Me and My RC Dreams

Being The Haunting Tale of
One Man's Quest for the Faithful Beverage

Me and my RC...we don't follow the crowd.

We're unique individualists,

And we're not in any hurry

Because he who laughs last laughs best...

And it doesn't get any more American than that.

Be free. Drink RC.

I've been enjoying RC Cola for more years than I can count, and I owe it all to Coke! Y'see, I've been a pop drinker (or soda, if you prefer) since I was a kid. At first, I wasn't very fussy. Any pop would do; heck, even Kool-Aid was acceptable as a pseudo-pop. I was a teenager before my taste began to refine and I settled into a routine of drinking Pepsi -- ugh, yeah, but I was still mostly just a kid. After a couple years in the Pepsi Generation, however, I saw the light, got tired of the bubble-gum flavor and switched to Dad's Root Beer. Ah yes, there's a hearty beverage for ya...but after awhile, even good old Dad's reveals itself to be cloyingly sweet and A&W's wasn't any better. Root beer just wasn't made to be sealed up in a bottle or can; if you can't get it fountain-style, don't bother.

So I went over to 7Up and joined the UnCola crowd, having an occasional BubbleUp or Canada Dry when 7Up wasn't available. Soon, that wasn't doing it for me, either. I even became a Pepper for awhile, searching in vain for that magical formula that would be able to carry me through life, but the good Dr is also mostly sugar-sweetness rather than flavor, and that was something I just couldn't tolerate for very long. I was becoming An Adult, and I was desperate. A decision had to be made if I expected my life to be worth anything! So I did it...I reached for a Coke.

Well, I have to admit that after all the junk I'd gone through, Coca-Cola was pretty darn decent. I stuck with it for many years and have some fond memories related to that time.

A treat in the heat; tastes best, it's neat says Dorothy Lamour

As teens, my friends and I would hang out at the "soda shoppe," which in this case was a drug store with a fountain counter. We'd head there after school and suck down a malt or cherry Coke or a Green River. The cherry Coke was carbonated water mixed with Coca-Cola syrup and splashed with maraschino cherry juice, but I still don't know what was in the Green River.

"RC tastes best", says Lucille Ball         "RC tastes best," says Lucy

Then the health industry began getting some heavy press, and all the cola companies rushed to come out with a caffeine-free version to prove they were health-conscious. Suddenly, there was Pepsi Free and RC 100 and Caffeine-Free Coke, the latter of which I just had to try out for the heck of it. And hey -- it was better than regular Coke! Quite joyfully, I eschewed the red labels for the gold, and things remained that way for a time.

RC Cola

The lineup of RC Cola -- before plastic bottles.The RC lineup back when all the pop companies were still using glass. The plastic is lighter to carry around and easier to dispose of, but nothing tastes as good coming out of plastic or aluminum. ::sigh::

Was it one year? Two? I don't rightly recall, but it really wasn't very long. The health industry quit harping on caffeine and very quietly, all the caffeine-free sodas were vanishing from store shelves. One week you could buy it, the next week it just wasn't there. After some desperate searches, the truth became clear: some secret agreement had been reached by the beverage makers and no one was making decaffeinated versions anymore!

A WeekiWatchee mermaid enjoys RC Cola.

The photo below shows the RC Cola bottle-shape I've liked best over the years.

RC Cola and moonpieAccording to many from the southern states, you're not really Southern unless you have a moonpie with your RC Cola. Being midwestern (and northern midwestern at that), I never learned of this until I got onto the net. I still don't know what it actually means though, and that's probably just as well as the moonpies sound awfully sweet.

My idyllic existence was shattered, and with a heavy heart, I returned to straight Coke...but it never was quite the same after that and I almost thrust all pop out of my life forever. I began drinking Nestea as my primary beverage. It was tart, tangy and easy to take along when travelling. But I did gravitate back to Coke after awhile.

Then the Cola Wars began brewing something fierce. Coke and Pepsi battled it out on TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. They fought for every pop machine, can or cup visible on any movie set, and they fought for the right to place their logos in the most prominent locations on everything from billboards to T-shirts. Their commercials began putting each other down -- by name, not mere inference to "other brands." Food establishments were bound to exclusive clauses (that continue today) that restricted them from selling one brand of soda product if they were already selling the other. (Saturday Night Live memorialized this with its "No Pepsi -- Coke" and "No Coke -- Pepsi" routines.) And in an extremely bold, unprecedented and astoundingly foolish move...Coke changed its formula to taste more like... (gasp!) ...Pepsi!

RC Cola logo

Discovered by accident:
RC Cola tastes great with
a bit of lemon juice added!
Try it next time
you have a lemon handy.

RC Cola logo

It must have been pretty easy adding two cups of sugar and a hunk of bubble gum to every bottle to accomplish the task, but there it was: the New Coke, and for a luckless consumer, it had to be reckoned with.

RC Cola in Egypt

At first, it was a matter of scouting out stores that still had old (real) Coke stock. That road would have led down the same dead-end as with the caffeine-free version except for one small saving grace: the Coca-Cola company realized its tremendous lack of judgment and was rushing to return the real Real Thing (now to be called Classic Coke) back to the stores, and it was to reside alongside New Coke. In an attempt to save face, they tried to claim it had been their plan all along, to give everyone a choice....uh-huh. And just how long did that precious New Coke hang around, hmm?

The current RC Cola logo

I'd had enough, and somewhere along the way around that time, I began bringing home the Royal Crown, the one that consistently beat the others in the taste tests (even my own), the one that just kept chugging along during the Cola Wars minding its own business and delivering a good product (though perhaps that statement should be qualified by mentioning the late RC 100 and the MIA Cherry RC). It was an awesome change for me to make, a stupendous life change -- but I don't really remember offhand how exactly or when the switch took place. It was a grand move, though, and long overdue. I'd finally done it: I'd achieved Pop Nirvana! 

That's my story.* I've been free ever since.

*Please don't take this telling as historical fact. I could easily have many of the facts skewed or misremembered, including those that relate to the sequence of events I experienced. (Did I do UnColas prior to or after being a Pepper??) The import of where those experiences brought me is true, as is the final result.
Of course, the Cola Wars continue relentlessly.

Voice in the Night
(featuring the RC Cola Story)
This is the closest to an "official" RC site as I've found on the web. Includes the history of RC Cola, collection of ad slogans, a look at the company's recent other ventures and more.

RC Cola
Successful media strategy for promotion of RC in Indonesia.

PopSoda: RC Cola
Why not sit back and let your mouse do the shopping?

Bret Lott Remembers RC
Tantalizing excerpt from a journal manuscript of a man who grew up behind the scenes of RC Cola.

Yahoo Finance - NYSE: TRY
Stock exchange overview of Triarc.

Olliver's Unofficial RC Cola Web Page
A fan page similar to this one, in which Olliver shares his deepest thoughts and feelings about this great drink.

Ford driven by Jeremy Mayfield
Just one sample of many racing pictures on the web of sponsored cars that display the RC logo.

We Proudly Serve RC Cola!
Well, I won't comment on this one except to say that, judging from the page title, they must have good taste.

Interesting Wall St. Journal article regarding the current RC Cola advertising campaign.

RC Cola
This group has chosen RC as their official drink, most likely due to the current freedom campaign.

Soda Pop Dreams
Another page of memories from a guy who's worked for all three of the top colas.

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Varian's Dreamweavn'n: DreamFeast - Me & My RC Dreams
is a portion of Varian's Dreamcatcher
and is Copyright ©2004 Varian
including all text, graphics, etc.,
except where noted otherwise.
The opinions expressed on this page are my own.
Brand names pictured or mentioned
are registered trademarks
or trademarks of their respective holders
and are hereby acknowledged;
they are used here for informative
or entertainment purposes only.
Triarc Companies (owner of Royal Crown Cola)
had no input on the content of this page
and probably doesn't even know it exists.
The photographs on this page were made and scanned
by persons other than myself,
and I thank them for their contributions
to the honoring of RC Cola on the Web.

Cluttering up the WorldWide Web since October 1995.

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