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85-Year-Old Woman’s Shrine To Coca-Cola Spans 6 Decades

MILLCREEK, Utah — Elna Berlin has always loved the color red.

So, it may not be a surprise that much of the décor in the 85-year-old’s home tends to ‘pop.’

“I just started keeping everything red and all of a sudden it turned to Coca-Cola everywhere,” Berlin chuckled from a burgundy chair in her living room.

Many decorations in Berlin’s home are literally pop, as in soda bottles, cans and countless collectibles gathered across 6 decades.

Over the past 20 years, one room in the basement has earned its own moniker: ‘The Coke Room.’

“They’ve heard, ‘your mom has a Coke Room— what’s a Coke Room?” Berlin said. “You’ll walk down those stairs and think, ‘oh my gosh!’”

Berlin’s shrine to soda pop red is filled from floor to ceiling with Coca-Cola memorabilia—from antique advertisements, wall hangings and Christmas ornaments to a miniature car crafted from Coke cans.

“I mean, she’s got napkins, I can’t count how many salt and pepper shakers she has,” said Scott Berlin, Elna’s son, while looking through the Coke Room.

Berlin’s adult children remember helping their mom add to her collection when they were little.

“It was really fun because, I mean, I remember wanting to have enough money to purchase my first thing in the Coke collection,” daughter Sandra Cook recalled.

Scott Berlin said it became a tradition to find Coca-Cola collectibles for ‘Grandma’ while out on family vacations.

Thus, the memorabilia has origins from around the globe.

Neighbors and friends have also added to the collection belonging to a woman they appreciated for giving of herself so much over the years.

“She’s done that for everybody all her life — she’s given to people, so I think it’s a testament as to who she is,” Cook said.

Daughter Joan Watkins said it brought cheer to family members’ hearts to contribute to the Coke Room.

“It’s not just us — it’s our children, her great grandchildren, even just friends, neighbors, acquaintances, whatever — that was the neat part was that they knew she had this Coke Room and it made her just light up when you gave it to her,” Watkins said. “It was that much more exciting to see how the room came together. She’s just made that room an amazing collection.”

Berlin said the memorabilia has deeper meaning to her because she associates individual collectibles with memories and loved ones.

“It makes me happy, it makes me happy,” Berlin smiled contently, her reflection caught by a Coca-Cola themed mirror.

Berlin said when she is gone, family members can do whatever they want with the collection.

The family said, though, they have interest in keeping most of the collection together.

“We hope there’s a collector out there that would really love it as much as she has,” Scott Berlin said. “That would be in her honor, you know.”

For now, Elna continues to add collectibles to her prized Coke Room.

“If you find any, call me, OK?” Berlin laughed. “Tell me where to go!”

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