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Time for Pepsi spans 57 years in the Gem City

Time for Pepsi spans 57 years in the Gem City

Time is ticking by at a popular Quincy intersection.

In fact, that time now spans 57 years.

This Spirit of the Tri-States Report brought to you by Continental Cement and Green America Recycling tells the time for Pepsi.

Time is of the utmost importance to Quincy musician Steve Buckman.

Long before the digital age, the 12th and Locust intersection was the one place Buckman could go to make sure his watch was on time.

This "Time for Pepsi" clock has been ticking on top of this Pepsi plant since 1960 when the plant was built.

"The clock is fairly famous," owner Ron Vecchie said. "There really isn't any clock like it around."

Original owner Oscar Weiss wanted to celebrate the Quincy plant's opening in 1960.

He contacted the Pepsi-Cola Company to ask if Hollywood actress and Pepsi board member Joan Crawford would attend the plant's ribbon cutting.

When the company told him how much it would cost for Crawford's travel expenses to Quincy, Weiss changed his mind.

"He saved that money to build the clock on the roof.," Vecchie said.

Current owner Ronald Vecchie and his family have maintained the clock ever since they bought the plant in 1976.

"We're happy that people like the clock," he explained. "We could go digital, and it would be a lot easier to maintain and probably cheaper, but that takes away from the whole reason for the clock and the time for Pepsi in neon, but we don't want to do that. We want to stay as original as we can."

That's what keeps Tri-State residents, both past and present, smiling at the passage of time at 12th and Locust.

By the way, Joan Crawford traveled all over the world promoting Pepsi-Cola for 15 years after marrying the company's president, Al Steele.

She served as an ambassador for the brand in which tens of thousands of people showed up to see her at plant openings across the country.

Crawford passed away 40 years ago next week on May 10, 1977.


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