November 23, 2014


November 23, 2014 Photo (327/365): "Lunchbox"

Yesterday, we had some time to kill before meeting friends for dinner in downtown Waukesha, so we decided to browse in a large antique shop on Main Street. Amid the bric-a-brac and array of one man's trash a.k.a. one man's treasure, I spotted this gem: a genuine Hardy Boys lunchbox circa 1977! The ten-year-old girl in me squealed with delight! I actually carried my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school everyday in a lunchbox just like this. Sometimes, I even had Campbell's chicken noodle soup in the matching thermos.  

You see, Shaun Cassidy/Joe Hardy was my very first crush. I was glued to the TV set on Saturday nights, subjecting my parents to every episode of the Hardy Boys Mysteries. In those pre-VCR days, if on the rare occasion we weren't home at 7:00 PM, I would set up my cassette player and an 120-minute TDK tape to record the audio of the show. If I couldn't see Shaun, I could at least hear his voice. And, if I were especially lucky, there would be an episode that featured Shaun singing one of his pop hits like "Da Doo Ron Ron" or "That's Rock 'N' Roll". My dad called him "The Whippersnapper,"  but I was so enamored of his feathered blond hair, puppy dog eyes, and dreamy voice. 

I went to the library every week, and worked my way through all 58 books in the original Hardy Boys SeriesI clipped every picture and article I could find in Tiger Beat magazine and saved them in my Shaun Cassidy scrapbook. In the summer of 1978, my mom took me to Alpine Valley to see Shaun in concert where, like thousands of other pre-teen girls, I cried and screamed with delight. That Christmas, Shaun appeared on our doorstep in the form of life-sized cardboard cut-out. Several years later, Cardboard Shaun was the only boy to live in Cobeen Hall at Marquette where the girls on my floor spoiled him with creative outfits and daily kisses. OK, full disclosure: Cardboard Shaun now resides in our basement among the off-season boat gear and Christmas decorations! He has a few new wrinkles, but then, so do I.

Over thirty years later, I haven't forgotten my "first love." A few years ago during the final season of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah featured Shaun Cassidy on her teen heartthrobs episode. Apparently, I'm not alone in my nostalgic crush!

As for that lunchbox, I saved myself $45 and just took a few pictures!