Fish Stick Day

As a 1970’s Caverna Elementary School student in Horse Cave, Kentucky I did what all kids across the state did every Friday. I went to the cafeteria for fish stick day.

“The teacher lines up the whole third grade. Ooh Ahh Yum Yum It’s lunchtime now and we can’t wait Ooh Ahh Yum Yum Friday’s here! We’re excited We’re delighted Fish stick day! Fish stick day! RUN, RUN, RUN to the Cafeteri-A!”

As a college student at Western Kentucky University I did what all cool, pseudo-punks did on Thursday night. I went to Picasso’s to drink beer and hear our favorite local band, Government Cheese.

In that tightly packed dive bar I was mystified to learn how beloved Friday fish stick day was with my Generation X peers. The dance floor was packed and everyone shouted “OOH AHH YUM YUM!” as we bounced up and down like we were dancing on pogo sticks. It was a ritualistic celebration of our shared rural childhoods.

But I felt like a faker. I had a deeply held secret. I hate fish! Friday was Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookie Day! Ohh, Ahh, Yum, YUM. I traded those disgusting fish sticks for the ultimate comfort food made with cocoa, butter, peanut butter, milk, oats and vanilla.

Government Cheese performing “Fish Stick Day” at a reunion show. Age and sobriety a difference.

15 thoughts on “Fish Stick Day

  1. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Oh dear, we weren’t lucky enough to have fish sticks on Friday in elementary school in the 1960s. Or at least I don’t remember having them… Too bad you didn’t care for them but at least you found a way to make the best of the situation! Glad your cookies didn’t have raisins. Everybody seemed to love raisins when I was a kid — except me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres says:

    And I remember longing for Fish Stick Friday in my 1950s grade school years! I loved them, and if I nagged long enough, sometimes I’d get them for Sunday supper at home, too. Even now, I sometimes pause in front of them at the grocery store, but I’m smart enough to know that the reality never would match the memory.

    However: there’s also this. When I read “Horse Cave, Kentucky,” I wondered if it might have been somewhere near my first experience of Kentucky. It’s actually pretty close. My parents’ best friends lived in Clay, near Sturgis. We’d go to visit almost every year, and one of my best memories is of taking the two-car ferry across the river — a ferry pulled by ropes. Amazing. There’s even a photo of me, my mom, her friend and the friend’s kids. I’m the baby.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eilene Lyon says:

    Hahaha! I don’t recall having a special fish stick day at school and I was rather indifferent to them. We sometimes ate them at home when Mom and Dad went out for dinner.

    I just looked at my chocolate no-bake recipe about 5 minutes ago, I swear! Thinking it’s time to make a batch.

    I was on that ferry at Mammoth Caves just a few years ago. Looking for a camp site, but ended up staying at a state park instead (neither was a good option – should have gotten a hotel room😆).

    Liked by 1 person

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