Sunday, March 30, 2008

Flash Back- The Penny Candy Counter

A long time ago I promised to write a story about my childhood memories of the penny candy counter. I hope to paint the picture for you; to transport you to a time in the late 1960's and early 1970's. To feel the joy that a simple thing like a small paper bag of 10 cents worth of candy could provide.

When I was little, my Mom would take me to the store in downtown. They had a big wooden, curved glass front case filled with penny candy delights. I remember pressing myself against the glass to agonize over my decision. Which 10 items would I choose today with the sweaty little coin I had held tightly in my fist? It didn't really matter because they were all favorites. Each and every one of them, set up like individual prizes within the brightly colored display boxes from the candy company or piled high inside the tilted glass jars.

Sometimes you could get more than 10 pieces of candy with a shiny dime as certain scrumptious confections were sold 2 for a penny! How patient one would have to be if being employed as the nice lady behind the candy counter. She would stand there ready to take orders as the child's mind pondered, finally decided and often changed about which item to drop into the paper sack.

Those were the days when every Mom that I knew personally was at home all day. Maybe baking cookies for an after school treat with a cold glass of whole milk, and predictably planning a dinner to be on the family table at promptly 6:00. I knew that some Mom's worked part time and some even held very important jobs. Most of the Mom's in my neighborhood were in the doorway to greet school children as they got off the bus in the afternoon. In my imagination there was one super important proud and important you must feel to have a Mom that works behind the penny candy counter!! Does it mean you get a discount or free stuff?

I think the feeling of clutching a small brown paper sack in a child size hand, walking away from the penny candy counter, is one of those innocent vivid memories we all need to hold on to and recall. Especially on those days as an adult when you have to come up with the money to pay the property taxes and your mailbox is filled with utility bills with your name on them.
What a slice of simple bliss, innocence, and yummy fun-- all for a small shiny coin

Now-- making it all last; savoring 10 pieces slowly-- is a whole other story!!


Lily Pepper said...

I too enjoyed all these goodies. I used to do some "dusting" for my aunt and she would give me a quarter and later in the day let me walk to a little store not far from her house where they had a penny candy counter filled with these same sweet treats. With my quarter I could get a whole bag of delightful goodness that would last for quite awhile. Thanks for the memories! Sue

She'sSewPretty said...

We didn't have a store with a candy counter in Germany where I grew up but a man came in a van selling bread. He had little lollipops with plastic handles in shapes and it was a treat to buy one. Then you could play with the handle. Memories. You did pick some of my favorite candy though. Bit o' honeys and mary janes.

Farm Chick Paula said...

Wow-that was a great trip back in time, Amy! Remember wax lips? Pixie Stix? There used to be a little general store near where I grew up, and I would BEG my Daddy to take me there for candy. Kids nowadays would probably think that was the most ridiculous thing they'd ever heard of to have to beg your parents for candy!
I love your blog!

Lori said...

Hi Amy, Wow, beautiful post and true! Next to my Catholic grade scholl we had Gene's and she had a whole counter of the candy you posted! Remember those wafer like saucers that had little candy balls inside? or "lipsticks"? I wish I could take my grandson's to a step in time to view such a wonderous simple pleasure time! Heck, I'd be happy to go back! Love,Lori