I love potato chips and this is where it all started. In the late 1960s and early 1970s my grandfather drove a Frito Lay truck in the San Fernando Valley shortly after my grandparents relocated here from the East Coast. I learned a lot of things riding around in that truck with my grandfather that stay with me to this day. I often wonder if he drove a Hostess truck if I would crave Ho Hos like I do potato chips and salty snacks, but I digress.
There is an often told family story where a delivery man came to our house to deliver some chips for my grandfather’s truck. We had an actual Frito-Lay display in the the garage, neatly organized in the corner by the “harvest gold” washing machine and dryer where friends could pick snacks when they came to play. My grandfather always told the drivers to place the new product in the back of the shelf and the older product in the front, to rotate out the old stock. On this particular day, a young kid was delivering chips, and right after my grandfather tells him how to stock the display he was doing it correctly, just as he explained. I was around five years old at the time just standing at the door, watching the guy. When my grandfather goes into the house, the worker starts cheating and putting the new stuff in front, so I say,”my grandfather isn’t going to like that!” And I can hear the guy thinking, what does a five year old know about my job? So he ignores me and keeps putting the new product on top so the old product that is going to expire. I tell him, “when my grandfather’s sees that, he’s gonna be pissed off!” And so when he gets fired, I’m pretty sure he’s throwing darts at a picture of my five year old pigtailed face! To this day, when I go to the market, I reach through to the back of every row and buy the products with the very latest expiration date – my whole family does.
My grandfather died 6 years ago, after being married to my grandmother for 66 years. His birthday is coming up this month. He instilled in me (from a very young age) the desire to do things right the first time. My daughter was only two when we lost him, and I wish so much he was around to love her like he loved me, and to show her how to organize her drawers and the pantry!