Anyone who thinks celebrating a glass bottle is silly has never lived in The South. Coca-Cola is not just something you drink here; it is a way of life. Northerners learn very quickly that unless they prefer sweet tea, they better get used to drinking Coke products. It is difficult to almost impossible to find soda from another bottler in The South. So when this “way of life”, this iconic company that has shared in both the trials and tribulations of this country since the 19th century throws a party everyone shows up.
Even Mayor Kasim Reed came to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the contoured bottle that has come to represent the Coca-Cola brand.
Oh, and I was there too.
Coca-Cola held the 100th anniversary party as a preview of the Coca-Cola exhibit now open at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art. The exhibit features images of how Coca-Cola has helped to shape our lives for 100 years. From celebrities like a then-married Tina and Ike Turner enjoying the beverage to everyday men and women living life in a manner that included Coca-Cola as part of the landscape of their lives.
The photographs that exposed the inequality of the Jim Crow South were the ones that stayed with me after I left. Black. White. Rich. Poor. We all want an ice cold Coke.
If you’re in Atlanta, check out The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100 exhibit at the High Museum of Art through October 4, 2015. It explores the creative legacy of the Coke bottle and the impact it has had on both the 20th and 21st centuries.