Growing up in Arizona, it was the prize everyone wanted. A simple brown paper bag, with the words Ladmo Bag on it. A bag that elevated a kid’s status on the playground.
From the outside, it did not seem like much. On the inside it was a child’s dream. Mounds of candy, a pass to Legend City or the State Fair, and one piece of fruit. The piece of fruit was probably a peace offering to parents.
One way to win a Ladmo Bag was to appear on the Wallace & Ladmo show. If you were in the audience, you had two chances to win. At the beginning and the end of the show.
I had missed the first chance when I was an audience member. As the show was ending, it was time to hand a Ladmo Bag. The excitement grew in the audience. Wallace shouted, “Row 2”. This was the start of directions for Ladmo to give out a bag. That was my row, my heart raced. “Seat 7”, he finished. My heart sank.
Even though I didn’t win that day, as an adult it was a bond, a memory, that those raised in Arizona shared, not winning a Ladmo Bag.