69 years later, Safeway honors the free turkey | The life

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When Ted Allegri started remodeling the last room in his farmhouse northeast of Moscow last year, he didn’t expect to find much in the walls or floors, except maybe some old newspapers.

Instead, he found a piece of history and his ticket to a free turkey.

Allegri said about 30 cents and a curious coupon for a free Safeway “Christmas turkey” were discovered during the project. The coupon was 69, a prize in a December 19, 1953 raffle, to be redeemed at a Safeway store, although he was unsure which one.

“You find things like that in old houses,” Allegri said.

The coupon was printed on card stock and looks good for its age, only a small piece of its corner is missing.

After finding the coupon, Allegri showed it to his wife, who encouraged him to take it to the Moscow Vault, to see if they wanted to keep it. It took Allegri eight months to accept it.

Erich Hanisch, manager of the Safeway store in Moscow, wanted the coupon and even offered to exchange it for a free turkey. The average cost of a turkey in 1953 was about 65 cents per pound. Now, a turkey can cost around $1.98 a pound, depending on the season and the store.

The coupon will be framed in Hanisch’s office with a photo of the original Moscow Safeway and a $25 1970s gift certificate someone found while cleaning out a drawer.

“The nostalgic old stuff you find,” Hanisch said. “To me, this is an object that you will never see again.”

Finding old bits of grocery store history is always fun for Hanisch. He said employees found steel soda cans and old price stamps in the corners of stores he previously worked at.

Hanisch has been the director of the Moscow Safeway for almost 20 years. Allegri said he enjoyed the turkey and didn’t expect to get one when he brought the coupon. He said he always finds interesting things on his farm, mostly old newspapers that serve as insulation in the walls.

Hanisch said it was also worth showing the coupon to district officials when they visit Moscow. Finding these items is exciting, he said, because many of these items have been discarded or lost and are not always worth keeping.

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