This is a special memory from my own childhood.
I think I have always loved going to the movies. The theater in Jonesville closed when I was about ten and The Dawn Theater in Hillsdale was the closest. It was the only theater and it would play the same movie for months, or at least that is how I remember it. There was also a drive-in theater outside of town but it was only open during the summer months. I loved the concession stand at the drive-in.
It was 1961 when I saw The Absent Minded Professor. Our mom had dropped us off for the matinee in Hillsdale. I don’t really remember watching the movie I just remember going home convinced that I could come up with the magical formula that would make things fly just as The Professor had done. I found a large Ball jar and started by putting flour, yeast and water in it. Sealed it up tight and began to shake! I held it in the palms of both hands expecting it to levitate immediately.
I had recently learned all about baking bread using yeast to make it rise. Certainly yeast was the solution to my formula. So I shook it again and nothing happened. Well, maybe it was like bread and I needed to let it just sit for a while in a warm spot. By bedtime that night nothing had happened so I did what any aspiring child chemist would do, I added more yeast!
I added more again in the morning. I remember the bus ride to school the next day, I shook that jar and I let everyone on the bus shake that jar but no matter what nothing was happening. I remember our bus driver seemed a bit concerned that my concoction was somehow going to be dropped on the school bus floor and my Flubber Failure was going to go everywhere! I was so disappointed that I hadn’t made Flubber. All I had done was make a big sticky glob and use up most of mom’s yeast!
I never made it as a chemist!