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When you were growing up, what did you call a soft drink? Pop? Coke? Soda? Champ Davis once told me that in southern Illinois, a Coke was Dope. In New England, the favored name is Tonic.
Check out this map in the Boston Globe. Springfield lies on the Pop/Soda line, north and south. Wisconsin has a similar division, but east-west. The usage is regional (North, South, West), following historic patterns of migration and settlement.
Ah, the many good memories of Pop. If you drank it on site, five cents a bottle; otherwise, an extra penny for the return. All the bright colors of Nehi: orange, grape, strawberry, lemon; the tangy sweet of root beer (A&W, Dad's, Hires); the varieties of cola (RC, Pepsi) or lemon-lime (7-Up, Bubble-Up), and one odd favorite of mine, Squirt.
In small grocery stores, the "vending machine" was a metal ice chest full of cold water. Plunge your hand down into that dark pool, groping for a bottle. Bring them up, one after another, until you have your prize: ginger ale, Coke, grape Nehi. Nothing better on a hot summer day. Do you have Pop memories?