(This is an e-mail I sent:)
Hello and Happy Day!
I splurged a bit back in 2002 or 2003 when I bought a neato WhirlyPop Popcorn Popcorn Popper at the World Market in Omaha, NE. Being newly married my wife and I didn’t really have any spare money back then, but just looking at the picture on the box of the popper brought back sooo many memories of my Grandmother that I just had to have it!
My grandmother was a very gentle, upright person. A few times a year if it seemed to be a special occasion of some sort she’d send one of us grandkids up to the attic to find the box with the Whirlypop Popcorn Popper, knowing full well the popper was actually in the basement. But she also knew full well that sending a horde of children up into the attic would entertain us for at least an hour as we found little treasures hidden in the dusty corners, maybe a postcard from someone with old-timey handwriting with a picture of the Statue of Liberty on it, or one of my uncle’s old books on Ancient History with pictures of camels and pyramids… We’d dust off the treasures and put them back in their spot and search for something new. In due time, by the time we’d tromp back downstairs, smiley and happy and full of stories of the wonders we’d found in the attic to find Grandmother at the stove patiently stirring the popcorn. “I’m sorry, it was in the basement the whole time,” she’d say.
(It just now occurred to me – sending us into the attic to search for the popper was her way of dusting and reorganizing the area. Smart lady!)
Smart as she was, though, my grandmother wan’t much of a cook… She’d dump half a pound of lard and what must have been a full cup of table salt into the popper along with forty or forty-five meager kernels of popcorn. The treat was never quite a treat for us – Gramma’s popcorn pretty much sucked. (She could quote any Bible verse you requested, she could do multiplication in her head like a whiz, she could recite poetry, but for pete’s sake don’t eat her chicken!)
All this came back to me in a flood that day in 2002 or 2003 as I stood in the World Market staring at the box. I had to have it, and indeed, I did make the purchase. “Cheap food,” I explained to my wife. “It’ll save us money in the long run.”
Little did I know that I would make at least one batch of popcorn every single night from then on. Sometimes two batches. Every single night without fail.
I would estimate the popper has made over five-thousand five-hundred batches of popcorn over the years.
Sadly, it is now showing signs of age… The nylon (or plastic) gears are slipping, popcorn is burning (much to the delight of our two dogs who get to snack on the singed kernels), the top is starting to fall off at inconvenient times…My old friend is getting older now, and that makes me sad.
After analyzing my continuing popcorn habits, my wife and I are planning to replace Old Beloved with a new stainless steel model with metal gears. Sadly, money is even tighter for us now than it was 15 years ago when I bought Old Beloved. My blushing bride from fifteen years ago has developed serious health issues and is now disabled, homebound. While the numbers on the medical bills are very startlingly high, my wife is still insisting that we purchase a new popper, and that we get it from your company. “They make a good product,” she said from her bed. “You’ve had that popper for forever… And every night when you make popcorn you smile so nicely.” (I’m thinking of my grandmother and how exciting it was to play in her attic.) “And the pups sit and watch so they can get their treats. You need a new popper. Don’t worry about money. Go buy one. A nice one.”
And that led me to your website. I’ve bookmarked it so I can purchase the nifty new Stainless Steel Whirley Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper with Metal Gears in a week or two when Old Beloved finally gives up the ghost. I saw your e-mail address and thought I’d share my happy little story with you. Yay!