Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mr. Hicks Liked His Moxie

Like the previous high school teachers that I’ve mentioned, Mr. Hicks left a lasting impression on me because of his wit.  He was passionate about history and geography and would shoot facts and figures at you, sometimes in staccato style. He would commonly interject certain references, almost as wile asides to see if we students were paying any attention at all.  References to obscure locations like the Maldive Islands were always popular with Mr. Hicks.  But I remember him most because of he inserted frequent references to Moxie into his lectures. “And they probably took a break at the Battle of Bunker Hill to enjoy a tall bottle of Moxie!”  It would crack me up, in part because while I was born in New England I grew up in the Mid Atlantic and southern states and my family only returned to New England just before I started high school.  So Moxie the soft drink was not really part of my diet, but Mr. Hicks gave me a fond appreciation for this quirky drink and its history in Yankeeland.  In fact, our town housed the last separate Moxie bottling plant.  When the plant was moved out of Boston, it relocated to a much smaller building in Needham Heights, just to the east of Rt 128. Nowadays Moxie is bottled by contract bottlers in New England, and at least one in Pennsylvania.

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