It was a hot Saturday in July and there were 4 of us in the car. We had no plans for the day and finally decided to ride down to Oklahoma just to see something different. We drove south on US 77 and went through Winfield and Arkansas City on our way to the state line. We crossed into Oklahoma sometime around noon and by then the temperature was over 100 degrees.
Continuing south, we were still a few miles from Newkirk when we started seeing signs for a pool hall. The signs all mentioned pool but additionally said things like “Air Conditioned”, “Ice Cold Beer”, and “Cool Inside”. We noted the signs and their messages and thought it would be a great idea to stop and have a cold beer in an air conditioned place. This was the 1950’s and air conditioning wasn’t universal as it is now. Department stores and banks and other large places had “air” but the run-of-the-mill stores didn’t.
We got into Newkirk and immediately spotted the pool hall. The signs said “Pool”, “Beer”, and “Air Conditioned”. We were thankful because it was really hot and we were excited to just think about cooling off. We stepped inside and immediately felt the change in temperature. As our eyes adjusted to the semi-darkness we looked around and saw the “air conditioner”. On top of a small table was a galvanized tub containing a large block of ice and right behind it was a very large fan! After we got done laughing, we took seats as close as possible and ordered a beer. It was really quite pleasant. We cooled off a little and resumed our road trip, mindful that we had learned some lessons about advertising and marketing.
December 8, 2014