|June 10, 2011
Clint Eastwood's advice in "Dirty Harry" that
opinions, like certain body parts, are best kept to
WearEver Frying Pans
was 4 in 1947 when the
salesman came to our door in Huron, South Dakota and sold my
mother a set of aluminum cooking pots and pans. I remember
it was a major purchase, my folks didn't have a lot of
money, my Dad was just home from the war, and had gone back
to work with the National Bank of South Dakota.
salesman showed Mom all those nice shiny pans, and I
remember the words "lifetime guarantee" used. He
had to come back the next day after Mom and Dad discussed
the purchase, and that next night cooking dinner with all
that shiny new equipment was a big deal.
years, the family took the pans for granted, as they got
darker with use, and the wooden handles started to fall
apart. Then, when I was in high school, a new WearEver
salesman came to the door, and my mother had a chance to
finally catch them on their "lifetime guarantee".
The man was trapped and had to return the next day with
brand-new wooden handles for everything.
handles would have been in about 1960, Mom passed away in
1985, and when my Dad died in 1993, the household
possessions, including the cookware, went in various
directions with family members, and I wound-up with the two
big frying pans. If they ever had covers, they were gone,
but a couple of years ago at a flea market I picked-up two
of the newly desired glass covers that would fit these big
pans, and unlike the old solid covers, I now could see what
I was burning.
The pans went into regular use at
our house, continued to get darker and stained, and the
bottoms went totally black. On close examination, you can
see small semi-circle dents in the bottom of each, caused by
my Dad's occasional taking them out to the front concrete
steps and using a hammer to beat the warping bottoms flat
Somewhere along the line, a story emerged in
the press about how using aluminum cookware contributed to
coming down with a good case of Alzheimer's Disease, and my
wife insisted we get rid of the old aluminum pressure cooker
and buy a new stainless steel one, and I also bought a new
set of cookware made of the same material. Fortunately, the
thought of throwing away these big frying pans was never
considered, and they went into hiding in a kitchen cabinet.
Well, that "aluminum pans cause Alzheimer's"
thing was eventually
Too late for my aluminum pressure cooker, but the frying
pans went back into service.
Last night, Hazel made
Swiss Steak when I discovered two big packages of round
steak in the freezer. I went to the grocery for tomatoes and
a large green pepper, and both pans were used. A great meal
with lots of leftovers, and as I was cleaning up after
dinner, I mentioned how nice it would be to try to restore
these things to some former glory.
awoke this morning to the sound of my wife out on the deck
using a small electric sander on the frying pans. Years of
use was coming off in minutes. One pan still needs a couple
of whacks on the bottom with a hammer to cure a little
warping, and a can of black spray paint will renew the
Unless, of course, some young
WearEver salesman rings our doorbell and I can get new
handles under that "lifetime guarantee".
Air Aviation Referral Service
responses, and will be glad to post them here. Email your
I enjoyed your WearEver tribute, and was
reminded of a set of old Craftsman tools my father left me. He
probably bought them in the early 50s. The Crescent wrench
was especially well used and the screw adjuster was loose and
sloppy. I would never throw the tools away but I couldnt
really use then very well either.
One day a friend was
pawing through my tool box and unearthed the old Crescent
wrench. He told me these came with a lifetime guarantee.
Apparently if I took it back they would replace it. I chucked it
in the trunk of the car, and next time I went by Sears, I took
it in just to see. Sure enough, some 60 years later and with no
receipt, they handed me a new one. I was unhappy to let the old
one go, so they let me have it to keep. That was an especially
I was impressed. That was the sears I
used to know. That was the Sears that supplied the westward
expansion, the Sears my Dad trusted. Unfortunately, after years
of corporate overlord ownership changes, many of the earlier
things great Sears was known for evaporated. But not that tool
If and when Sears breathes its last
breath, I hope somebody with some sense reopens the Craftsman
Tool Store with the same great products, warranties, and
attitude. Its rare these days and getting more rare as we
go. Everything seems to be built cheaply, made to last a short
time, and worked on by offshore hands.
glad to be Sears tools customer.