Green River

Green River
Canon PowerShot S95

Green River is a very sweet lime soda. It’s like liquid, carbonated lime Jell-O. It turns your tongue green.

When I was a boy I lived near a five and dime with a gleaming stainless steel soda fountain. I would ride over there on hot summer afternoons to enjoy the air conditioning, shop for stuff I didn’t really need, and enjoy a treat at the soda fountain.

They made their sodas by squirting the syrup into the bottom of a glass and filling it the rest of the way with carbonated water. Real old school. My brother always ordered a root beer, double strength. I did that sometimes, and whenever I could afford it I’d order a chocolate malt. But most of the time I’d sit down to a Green River. It was the only place in South Bend I knew I could get one. Even then it was a brand from days gone by. It’s cool that it’s managed to survive.


single frame: Green River

Single frame: Green River


15 thoughts on “single frame: Green River

    • I’m with you along with the fact that I never liked Jello to begin with. I can’t remember if I tried it once in my life or never tried it since it didn’t look attractive to me. Now chocolate pudding is another thing…yummy.

      • Perhaps the description hit a bad nerve with me because my mother used to serve me “Jello water” when I was sick as a kid. It was Jello that was kept room temp so as not to jell. Gad but that thick, sickly sweet liquid came rushing back to the taste buds in my memory when I read this. And no, I did not inflict this horror onto my own children.

  1. Andy Umbo says:

    I grew up in Chicago, until about 10, and then Milwaukee after. We never had Green River in Milwaukee, and I don’t remember it as a kid in Chicago, but when I moved back to Chicago for work, most people my age really remembered drinking a lot of it! It’s been considered a Chicago “thing” like the “Chicago Dog”. I guess it’s been around since 1919, brewed by the Schoenhofen brewery in Chicago, but for the life of me, I never remember it as a kid there.

      • Steve Miller says:

        I connect it with Evansville, which also has a Green River Mall on — get this! — Green River Road. Another beverage hit in E’ville is Ski, which is what Mountain Dew should be.

  2. Nancy Stewart says:

    I sat at that same counter Jim. Only I would order a vanilla phosfate, It was a nice little neighborhood store.

  3. Bill Bussell says:

    It is a Chicago thing. I recall vending machines in the 50’s (my childhood) in the subways that dispensed Green River in a paper cup. There were other soda choices as well. I bought Green River in cans when I attended a course at the Professional Photograpghers School (PPA). I brought it home, and my children thought it was great.

    • I’m just old enough to remember the last of those paper-cup soda dispensers! You got about five swallows, if I remember right. I also remember the machines that dispensed bottles and had bottle openers in them. The barber shop my dad used to take me to had one that opened like a chest freezer, and you snaked your soda through it to the exit.

      • Steve Miller says:

        Better than the “coffee” machines, anyway. How’s that for damning with faint praise? Last place I worked had one of these, but at least it was free, hot, and wet.

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