When I about 11 or 12 I started collecting cigarette coupons. Benson and Hedges coupons. You could trade them for prizes out of a catalog, just like trading stamps.
There were two or three brands that fell under the B&H brand so they all had a little coupon attached to the package, beneath the cellophane cover. Extra rewards came when you bought a carton.
Back in the 60s just about every adult that I was around smoked. Socks and Lois Jackson were still married at that time and I spent a lot of time over there with them. Lois is the one that turned me on to the B&H coupons. She smoked the menthol version I believe. Socks smoked Winston’s so he didn’t contribute, but that woman had a big box of the coupons she had saved. She could tell she wasn’t going to accumulate enough to ever get anything worthwhile. She suggested that if she gave me those I could get others to save them for me and then I could get some things out of the catalog.
I started hitting up everyone I came in contact with, even encouraging some people to change brands, so I could get more rewards.
My folks had a big circle of friends and then we also had a large extended family. I even had people in other states saving them and mailing to me. They seemed to be coming from every direction.
I thought it was only fair that I bought something for Lois. She was the one that got it all started. But I also needed to get my mother something. She had contributed lots of coupons and helped me keep it all organized.
I waiting until I had enough to buy them both quilted bedspreads. I didn’t want to chance hurting either ones feelings or make the other jealous, so I bought them both just alike.
I thought they were just about the prettiest things I’d ever seen. They were snow white in color, with about a one foot outside border of the reddest red you have ever seen. Right up in the middle was a blue circle, about 3’ in diameter, with a big eagle inside that circle.
Decor in Smithwick homes weren’t what they are today. But thinking back, I’m not sure what that was suppose to coordinate with. I think my sense of style and fashion was still developing at that age.
Both ladies put them on their beds and used them for a long time, as I remember it.