Gary Brown: Reliving your childhood through a catalog

Gary Brown

I started a trip back to the treats of my past on the front of this summer’s Kotula’s catalog.

“The Guys with the Goods,” as they call themselves at Kotula’s, were selling a “Retro Snow Cone Machine for $59.99.

The miniature snow cone machine “delivers frozen fun fast,” the description of it said on page 29 of the catalog. This is the kind of machine that can keep you from having to go to a county fair or church carnival and beg for money from your father.

“The ice shaving mechanism produces perfectly textured snow that holds the syrup for a tasty treat that your whole family will enjoy and the whimsical styling adds some fun to your kitchen counter or game room.

That’s nice, but who cares about decor? You could have a snow cone whenever you wanted one. You wouldn’t have to sit still and wait until the tractor pull was finished.

That's not all

You also wouldn’t have to wait until your dad pulled over to get fuel from an old-style gas station to get a Coke from an “Old School Coca-Cola Cooler“ — the kind you reached into from the top and pulled out a wet one — if you bought the cooler I found on page 25 of the catalog.

“It has the old school look down with a bright red finish and chrome corners straight out of 1956,” said the text accompanying a picture of it — and the $69.99 price — in the catalog.

This one isn’t as big the coolers your remember from your childhood. But what is? Besides, it’s small enough to carry in the back of an SUV. No need to waste time on a family vacation. You can carry your Flying A gas station with you.

And there likely would be enough room left in your vehicle to carry a Cotton Candy Machine. I found that on page 19, priced at $49.99.

“The spinning mechanism produces tasty cotton candy that your whole family will enjoy,” the catalog assumed. And that family is not going to ask you to choose between eating cotton candy and eating an ice cream bar, the way a family would at an amusement park.

Eat both

With the devices made by Nostalgia Electronics that are listed in the Kotula’s catalog you can have both. The $29.99 Ice Cream Sandwich Maker advertised on page 18 “delivers perfectly shaped round and rectangular cookies.” And you get translucent ice cream sandwich molds to cut your ice cream. This thing is really cool, well, sometimes kind of cold.

On the same page I found a $69.99 Retro Roller Grill for hot dogs.

“Get that ballpark taste and perfect results every time,” the catalog said. “The five nonstick rollers rotate continuously, ensuring even heating for the perfect hot dog.”

You can make popcorn with miniature theater-like machines I found on page 5 of the catalog. There was a $59.99 machine for hot-air popcorn and a $99.99 machine for oil-popped corn. They both have “Cinema Popcorn” marked at the top, so I’m pretty sure they’ll work with TV movies.

If I’d had all this stuff when I was a kid, I might never have grown up.

Contact Gary Brown at gary.brown@cantonrep.com.