I have warm fuzzies for the 7-Eleven franchise that opened on an Alder-street corner in Walla Walla in the mid-Seventies. Not just because the owners held a hot-dog picnic in the nearby Pioneer Park for their kid customers; not just because I used to peruse comics at the spinner-rack there before and after Boy Scout troop meetings at the nearby Central Christian Church; but also because the seventies were the age of the collector Slurpee cups. The store went through two series of Marvel cups during the Seventies. My favorites were the first series, from 1975, with a character pose on the front and a little head on the back with a word balloon giving an often-cryptic one-sentence description of the character. But the second series, the fat cups with the wrap-around artwork adapted by production artist Paty Cockrum from covers and splash pages, were fun too.
The Alder 7-Eleven is gone now, but the trading cups are back -- sort of. This evening, we went over to one of the many 7-Elevens in West LA for the X-Men III: Last Stand Slurpee trading cups. But there were only four cups available, as opposed to the several dozen Marvel cups that I used to hunt down. And all four were available there. And we didn't even buy any Slurpees; I just took the Slurpee-less cups up to the counter and bought them outright. Still, it's the thought that counts.