A TRIP DOWN PENNY CANDY LANE

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 🙂

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10 responses to “A TRIP DOWN PENNY CANDY LANE

  1. I agree with the “why did I eat that?”. The pop bottles now seem pretty gross-although, I’m sure my kids would be as thrilled with them as we were. I wonder how much it would cost to purchase all of that now? Maybe I will have to do some research.

  2. Mmmmm candy, I love candy. Remember the wax lips? Man those things were awful, but we chewed em up anyway. There is another website called candy you ate as a kid that sells some blasts from the past. Alright, now I’m hungry darn it!

  3. i love candy stores, the way they smell is divine. i still really enjoy candy necklaces and bracelets 🙂

  4. You mentioned all of my favorites. I have nothing to say.

  5. What a great story. We used to go to Jim’s Market for our candy. It was merely a convenience store, so it didn’t feature all the candies you mentioned here, but it and the folks who ran it hold a special place in my childhood memories.

    Local to us now, we found Mom and Pop Corn, which has lots of these older candies. Their nostalgic candy section even includes candy cigarettes.

    If I may insert a link:
    Mom and Pop Corn

  6. Oh, what a wonderful post! I thoroughly enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I remember all of the items you mentioned, and even a few that you didn’t.
    We used to get 10 cents for our pop bottles. So, a six pack would get us 60 cents to work with. But we’d also buy comic books with some of the money.

  7. what a great post. you have brought back some wonderful memories 🙂

    i used to also go down to the penny candy store that was right around the corner from our little place. i can remember standing there for the longest trying to choose my candy… all for my little cavity prone teeth, as well. and i still have probs to this day w/ my teeth (one reason i don’t want naief to eat too much of it)

    when we were in the states, we went to laguna beach and while we were walking around, we happened upon a candy store w/ all of this stuff… but for much more than we used to pay.

    i loved the big candy lips and would chew that wax forever, it seems like. i’d also get those candy cigs and puff away like there was no tomorrow, always chewing the gum after. 😉 loved the candy necklaces and once i discovered wearing it around my wrist, not sure that i ever put it on my neck again.

    i remember the pop bottles… i loved that liquid inside….

    i also loved those pop rocks, but was a teenager then… just loved the way they’d pop inside my mouth and throat… gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

    gonna check out this site to see what else i’m forgetting.

    oh yeah… got some pixie stix when we were in the states… naief LOVES them and so does hashim! 🙂 i don’t care for them now… am hooked on red licorice, bit o’ honey, butterfingers, that candy i’ve gotten the name of again!! 😉

    gosh, i love candy!

  8. wow…no wonder i have bad teeth!!! there is soo much on that site that i still love.

    maybe i should be counting my blessings that we don’t have trick or treating, like in the states, here in bahrain!

  9. I don’t remember the “records”. The little place I used to go was Verb’s I’d stop on the way home from school. Loved the flying saucers and “ice cream cones” and pop bottles. You can still find them here in town once in a while 😉 Like the others said, thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  10. Everybody: I enjoyed your comments as much as you seem to have enjoyed the post 🙂

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