In front the General Foods plant (Cobourg’s biggest
a thriving product of Ontario’s branchplant economy)
they had a huge sign that said GENERAL FOODS
HOME OF JELL-O famously knowing as the Jell-O factory.
For us, it was important for another reason altogether:
In each box of Jell-O they put a free hockey coin,
a little plastic disc holding a photo of an NHL player
like a Russian icon they were all there: Sawchuk,
Mahovolich, Howe, Keon, Baun, Shack, Bower, Hull .
For a time they were the main schoolyard currency
so it was a huge discovery to learn that General Foods
was dumping massive amounts of unsold Jell-O
in the woods behind the plant, including the hockey coins.
When we got there we found that the boxes had mostly
been dissolved by rain leaving huge mountain
of pastel coloured sludge that we waded through,
in rubber boots picking out the coins by the hundreds.
This all seemed quite normal at the time.