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Posted on Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

Dave!Today I was getting aggravated with the file folders I use to sort my projects because my stuff keeps falling out of them. Then, in a flash of nostalgia, I remembered the Pee-Chee folders from my school days and decided that they were the perfect solution. So off I went to the school supply section of the local drug store, only to find out they don't have them. No problem, I'll just order them from Staples. Except Staples doesn't have them. So then I look on Wikipedia to see if I remembered the name wrong or something, only to find out that they don't make Pee-Chees anymore!


How old am I?

Apparently, really old. High school was 23 years ago, and somewhere in that massive span of time they stopped making Pee-Chees!

Pee Chee

What in the heck do school kids use to carry their papers now-a-days?

More importantly, what in the heck do they use to write cool graffiti on? When I was in school, everybody plastered their Pee-Chees with nifty stickers and decorated them using multi-color markers to write the names of their favorite bands and stuff. Mine was covered in cartoons I would draw when I was bored.

Which was most of the time.

Padma Lakshmi
Photo swiped from the always-excellent Maxim Magazine.

As I'm typing this, Padma Lakshmi is being her usual scorching-hot self on the latest episode of Top Chef. The big challenge this time is one of the coolest I've ever seen on the show... airplane food! I really like how this season they are being so creative in the challenges and toning down the stupid-ass drama that plagued last year. Of course, then they invite Anthony Bourdain to be a guest-judge, where he's his usual cheerful and supportive self. He must be a scream at parties.

For my dinner, I was a bit of a Top-Chef myself, making my own pizza sauce for the first time. I saved up all my dairy allowance for the day so I could make pizza on toasted rice flour bread. It was surprisingly tasty. I should totally be on Top Chef next season!

UPDATE: My Pee-Chee obsession drove me to Google searches where I've found others lamenting the passing of the Pee-Chee...

Blue Flavor says that MySpace is the Modern Day Pee-Chee.
A nice Evolution of the Pee-Chee is over at CreativePro.
Defective Yeti with a tale of Pee-Chee customization gone wrong.

Categories: DaveLife 2007, Food 2007Click To It: Permalink


  1. kilax says:

    What the hell is a Pee-Chee? Do you mean a trapper keeper? Ha ha… guess I am off to wikipedia to read up on “Pee-Chees”

  2. Avitable says:

    I have no idea what PeeChees are.

  3. whit says:

    I was more of a Trapper Keeper guy.

  4. Iron Fist says:

    This is a sad day. They don’t make Pee-Chee folders anymore? Crap. I think I saw them in a college bookstore as recently as…well, I guess that was about six years ago.

  5. Suzy says:

    You know what I love about Padma? I’ve got a lot of scars from a lot of surgeries and I’ve never been embarrassed about them or afraid to show them. I consider them what I got in life and I can’t change any of it.

    She shows off her arm scar, which was a much more brutal and horrific memory of her life then I’ve ever had.

  6. Michael says:

    Until I read your third Update link, I had no idea what they were. Everywhere else made them out to be some kind of folder, but they’re more of a binder. These days, you won’t find a good binder for less than a couple bucks, I imagine.

  7. Dave2 says:

    Kilax… I believe that Trapper Keepers had pockets on the bottoms… where Pee-Chees had the pockets on the sides.

    Avitable… And your life is poorer because of it! πŸ˜›

    Whit… That new-fangled Trapper Keeper technology will be the death of us all. THE DEATH OF US ALL, I SAY!!

    Iron Fist… I could have sworn that I had seen them recently, but it was probably my imagination. Seems odd to be living in a world without Pee-Chee. πŸ™

    Suzy… She was on some talk show explaining that the scar was the result of trying to protect her mother during a car accident. Since her mother survived, she is quite proud of it, and looks at it as a part of her life she’s happy to have survived through. Such a refreshing attitude, and she’s even more beautiful because of it.

    Michael… Nah, it’s just a paper folder. But it’s got pockets, so papers stay inside of it. Unlike file-folders, which don’t. πŸ™

  8. Sheila says:

    Okay – I think you’ll need to draw us a picture or something. I had cool folders. I had a trapper keeper. I most probably had these PeeChee things you speak of, but I have no idea wtf you’re talking about.

  9. Baak says:

    My PeeChees were always covered with stickers.

    (lol – say that out loud!!)

    Amazing they kept that same sketch artwork for years, and amazing how handy those dang things were. I could use a dozen right now. Now we have 1000 things that don’t hold paper as well, but heck we have more choice, right? πŸ˜‰

    P.S. I am so glad Avitable said “are” and not “is”!

  10. ~jtm says:

    We are about the same age, Dave, and I’ve never seen /heard of Pee-Chee’s… was it a regional thing? School supplies used to be so simple, getting them for my kids is a cut throat proposition, and I swear like Christmas there is always one item that is the ‘hot’ one and all the teachers request it… but it’s always sold out everywhere.

  11. birdie says:

    I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I actually do remember the PeeChee portfolios from circa 1965. Thanks for making my day, Dave. I suddenly feel very old….

  12. kapgar says:

    I graduated high school 14 years ago and I’ve never heard of a Pee-Chee. We used Trapper Keepers in grade school. In high school, it was three-ring binders. Sorry to disappoint, man.

  13. Hilly says:

    They still have Trapper Keepers, by the way, lady and gentleman. They’re all crazy modern now!

    But back to Pee-Chees….those were the BEST folders! I remember when they started coming in various colors too….my girlie heart thumped a bit louder that day!

  14. Jill says:

    Checking out the links, I guess because I live on the east coast it’s not surprising I never heard of Pee-Chees… but that last link had made mention of Encyclopedia Brown. Talk about a blast from the past! I *loved* Encyclopedia Brown books when I was a kid. I was pretty good at figuring out the mystery before the end of the book πŸ™‚

  15. Jeff says:

    They must not have made it to my neck of the woods. But we did the same doodling on our notebooks.

  16. Lewis says:

    My god, you scared me there for a minute. I thought you’d come across a new monkey-like animal in the jungle and called him Pee Chee. And then, for an even worse moment, I thought you’d taken up some new form of sexual gratification. I would almost swear that I saw a similar looking folder just last week at some store…..I really can’t remember…..age, you know…..because my high school has been a couple of years longer than yours. Just call me Daddy.

  17. delmer says:

    I’m a bit older than you and have never heard of Pee Chees. I’m sure we had something similar.

    As for what kids put there papers in these days, my boys drag home back-breaking backpacks each night. (The papers aren’t always nicely sorted.)

  18. diane says:

    I’m with Kapgar and Kilax–I was from the Trapper Keeper generation. Never heard of Pee Chees. Guess you ARE old. πŸ˜‰

  19. karla says:

    is this a regional thing? Me no know no Pee Chees. We were into Trapper Keepers in Texas. Which we covered in stickers as well.

  20. Alissa says:

    I never had a “pee chee” did the Pee Chee evolve to the Trapper Keeper or did they co-exist together?

  21. Tracie says:

    Dave, I’d research that some more. I buy them every year for my kids, including this year. I bought 6 folders. They don’t seem to make them in YELLOW anymore, as the ones I got were pink and blue, but they were definitely Pee Chee folders. Fred Meyer’s has them every year… so I doubt it’s just left over stock?

  22. bogup says:

    Amazing they don’t make Pee-Chees anymore. They were functional and fun. Perhaps a great business opportunity for someone to purchase the copyright and have China print them again, only this time with lead paint.

  23. Wayne says:

    ok I feel better now after reading the comments. Never heard of Pee-Chees. I had Big Chief Tablets and pencils when a wee little lad, and Trapper Keepers in middle school/high school. VELCRO IS AWESOME!

    And I was the one with all the stickers, garbage pail, concert bands (Ozzy, Rush, Metallica, Led Zeppelin) and stuff all over the place.

  24. sizzle says:

    i didn’t even think kids these days used paper, let alone pee-chees.

    but those were the days. i loved decorating my folders.

  25. Miss Britt says:

    Well, I guess I’m in the Don’t Know What The Heck A Pee Chee Is Camp.

    I am, however, totally with you on the awesomeness of Top Chef!

  26. Catherine says:

    Dave, read the last two Paragraphs of Defective Yeti’s Pee-Chee tale. I had a feeling they were still around, even if they are just leftovers and they don’t actually produce them anymore.

    No, I’m sure it was not your imagination. I’ve seen ’em here and there, too. I will be in Seattle later today until Monday and I’m gonna see if I can and find some (Defective Yeti did!). In the meantime, I asked over at whether they have any leftovers. I got a serious wave of nostalgia there!

  27. Faye says:

    I imagine SOME in the Boys Room thought that the Rapture had arrived to take them off to heaven when the lovely Padma caming knocking at their door at 6:00 a.m. wanting breakfast! Top Chef is so much better than Hell’s Kitchen. The chefs get judged, not browbeaten. Sorry to see Tre booted off last week–thought he was a potential winner. I saw that Top Chef 4 will be in Chicago–surely they’ll have to show some pizza prowess?

  28. RW says:

    We used wheelbarrows because we didn’t have paper when I was a kid – we had to chisel stone…

  29. sue says:

    Geez…I’m older than all of you and I’ve never heard of ’em either. That makes me feel really bad. Really, really bad.

    I’m a “Top Chef” junkie.

  30. Hilly says:

    Okay, are PeeChees just a left coast thing? Hrm…cause I can’t believe how many people never heard of them!

  31. ChillyWilly says:

    The Pee-Chee… how many of these did I have and draw on.

    I’m sure others above mentioned this already, but I used to add all sorts of , um.. “extras” to the characters depicted on the Pee-Chee cover, including voice balloons added above the heads of the tennis player and runners.

    Wish I would have saved some of those covers to see what kinds of words I had these immortal athletes saying.

    As yes, Padma is hot. Evidently, too hot for Salmon Rushdie.

  32. Naomi says:

    Fantastic… another thing to feel old about…

  33. Never heard of Pee-Chees and we’re about the same age…

    From what you are all saying, I think they are the same as the cardboard trapper folders that go inside the keeper. Basically a two pocket DuoTang folder with the pockets on the sides and not at the bottom..?

    Something like these that open up into this but without the three holes punched into them so you can stick them in a binder. I used to get some smaller (5×7?) versions of these for my DayPlanner (before I went digital).

    Am I close?

    I got these images from here.

  34. Robin says:

    Sorry, never heard of a Pee Chee…

  35. Dave2 says:

    GAH! $12.45 with shipping!! I think I’ll just keep using file folders, flawed though they may be!

  36. SJ says:

    I still have one of my Pee-Chees from high school. It’s got a bunch of my American Lit assignments in it, ones I thought worth keeping. If I die from this death plague you infected me with (and death seems inevitable at the moment), I shall bequeath it to you with my last agonized breath.

    But just in case, I saw Pee-Chees for sale at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago. Not orange ones, blue and hot pink, but with the same artwork on them. Only I’m not sure they said “Pee-Chee.” Maybe it’s a different company making them now?

  37. margalit says:

    I used a Pee Chee every freaking day of my school career until I hit college. They were the best. I also longed for them when my kids went to school, and miraculously I found some in our local chain Railroad Salvage store, known as Building 19+. I was almost in tears I was so happy. My children refused to carry them. They’re too ugly, they said. Morons!

    Now I use them in my filing system, each of the 6 I got for a different bill I have to pay.

  38. Bre says:

    We grew up with Duo-tang folders – good stuff!

  39. Diesel says:

    I must have missed Pee-Chees. I graduated from high school in 1988. I did have a kickass Trapper Keeper though, which was similarly covered in cartoons drawings.

  40. Jill says:

    What about taping pockets on the file folders? It might not look pretty, but you could customize them the way you want and it might make life easier for you… ~shrug~

  41. Dave – So am I right about the insides being the pockets on the side like the trapper folders?? (Or can you post a photo of the inside?)

    I’ve been asking everyone about these and googling (and losing sleep over it) but still not sure.

  42. SJ says:

    Gary, I’m not Dave, but yes, you are right. Very similar in concept to the internal Trapper Keeper folders, only the pockets were vertical and worked much better. And Pee-Chees weren’t glossy. Or pretty.

  43. jane says:

    I remember PeeChees quite well. They were like a quarter each. I used to color the people, no stickers. FYI: Jim used PeeChees too & he’s 2 years younger than me, class of ’78. My siblings who are OLD used them. I can’t believe they don’t make them anymore. That is just fricking unAmerican!

    I like watching TopChef, but I can’t stand Hung. He’s so not a team player like Howie was. I’m rooting for Casey/Brian or Dale. (although I wanna take a razor to Dale’s head!)

  44. Dave2 says:

    Gary… sadly, I don’t have a Pee-Chee to show you the inside. But they are vertical. On the right-hand flap there was a multiplication table and metric conversion… I can’t remember what was on the left side. πŸ™

  45. Coli says:

    I loved Pee-Chee folders. They were very popular in California. When I was a teenager I moved to Kalamazoo MI and they didn’t sell them here. I just read that the yellow Pee Chee Folder was first released in 1943 by the Western Tablet and Stationery Company of Kalamazoo, Michigan. They were sold to Mead in 1964.

  46. JR says:

    I grew up with Pee-Chee’s in high school and college in California and I think they still make them. I recently traveled to Ogden, UT for work. I was at the Starbucks across from the college and I noticed a student studying had one. I asked where he got it and he said a friend gave it to him. Although it was not the same color as before, it was blue; but it had the Pee-Chee logo and all of the sport artwork on it.

  47. Neto says:

    ha! i have an original Pee Chee folder, my sister had one in storage, in awesome condition!

  48. Carolyn says:

    Wow, all these young’uns! I had pee chees for years. Had to draw in all the daggers, the baseball bat as a spiked club, the basketball guy driving a nail into the other player’s chest etc. Mead still sells them but the illustrations are different.

  49. iknwwhtsup says:

    Everyone that put comments about Pee-Chee folders and say they never heard of them are all NERDS! grow up have heart and be real. Pee-Chees were the best thing. and for those that are as old as the folder I got one thing to say NEERRD!

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