Serpent Blog

The Real Thing 

There was a time when a physical package would both evoke a feeling *and* provide for easy accessibility to goods. Form not over function, but in service to it. The glass Coke bottle may have been the most perfect package.

Take this beauty I rescued from the ground on Mt. Tamalpais recently. This is a prime example of the so-called hobble-skirt Coke thatís become an indelible American icon. Produced between 1917 and 1965, these aqua, ice blue and green glass bottles are heavy, tactile and fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. This one has the classic city stamp, San Francisco, embossed on the bottom. Itís a 6.5 oz bottle, which means it dates from between 1958 and 1965.

One can imagine that for a brief period of time, long before it was tossed aside (probably from the window of a passing car), this indestructible wonder sat nestled in a bed of ice cubes in one of those red galvanized steel coolers you see now only in antique stores. Some rebellious teenager in cuffed dungarees and a white tee-shirt reaches into the cold, dark tomb and plucks out the icy bottle. With a flick of the wrist that is now a lost art he pops the top with that no longer familiar click, snap, fizz, tinkle and tilts his head back for a pull on the real thing Ė the pause that refreshes.

My grandfather, now 92, used to brag about how heíd poor Coke into my baby bottle. I was literally raised on the stuff. It was unfashionable to breast feed back in 1965. For me, Coca-Cola was the closest thing to motherís milk. There is nothing that evokes a hot summer day like an ice cold Coke. Hold the cool bottle against your brow and lean back on the machine in the shade. At 6.5 ounces this was basically a shooter. A perfect dose of summertime.

I shot this with a Canon Digital Elph point-and-shoot and what I love about the photo are the three diagonal lines. Youíve got the beautiful lichen covered stone cutting across the foreground. The wedge of grass behind. The pie slice of the dark forest, and then of course the cobalt sky. I find triangles to be aesthetically pleasing and when I can I frame shots to create as many as possible. I love this photograph. Tell me how it makes you feel.

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