I make, I take my 20 second graders on at least four trips a year.
- As kids, my brother and I spent our summer weekends at our grandparents', whom we called "Nonnie and Poppie." Their house was in a new development and there was much construction. To make money at ages 7 and 8 was a challenge. So my brother and I discovered that collecting the empty Coke bottles at the construction sites at the end of the day was a great source of revenue. One summer we cleared over $15 a piece by turning in bottles at the local supermarket.
- Kelly Lake is a tiny little railroad town on Minnesota's iron range. In 1959, I discovered a stash of old Coke bottles in the upstairs of our garage. I found out that when we brought them to the store, we could get money for them! I was 5 years old. I loaded up our wagon, and off to the little store I went. My pockets were loaded with pennies and nickels. I excitedly went back for another load, and then another, until the store keeper said, "That's enough. You didn't buy all this pop here, so I won't give you any more money." That was OK, though. My, oh my -- I had enough money to buy a lot more Coke, and a few Hershey bars, too! Life was grand!
More on Journey
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- A History of Coca-Cola Advertising Slogans
- The Coca-Cola Company: Inventor of Coca-Cola: John Pemberton
- Two Centenarians: Iraq’s First Coke Bottler Shares a Birth Year With the Coca-Cola Bottle
- Atlanta Goes Better With Coke