It Was A Simpler Time

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    Day 347 of 365 (Year Two)

    When I was a kid, Crayola's largest box of crayons was the 64 color box, with the crayon sharpener in the back. In 1990 they dropped a bunch of colors and added some new ones. I was a bit saddened by the change even then. Gone were Blue Gray, Lemon Yellow, Orange Red, Orange Yellow, Violet Blue, Maize, Green Blue, Raw Umber, and Thistle. Hell, I even remember having a box with the color Flesh, which was eventually changed to Peach and Prussian Blue which was changed to Midnight Blue. I must have had a really old box because Flesh was changed in '62 due to the Civil Rights Movement and Prussian Blue was changed in '58 at the request of a group of teachers and both of those dates were a bit before my time.

    For as long as I was a kid, however, Thistle, Raw Umber, Maize, and the rest were some of the standard colors you would find in their 64 Color Box. From 1958 to 1990 the box pretty much remained the same. They added some silliness with the fluorescent colors in '72 and started making a 72 Color Box, but the 64 was pretty much the standard amongst my young peer group. If you had the 64 then you were set.

    In '90, when they made the change, a part of me couldn't help being disturbed in thinking that when I had a kid one day she'd never know what the color Maize looked like. Yeah, I know, quite a random though and eleven years early for Savanah's arrival, but the 64 Color Box was really a big part of my childhood. I can't recall how many boxes I went through, but as a young kid interested in art, I drew a lot.

    Today as I was picking up after Savanah I started reading some of the new names they have come up with since '90 and I have to say, it was a bit disturbing. At what point did somebody decide that we needed cute and silly names for colors? Pictured here are Tickle Me Pink, Bittersweet, Jungle Green, Shamrock, Wild Strawberry, Wild Blue Yonder, and Outrageous Orange. When did Orange become outrageous? What exactly is the color of Bittersweet? What is the difference between Tickle Me Pink and just plain old Pink? Does plain old Pink still exist?

    The list of silly names goes further than these though. In '93 they added Macaroni And Cheese, Razzmatazz Timber Wolf and Purple Mountain's Majesty and more. In '98 we saw Piggy Pink, Pink Flamingo, Cotton Candy, Pink Sherbert, Purple Heart, Shadow, and Outerspace and more. In 2003 we saw Inch Worm, Jazzberry Jam, Mango Tango and Wild Blue Yonder added to the 120 Count Box.

    What is the difference between Piggy Pink, Pink Flamingo, Cotton Candy and Pink Sherbert? Do we really need that many shades of pink? When I was a kid Black was the color we used to make shadows, do we really need a separate color for shadows? And just what color is Razzmatazz Timber Wolf? Isn't Yellow good enough for Macaroni and Cheese? Wasn't Sky Blue good enough? Did we have to change it to Wild Blue Yonder? Really?

    I sometimes miss the days when Red was just Red and Yellow was just yellow.

    Lady Pandacat, Irantzu Majabais, and 2 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Keen Anthony 77 months ago | reply

      These aren't colors, they're flavors... flavors for some Slushie/Icee knockoff to be found at a gas station convenience store, that or bubblegum.

    2. Lady Pandacat 77 months ago | reply

      i have to say, this is my favorite photo and rant of yours...i'm an 80's kid at heart, colors are also my life...i remember the smell and textures and how gigantic the big yellow and green (not macaroni and jungle green) box felt in my little girl makes me sad that they took something and changed it this's why i hate remakes and wish they would leave the classics as they are...

      also, why in the world would anyone name a crayon Bittersweet?? i'm sorry, but that alone makes me feel like childhoods are being robbed :(

      and whatever you do, do NOT get me started on Saturday Morning cartoons of today and also the lack of Christmas (it's christmas not holiday to me) spirit on the televison...

      i feel old...i'm going to crawl into bed with some cocoa and load up youtube so i can watch A Garfield Christmas, Santa and the Three Bears and anything else i can find made before 1989...

    3. Bea Jay 77 months ago | reply

      PIcking up on Anthony's comment: they didn't by chance also add flavour to them? I mean: as a kid I used to chew on my pencils (not Crayola) ... maybe now instead of the 1 flavour of "wood and colour" it would taste ... bittersweet, wild berry or similar?
      They're not training for synesthesia, right?

    4. Cayusa 77 months ago | reply

      Those names would fit that better than crayons!

      They started changing it back in '90 and haven't stopped. It seems as if every few years they modify the colors. At least I was smart enough to buy an original set before they changed everything.

      No, they still taste just as bad! LOL

    5. Tetra 1 77 months ago | reply

      Razzmatazz? I looked it up via Wikipedia and there is no color history associated with it. Strange!

    6. Cayusa 77 months ago | reply

      Well, it is Razzmatazz Timber Wolf, but still no info about it. When you google that, this picture is the first thing to pop up! LOL

    7. Photos By Jes 77 months ago | reply

      Love this photo, and agree with the commentary. The new crayon names sound like OPI nail polish colors. (And if you know what I am talking about, you read too many of your wife's magazines. LOL!)

    8. Cayusa 77 months ago | reply

      I have no idea what an OPI nail polish is so I'm safe, right? LOL

    9. Lilypon_SK 77 months ago | reply

      It sure a simpler time. ;)

      The expression on your face is perfect!

    10. Cayusa 77 months ago | reply

      That it was! Thanks!

    11. Reney L 53 months ago | reply

      A beautiful and emotional picture - I'm a little saddened, but I LOVE it! What a tribute!

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