The story behind that Natty Boh beer sloganWith the...


November 01, 1996

The story behind that Natty Boh beer slogan

With the capping of the last bottle or can of National Boh brewed in Baltimore, Mike Olesker, staring sadly at the bottom of his empty glass of beer, has told the origins of the National Boh experience (Oct. 27), best recalled in the slogan, "Land of Pleasant Living."

With all due respect -- to him and to Bill Evans and Don Schnably who did their best to provide their version of the history -- let me paraphrase the late Fibber McGee, ''That's a good story, but it ain't the way I heard it.''

The way I heard it, from Jerry Hoffberger himself (who paid for the whole thing and presumably ought to know), the story goes (( like this:

In the late 1940s, the firm, looking to expand the recognition of its label, brought on board a brewmaster named Karl Kreitler and a president named Arthur Deute. ''Deute,'' Mr. Hoffberger recalled, ''was a marketing genius. It was he who created the one-eyed 'Mr. Boh' character that would become the star of so many commercials, and sing and dance his way into Baltimore legend and lore.''

The breakthrough for the brand came unexpectedly, 10,000 feet in the air over the Chesapeake Bay. ''Early in the 1950s, several executives associated with the brewery -- Dawson Farber, Sydney Marcus and myself from National and Brod Doner and Herb Fried from the Doner agency -- had just taken off in plane from Harbor Field. I remember looking down over the bay. It was a brilliant, sunlit day, and I couldn't help saying, 'What a gorgeous sight!' Mr. Doner, who was from Detroit, picked up on that. He said, quite off the cuff and without thinking, ''This place is the land of pleasant living.'''

The rest -- all that music and Bailey Goss, Jim McKay and the good ship 'Chester Peake' cruising around the bay -- is history.

Having set the record straight, I am willing to forgive Messrs. Olesker, Schnably and Evans, but it'll cost them -- one wet, cold and delicious National Boh!

ilbert Sandler


Third-party voting won't hurt Clinton

Your Oct. 28 editorial, "Ross Perot's last hurrah," discussed his need to win 5 percent of the vote to keep the Reform Party alive, and letters on Oct. 22 and Oct. 25 supported third-party efforts to offer alternatives to our often stale political scene.

In Maryland, third parties must receive 3 percent of the presidential vote to continue to exist as legal political parties.

The only third parties with a chance to meet this requirement are the two that are on the ballot in all 50 states, the Libertarian and Reform parties.

Mr. Perot is currently polling about 2 percent in Maryland, and Libertarian candidate Harry Browne about 1 percent nationally, although these numbers are very uncertain because they are below the margin of error. Our state's two largest third parties may or may not receive the 3 percent they need to continue to offer voters alternative political choices.

President Clinton will win Maryland easily, taking all 10 electoral votes in a walk. Marylanders can therefore vote for a third party candidate without affecting the outcome of the national election in the slightest.

In 1992, Mr. Perot's 19 percent sent a message that was heard loud and clear: These votes were not ''wasted.'' In 1996, Marylanders can cast a meaningful vote for more political competition by qualifying both of our state's two largest third parties.

Douglas E. McNeil


Forest products firms environmentalists, too

A special thanks to Tom Horton for his recognition of Tom Tyler in his Oct. 25 ''On the Bay'' column, ''A tribute to a citizen of the bay." Having worked directly with Tom Tyler for the past eight years and knowing him for more than 20, I'd have to say that a person like him only comes around once in a long while.

Whether coincidence or not, this column was printed during National Forest Products Week -- how appropriate. While Tom was certainly a unique individual, second to none as a communicator and networker, there is nothing unique about the story he told to all that would listen.

The foresters in the forest products industry are not the greedy capitalists some preservationists make us to be. We deeply care about the environment, as we deal with it every day. To abuse it, would not only jeopardize our livelihood but our commitment to a sound land ethic.

Yes, Tom Tyler's story is told every day by foresters all over the country. If only we all could be as effective as Tom at communicating our ''good news," the forest products industry would find its rightful place as a leader in the environmental community, and not the subject of its scrutiny.

Larry Walton

Pocomoke City

The writer is Pocomoke Region team leader for Chesapeake Forest Products Company.

Hungary in World War II and afterward

I am surprised that The Sun, with its occasional pretensions toward sophistication in foreign affairs, would print the ignorant anti-Hungarian letter of Joseph Kryszpel during the 40th anniversary of the Hungarian uprising.

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