I felt like writing but not thinking just now so I thought I’d write about something easy. Um Naief got me thinking about candy. Seemed like a good topic…
When I was little, we lived a block and a half away from Bradford’s Store. Mr. and Mrs. Bradford were an older Mom and Pop-type who ran the store and were awesome. Both heavy-set and gray-haired. And very patient, as I remember, as they would stand behind the counter holding little paper bags while we chose the penny candy that we sometimes paid for with the two-cent deposits we got when we traded in our pop bottles. Yeah, really. For ten pop bottles, we could get 20 pieces of wonderful candy. There were shelves and shelves of boxes of a gazillion kinds of candy behind the counter. The penny stuff was on the lower shelves and the nickel candy bars were on the higher shelves. Only when we were “rich,” did we venture up into the highlands…
I loved what we called “records” which were flat spools of black licorice curled into a spiral with a round red candy dot in the center. You could unroll the licorice and eat it in one long strip.
I also loved the brown and pink and white blocks of coconut, gooey candy. I don’t think we had a name for them. The “Bacon Strips,” as we called them, were the same only flat, like bacon. And there were Watermelon Slices, made out of the same stuff, only they were white and pink/red and green. Yum, yum. And there were little wax bottles that you bit the top off to drink the flavored liquid inside. Of course they were called “pop bottles” and if I remember correctly, they came in a little cardboard pack with a carrying handle of maybe 4 bottles or so. Remember PixieStix? A long paper straw that contained colored, flavored sugar powder. You could choke if you inhaled the stuff.
I also loved “Lipstick,” a chalky, cherry-flavored red candy in the shape of a lipstick covered in silver paper and wrapped in cellophane. And then there were the waxy “lips” that had a little ledge that you bit into and it looked like you had a big red clown mouth. I still can’t believe we actually ate the things. The flavor was not that great.
Of course there were Rootbeer Barrels and Butterscotch discs which are still around today. As well as Bit-O-Honey and MaryJanes. Had I known they would be so plentiful in my grown-up life, I wouldn’t have squandered my pennies on them back then… I would have purchased more of those Flying Saucers (the little styrofoam-like UFOs with the tiny sugar balls inside) and the Icecream cones that were real cones with fake marshmallow “icecream” covered in colored sugar.
Candy necklaces were fun, too. Little colored candy beads strung on elastic that you could wear around your neck and chomp away on at the same time. I thought I was pretty cool when I found that you could wrap one twice around your wrist and make a bracelet, too. The bracelets were much easier to eat while wearing.
A “buying trip” would not be complete without Bubblegum. Either DoubleBubble or Bazooka… those little blocks of pink wonderfulness that not only tasted like heaven, but gave us hours of extra fun blowing bubbles. And, gracious, don’t forget the comics they came wrapped in with the teeny fortune written at the bottom of the “funnies.” I never did have a favorite of the two brands, they were both equally satisfying to my little cavity-prone mouth.
Have a Sweet Day 🙂