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Reward and Redemption

A poem by Beverly Stock.

Autumn air filled with scents of September

Mom’s homemade baking, I still remember.


Buying milk, eggs and some Oleo*

Stamps earned for groceries, no price too low


Stamps we’d earned on each transaction

Pasting glue-backed stamps with rhythmic action


Saving them in books, laughing and joking

Shriveled fingers, as stamps were soaking.


In the ‘50s this reward for retail activity

Brought repeat business and brand loyalty.


Really? Green stamps issued 3x more

Than U.S. Postage ever issued before?**


Founders T. Sperry and S. Hutchinson

Created a loyalty marathon.


“Frivolous economics,” some would say

“Doubtful if merchants ‘gave’ things away.”


S & H Green Stamps, reward and power

Stamp redemption, shopper’s Happy-Hour.


Totalling 1200 pts in each book

Rewards: TVs, clothing, and wares for cooks


Collecting stamps did finally decline

A moral to the story made headlines-


Post-election posters were piled high***

Redeemed for stamps. Recycling Bullseye!.





Beverly remembers pasting S & H Green Stamps, with her Mother and Grandmother each September, prior to back-to-school shopping.


*Oleo: Colloquial term for margarine, a.k.a. Oleomargarine.


**In the mid 1960s, The Sperry & Hutchinson Company (Green Stamps) claimed it issued 3x more stamps as the US Postal System. (Google.com and Wikipedia.org) (Illustrations can be found at commons.m.wikimedia.org)


***After 1962 primary elections for the gubernatorial race, Birmingham, Alabama officials...had thousands of campaign posters from various candidates to remove. A Birmingham radio station offered to trade S & H Green Stamps for the posters. (Whatever Happened to S & H Green Stamps?-AL.com)


Beverly Stock is an American poet living in St. Louis. Her work has been published on ClassicalPoets.org, at theChainedMuse.com, and on the Webzine Lighten Up Online.

Reward and Redemption

© 2019 Beverly Stock


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