Images of a green, velvety carpet of grass remain symbolic of home, family and the American Dream.
In mid-century America a deep green lawn was evidence of nothing short of good citizenship.
So what was a patriotic suburban home owner to do when that mid-century lawn showed signs of stress mid summer?
As the dog days of August rolled around, the emerald turf would begin to show other colors- a paler green or worse still, yellow or brown.
Surveying the lawn, my Dad would say the grass was sick.
It had caught a bug.
Just as with medicine, scientists came to the rescue of sickly lawns plagued by turf insects chewing away at vital roots.
One shot of Dieldrin insecticide would make our lawn sit up and sing, Dad would say.
It was the fast convenient way to soothing relief.
Like a good vaccine, Dieldrin was so effective that a single treatment would keep soil insects under control for several years.
Be prepared for the nicest compliments.
“Jeez”, envious neighbors would ask Dad, “doesn’t this stuff just break down after a while and become inert?”
“Nope, its effectiveness goes on and on.” he’d boast.
“This new formula is so effective, its effects last years after it’s washed away.”
“Like General MacArthur,” he laughed, “old pesticides never die, they just fade away.”
Yeah, like thirty years later they come back as breast cancer.
Copyright (©) 2013 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved
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