Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Karrey Britt wrote an article for the Lawrence Journal World about refrigerators and what they say about us. When I first clicked on the article, I thought she meant the inside. Old Trunks as watched too many crime dramas where the fridge is check!

Karrey's article is about what decorates the outside of the refrigerator.

Just when did refrigerator magnets hit the scene, anyway? I remember when grandma got her old Kelvinator with the potato drawer and the itty bitty freezer and never remember anything attached to the outside of it.

It has been learned that The first refrigerator magnet patent was obtained by William Zimmerman of St. Louis, Missouri, in the early 1970s. Zimmerman patented the idea of small, colored, cartoon magnets to be used for decorative display and convenience.

Our big brown double door fridge in Lawrence had a few magnets on the front but what I remember most is a tag board sized home made calendar on the side with the children's activities on it. The first one's at our house were magnet letters for children to make words.

I would have to get together with Ryen on the next thought. He bought a cupcake magnet for his grandmother for Christmas and for some reason put it in the microwave first. LATER: I did ask Ryen and he doesn't remember stating that he thought everything went in the microwave. We asked his sister and she doesn't remember either although thought it was something Ryen might do.

Now the grandmother with the cooked ice cream cone was truly a magnet collector. As I remember she had lots of little pieces of fruit.

My mother? Nothing on the top, nothing on the sides, nothing on the front.

Here in Fargo? A grocery list with two magnet strips on the back and a magnetic clip from Digital Key which grasps the pencil.

On the side? A sheet of numbers put out by the Innovis Health Care, hung on the fridge after the first heart attack, although when the second one happened, I did not run down stairs to find the number, rather I called 911.

There is a carrot from Eileen, a lady bug, a mini ice cream like scoop, and a crappie which hold the typed list of names, physical addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of our children and siblings. Randomly placed there is a hummingbird and a bumble bee . The bee was made from a blown egg as a sample for a project done at the nursing home.

Some folks have photo frames of their children and grand children on their fridge. Others simple put the pictures. I saw a picture on Face Book recently and the fridge side and top half of the front was covered with pictures and cards which had buckled because of the humidity in the kitchen. It looked like a scrap book project gone bad.

But then I remembered that I do believe to each his own. I will never be the magnet lady, like the one in Nevada, who, at last count had 40,000 non duplicates. Her name is Louise J. Greenfarb and she must have a big fridge!

Now there is one thing to say about magnets. If you traveled and liked to collect something, they would be inexpensive to buy and not take up as much room as, let's say, bells or salt and pepper shakers.

So, what's on your fridge?

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