• Mar26Mon

    "Self-Denial Badges!"

    Retrospective #65 March 26, 2018 Randy C. Hicks
    "Badges? We don't need no..."
    "Badges? We don't need no..."

        {Wikipedia:  "Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!" is a widely quoted paraphrase of a line of dialogue from the 1948 film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. That line was in turn derived from dialogue in the 1927 novel, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which was the basis for the film. In 2005, the full quote from the film was chosen as #36 on the American Film Institute list 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes.}


         Well maybe the bandits or crooked police didn’t “need no stinkin’ badges” but we sure did! We - being the students in the Sand Tray class at Sunday School and then in each level thereafter! You see, right up there with the coveted Sunday School “Birthday Badges” were the famous “Self-Denial Yellow, Red, and Blue Collectors Badges!” Each was about the size of a nickel and though one may have collected them the year before, and the year before that, and the year before that – this was a new batch and we needed them; we had to have them; it was yet once again the hot winner’s prize! Who would be the first among us to get the yellow; then the red; and finally the blue; all three pinned on one’s bosom for all to see!

          As I remember it back in the day we used small yellow envelopes (“Canaries” – by the way, if you find one tucked away in someone’s Bible or old Song Book  – please send it to me as we don’t seem to have any here on file!) to collect coins for the annual Self-Denial Fund. We’d insert Pennies, Nickels, Dimes, and maybe a Quarter now and then. The goal was to earn those wonderful badges. When you had successfully contributed a dollar you were given the yellow badge; then with two dollars accumulated you got the red badge; and finally with three dollars amassed you received the blue badge! Some years they even added ribbons to each badge for four, five, and six dollars raised! Of course there was always the kid who showed up with a ten dollar bill on the very first Sunday! We were not very fond of him or her.

         Add to this the competitive drive of human beings to be first; the boys wanting to best the girls; the Sand Tray wanting to show up the other grades and it was on! Most years there was some themed contest presented to stir the excitement and we watched with great anticipation as each Sunday the totals to date were announced! Maybe this would be the week when the boys moved ahead of the girls! One can always hope…


    Leave a Comment