I remember my first encounter with soda vs. pop. I was a young man arriving at college in Iowa, fresh from New Jersey. After depositing my suitcases in the dorm I headed for the small town square and the corner drug store.
I seated myself at the counter. When asked what I'd like, I replied, "I'll have a cherry soda, please."
The waitress looked at me and quite politely said, "Young man...you really want a pop, don't you?"
She then explained the difference between an ice cream soda and pop. Indeed, I wanted pop.
It had been quite a day. Only a few hours earlier, as I cruised into Iowa, I stopped alongside the road and asked a farmer on a tractor how far my destination was. He pointed out the way and happily assured, "It's blacktop all the way"
'Blacktop all the way?' I thought to myself, 'What else could it be?'
Needless to note, the following years proved quite an education. From Newark, N.J., to Iowa. What a time it was, time it was.