Bottles, Cans and Spoons …

by on July 31, 2015 · 2 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, Ocean Beach

Kathy Blavatt lawnbottleNot Talking About Drinking and Drugs

By Kathy Blavatt

Ocean Beach residents have always had a creative way of recycling their items into utilitarian objects or whimsical art. In the 1960’s through the 1980’s a lot of reused relics were commonplace in the homes and yards of O.B.

Bottles of all kinds were the number one choice of reusable items.

One of the most seen items in yards were “bottles-filled–with-water” to keep the dogs from pooping on the grass.

Kathy Blavatt twist metlOBeacans by the hundreds swore by this method, that it really worked!  This bottled practice carried on for many years. I was thinking maybe we needed to bring this dog deterrent method back, but since everyone is getting rid of their lawns, the bottles-filled–with-water are probably just going to remain relics of our past history.

The second bottle craze in the yard was “Sun Tea”.  In it’s heyday any old large bottle or jar with a tea bag or two in the sun would do. Now sun tea has made a comeback, but it has become commercialized with fancy custom jars.

Bottles also were OBeacans favorite candle-holders. You’d even see some that were so use that the several inches of wax completely covered the bottles.

And then there were the big glass Sparklets and Arrowhead water bottles that everyone threw they spare change into. Many people were later surprised at the small fortunes they had amassed in these bottles.

Kathy Blavatt glassAnd of course you can’t waste the bottle caps from your bottles. Many OBeacan became proficient at bottle cap snapping. Seems like eons before the advent of iphones that now entertain our youth.

Then there were the cans. Aluminum cans became the material of choice for making mobile-sculptures like planes with spinning props, windmills, and other whimsical subjects.

Coffee cans with hole-punched designs, with a candle inserted inside, made nice lights for porches and patios.

In the 60s& 70s silverware were made into wonderful bracelets and medallions. Once again this trend are making a comeback.

Looking at our past, and our trash, can actually inspire us to be creative, and recycle.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly July 31, 2015 at 10:21 am

Thank you Kathy B for a nice interlude between the shootings, the frackings and climate changing – with a little nudge of history.


nostalgic July 31, 2015 at 10:44 am

You are SO right, Kathy. It was a time when people didn’t have to have an official program to just do something. How did it become the past so quickly?


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