By BOB URBAN

rurban@tnonline.com

Back when I was a youngster, my father drove a 1947 Buick, a big, dark green Roadmaster that if it had a gun turret attached to it could pass for a Sherman tank (something my father also drove during the Battle of the Bulge).

That Buick came equipped with Dynaflow (no more stick shift), and wide white-walled tires that we scrubbed with Bon Ami cleanser to keep them lily white.

We had a lot of great memories in that two-door beast. Vacations were always an adventure because Dad would attach my younger brother's playpen to the roof with straps, and fill it with everything from fishing rods to an old Coca Cola heavy metal beverage cooler. We looked more like gypsies than campers as we made our way to Lake Wallenpaupack every July.

At a time when I was just learning to read and to observe things, one item stands out as one of my favorites when I sat in the back seat of the road monster the Burma Shave signs that adorned almost every two-lane highway we ever traveled. They all had a message.

I hadn't thought of those ads for years until a loyal reader sent the following along recently. See if it brings back memories. If it doesn't you're too young. If it does rekindle some memories you're older than dirt.

See what I mean.

For those who never saw any of the Burma Shave signs, here is a quick history lesson of the 1930s and '40s.

Before there were interstates, when everyone drove the old two lane roads, Burma Shave signs would be posted all over the countryside in farmers' fields.

They were small red signs with white letters.

Five signs, About 100 feet apart, each containing one line of a four line couplet......

and the obligatory 5th sign advertising BurmaShave, a popular shaving cream.

Here are some of the actual signs:

DON'T STICK YOUR ELBOW

OUT SO FAR

IT MAY GO HOME

IN ANOTHER CAR.

BURMA SHAVE

TRAINS DON'T WANDER

ALL OVER THE MAP

'CAUSE NOBODY SITS

IN THE ENGINEER'S LAP

BurmaShave

SHE KISSED THE HAIRBRUSH

BY MISTAKE

SHE THOUGHT IT WAS

HER HUSBAND JAKE

BurmaShave

DON'T LOSE YOUR HEAD

TO GAIN A MINUTE

YOU NEED YOUR HEAD

YOUR BRAINS ARE IN IT

BurmaShave

DROVE TOO LONG

DRIVER SNOOZING

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT

IS NOT AMUSING

BurmaShave

BROTHER SPEEDER

LET'S REHEARSE

ALL TOGETHER

GOOD MORNING, NURSE

BurmaShave

CAUTIOUS RIDER

TO HER RECKLESS DEAR

LET'S HAVE LESS BULL

AND A LITTLE MORE STEER

BurmaShave

SPEED WAS HIGH

WEATHER WAS HOT

TIRES WERE THIN

X MARKS THE SPOT

BurmaShave

THE MIDNIGHT RIDE

OF PAUL FOR BEER

LED TO A WARMER

HEMISPHERE

BurmaShave

AROUND THE CURVE

LICKETY-SPLIT

BEAUTIFUL CAR

WASN'T IT?

BurmaShave

NO MATTER THE PRICE

NO MATTER HOW NEW

THE BEST SAFETY DEVICE

IN THE CAR IS YOU

BurmaShave

A GUY WHO DRIVES

A CAR WIDE OPEN

IS NOT THINKIN'

HE'S JUST HOPIN'

BurmaShave