August 8, 2022 at 2:23 p.m.
Thinking about colors has helped me slide down memory lane to a time when I was just a youngster, not yet six years old. Our local grocery store had a special area for candies of all types.
Black licorice or red licorice—one cent a stick. It was such fun as the sticks were so pliable. You could hold it up straight, then coil it into a neat bundle that just fit in your pant pocket. The Jaw Breakers were of three types: small about the size of a marble—two for a penny, a size a little larger—one cent, and then the large ones that sold for two cents! These Jaw Breakers were such fun. We marveled as we ate the first layer to see what color came next. What fun! And they melted so slowly.
The fudge was laid out beautifully. Each piece sat there—dark chocolate or cream tan chocolate. They made my mouth water, but they cost a nickel for one piece. Maybe a piece for your birthday.
The candy bars were so pretty. The Babe Ruth, bright red cover, so tasty! Caramel and nuts pushed into the sweet chocolate. We felt so rich when we had a nickel, we could spend for one. The Mars Bars, soft brown chocolate. The Mounds Bars—two to a package, filled with coconut. We always smelled the wrapper before we ate them.
I always had to take a box of Chocolate Covered Cherries in my hand. My mouth watered as I looked at a picture on the box—that chocolate broken open with the white cream just flowing off the bright red cherry. I never had the quarter to buy them. However, when Christmas arrived, there was a box with my name on it.
Gum was another treat—the two-inch square carefully wrapped with bright colored wax paper. A solid piece of pink gum sitting on a card that had a picture of an Indian Chief—two cents happily spent.
Any day we could round up a nickel was a feast day. Decisions had to be made. We made them happily. Life was good! What fun! Wish I could be a kid again.
Roger Wilson most recently taught in Washington. Before that, he was raised in Wyoming and went where the work was for Roughnecks, cowboys, Merchant Marines, airplane pilots, and other exciting careers. This piece is an excerpt from his book Loving Life, a Roughneck’s Guide to Having It All. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1515096955
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