Who remembers these?

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I admit I’m old enough to remember a penny candy store in my hometown. It was pure heaven for a child and the experience went something like this:

1. Your mother gave you a dollar.

2. You jumped on your banana seat Schwinn (with glittered streamers hanging off the handlebars because yeah, girlfriend… you rocked!) and pedaled like mad until you reached a hole in the wall shop by the railroad station.

( It was next to the Wo Lee Laundry run by your friend Wanda’s family. They lived upstairs and her mother didn’t speak a word of English. Poor Wanda missed a lot of childhood events helping her family clean rich people’s clothes. But it’s okay, don’t feel badly. Wanda was one smart cookie and graduated Harvard Med with honors. Somebody’s probably washing her clothes now. 😊)

3. You breathlessly entered the tiny store and the bell over the rickety old door clanged loudly enough to raise the dead. An elderly man hobbled out from the back room and took up position behind a miraculous display case filled with nothing but large jars of candy. He whipped out a small paper bag and said… go!

4. You spent a tense 10-15 minutes getting the mix just right. A dollars worth of penny candy was 100 pieces! 10 Bottle Caps or 15? 5 Pixie Sticks or 5 Razzles? Malted milk balls or Bit O Honey? Chuckles or Necco wafers? These were important decisions.

Most of the candies from my youth are gone, for which my teeth and hips are probably thankful…. but I saw this ad on Facebook last week and damned if it didn’t take me back to the mouth watering anticipation of having a bag filled with 100 pieces of customized candy.

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The original gummy candy. Why fish? Why not….

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If you’ve ever sucked on a root beer barrel? You know the exquisite combination of pleasure and pain. To hell with S&M kinky sex, slicing your tongue open on a razor sharp sliver of this sugar filled deliciousness is the very definition of ‘so bad, it’s good’.

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Nope. Those putrid pillowy abominations never made it into my bag. Uh uh.

🤨

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Lots of kids loved these, but I’m anti nut and always took a hard pass.

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Melt in your mouth little pockets of goodness right there. If I’m ever lucky enough to see them on the hostess stand as I exit a restaurant? I make everyone grab a handful and fill my purse with the bounty. Some opportunities can not be overlooked.

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43 thoughts on “Who remembers these?”

  1. With me, it was walking across the bridge with my brother and sister, to get to the general store. We were five, six and seven years old. Oh, and we’d be holding quarters.

    Fireballs, Mary Janes, gum… we’d have colored saliva drooling out the sides of our mouths for days…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember them all and also not a fan of the circus peanuts. My store was called Ben Franklins. It was a little known fact to me and my friends that one particular newspaper machine (remember those?) had a flaw. If you banged on the coin return in just the right way it would drop quarters out the return slot. Then in to Ben’s we would go for our penny candy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a bit longer in the toot. A half dollar bought enough candy to make you ill. All called “penny candy”
    Jaw Breakers, Tootsie Rolls, Bazooka gum, Smarties, all leading to dental visits …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Those all look great. My wife found a place to buy old candy online and one year, she bought people old candy for a party. It was fun. We also had a local storefront nearby open that had ALL old candy. They closed, but I think only because they changed their focus to making pudding which is a whole different story. I love finding a Zagnut. You don’t see them in the grocery store. Five below has them along with some other old candy. Bit’o Honey, I’ve only seen at Cracker Barrel. My wife and I were just talking about how when we were kids, you’d go to the mall and there was always a place selling hot cashews and other nuts and I think they had candy too. I wonder what made those go away? I’d say people still like nuts, but then, I guess allergies might have won that battle.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Most of these still exist in some form (I know we sell the first three in the candy aisle at Mecca), but due to all of the official and unofficial changes in the health code, have probably been modified beyond recognition and taste. I’m looking at YOU candy cigarettes…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One modification, in #2: Guys put baseball cards in their spokes to sound like a Harley…”vrooom”. Of course, at the time we did not realize that those baseball cards could later on fund a four year education.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My husband had… are you ready? A 1952 Mickey Mantle. Yes, the rookie card that recently sold for 5.2 million. It was given to him by his grandfather… and between the spokes is exactly where it went.
      😩😩😩

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah yes, we had one of these and the man who owned the store was a real character from the city of New York. I can remember visiting the store and picking out the candies to put in a paper bag. It was fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I know I’m late to the party here but, Root Beer Barrels….mmmm delish! Bottle Caps, Pixie stix, loved those! Hell I still buy Sixlets and eat almost the entire bag (which has like a thousand little bags of ten.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. One of the metro parks near where I live is an old farm. We used to take the boys there a lot to see the farm animals, watch cooking demonstrations with people dressed like it was the late 1800s, the boys did candle dipping, etc. They also used to have a little candy shop that had all kinds of old timey candy. It closed a few years ago because the woman who ran it retired.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Riding my bike to the local drug store for penny candy, bubble gum and comic books was the highlight of my week and how I spent most of my hard-earned (by pulling weeds) allowance of 25-cents each week while in grade school. (Our tastes for sweets are very simpatico.)

    But we had a rule in our house, adopted on our dentist’s advice: candy allowed only on Fridays, after dinner, with serious tooth-brushing afterward. Mom would buy whatever we wanted; there was a tempting stockpile of candies on a shelf in the kitchen pantry waiting for us each Friday. My brothers and I gorged ourselves while watching Wild Wild West and other favorite TV shows. Talk about a sugar high! A side benefit of the rule: more allowance left for comic books.

    Liked by 1 person

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