Sweet Memories

Saturday, January 15, 2011

From age 13 on, my brothers were old enough that I didn't have to "baby-sit" them after school. That meant I could walk up to Hall's Corner in my hometown of Duxbury, MA. Sometimes I would just browse the stores ranging from a five and dime, to a Rexhall's Drug Store with soda fountain, to a clothing store to a bakery and finally to what we would now deem a local convenience store.

I don't remember the store's name, but I can envision it clearly. It sat on a corner and the door faced the corner itself...crooked to all the other store fronts. Walking in you heard the bell that announced the comings and goings. It was a very small store and very packed with goods. Newspapers, magazines, soda but most importantly....candy. Especially penny candy...

Money was hard to come by and I earned mine mostly from baby-sitting at that age. I charged 50 cents an hour and 75 cents after midnight. I loved it when they stayed out late....more money for me! I always did more than just baby-sit....picked up the house, did the dishes. Those kinds of things usually meant I'd get called back. But I digress...

Candy in the 1950's was different from today, especially the penny candy. Bins and bins of choices...in jars, on counters, behind glass doors, on shelves. We all had our favorites. Some of mine were candy cigarettes (yes, we pretended we were smoking them and if you were lucky some of the sugar powder would come off and make it look more real).

Atomic fireballs....they seemed to last forever. I always saved the wrapper because my mouth needed a rest before I could finish the whole thing. Red hot dollars weren't red hot but they were an early exposure to strawberry licorice candies that have addicted me as an adult.

Many of the candy bars are still out there today.... Snickers, 3 Muskateers, Tootsie Rolls, Chunky Bars...and from time to time I can still find a Charleston Chew. My grandmother kept those in the freezer. Upon taking it out she would smack it on the counter to break it up into little pieces. I still prefer mine unfrozen. LOL!

Soft orange chewy peanuts, candy button dots, Chuckles, Necco Wafers, Nougats, caramel creme rounds.....so many choices. Is it a wonder that the dentists love to see us? LOL!

I've found some of my older favorites that are no longer in stores being sold at Vermont Country Store. No longer "penny" candy, but sometimes it's worth it to bring back the memories.

Another old favorite I found there are raisin biscuits....these were a real treat in our house and I haven't seen them for years. Looks like they are now made in the UK...don't think I need to refresh my memory that bad. LOL!

I don't remember having any type of soda at home but I do remember stopping in a local restaurant in Hall's Corner for french fries (oh my were they good) and a vanilla Coke. At home our treat was either Kool-Aid with sugar added or Zarex. Zarex was a sweet fruit syrup that was mixed with water. Orange and lime were the two flavors in our household. It came in a clear little jug with a handle. [It appears that someone is bringing it back as ZaRex...gotta love the baby boomer market!]

So, what was your favorite candy from your childhood? Is it still available?

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu


  1. Necco Wafers! And little gold metal cups with a little metal spoon to dig out the choc candy. Also little choc bears. Loved to go to a corner store in Buffalo,NY where my grandparents lived. I see you are from Duxbury. I live in Sharon MA for 25 yrs, till moving to Davenport FL.

  2. I liked Slo-Poke caramel suckers that lasted a long time, also those little wax bottles that had a teeny amount of very sweet liquid in them. For drinks, we drank Koolaid, too, but does anyone remember Fizzies? You dropped them into water and they fizzed and fizzed and then made a soda-like sweet drink.

  3. Do you remember the wax soda straw like things with colored flavored sugar syrup in them? I can't remember what they were called, but we used to chew and chew the wax until we got all the flavor out of it! I'm sure they were only a penny too!

  4. For me it was shoestring licorice, Turkish Taffy (frozen and smacked on the counter), a brand of English toffee's that escape my memory were a big hit, too. My all time favorite was and still is a Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar.

  5. Forgot to mention that most houses were like ours where you only saw a bottle of soda, (pop) at Christmas or maybe if you were lucky on a birthday, at Christmas time my Dad would bring home a case of assorted Crystal Club Flavors in quart bottles, of course at least 3 or 4 were Ginger Ale or Club Soda to give to the Adult visitors who preferred something a little stronger than plain soda. Rest of the year it was milk or ice water from a big bottle kept cold in the fridge that you had to refill and put back when it got low. Even Kool -aid was rare because sugar cost money and was used in baking. How can we say those were the good ole days. Today there is always soda or treats in the fridge and cupboards. Be safe out there. Sam &Donna.

  6. One day when I was about 8, my desire for a jawbreaker overcame my good sense, so I sneaked it into my pocket at the little store by our house. My mom caught me putting it into my mouth and quizzed me about it, since she knew I had no money. I confessed. She spanked me, hunted a penny and forced me to go the store and pay and apologize. I also got a whipping from dad when he got home.

    I learned my lesson and thereafter only enjoyed candy whenever I might have a penny or two (normally found by returning pop bottles for their deposit).

    Water was the drink. Often from the hose of a neighbor when playing outside or from the communal tin cup off the well when out in the country.

    A rootbeer float was my idea of the "bestest" treat when I went to town with my grandparents. And, if I was real lucky, my grandmother would share a stick (her half, me half) of Juicy Fruit gum with me on the way home.

  7. When I was in the third grade, there was a store on the corner across from the school that sold penny candy. There was always a line of us in front of the glass display that held the amazing, colorful assortment of candy. Can't recall a specific candy, but it would have been chocolate.

    Another "corner store" I remember sold eskimo pies for a dime. It was down the street from our aunt's house, and getting a dime was never a problem from my older cousins or adults who wanted a few minutes of quiet.

    We rarely had soft drinks in the house either, and to this day I rarely drink them.
    Great topic, brings back so many wonderful memories.

  8. My Mom's fudge was my favourite and black licorice especially the licorice pipes.

    We, too, got Kool Aid once in a while but my Mother was convinced that sodas and Kool Aid and that kind of thing would destroy your kidneys. A lady friend of our family used to bring us Fizzies. It was a tablet that you drop in a glass of water. Root beer was my favourite of those.

  9. I liked the 2 cent box of pumpkin seeds. I remember that the box was red and had the head of an Indian chief on it. When I was 13, I worked the candy counter after school at the neighborhood store. The owner was a woman from Italy that didn't speak English very well, so she couldn't deal with all those kids spending their pennies. :)

  10. Those raisin bars don't come cheap.

  11. Remember Teaberry and Black Jack gum? I loved both of those. I don't think I had a favorite. I remember most everything listed here, and I don't think there's a thing I disliked! lol!

  12. Oh Donna those are a lot of great memories I am sure for all of us... I loved almost all of it but Tootsie rolls and Snickers have always been at the top of the list. I was raised here in Florida and we were in the country at that time which is now city!!! So our candy stop was the Little General conveince store. But when we'd go back to Lynn, Ma or the Cape for the summers I remember the old candy stores there. Thanks for the memories!
    Have fun & Travel Safe

  13. How funny! A couple of months ago my younger daughter called me. She wanted to know the name of those raisin bars. I could not remember. She did a search and found they were made by Sunshine Baking Co. She did a further search and ordered a case of what you found. We flew in to visit her in NJ in Dec and she gave me one. Then I went to my other daughters in MD. I asked her if she remembered them. She even remembered they were from Sunshine Baking Co. I told her I had one, asked if she wanted it. YES! So - I really don't know if they taste the same. Do they? They were a favorite of ours and in seems lots of other people. So why are they no more?????

  14. If you ever make it to San Antonio TX. . .make sure to visit the SAS Shoe Factory. . .they have "most" of these memories for sale in their store and museum. The factory tour is great too!

  15. I grew up in the tiny town of Bear Creek here in AL. We had one... count 'em - ONE!!... store... Herman's. I loved the little foil wrapped chocolate footballs, although they were 3 cents each... I also loved the little packs of sour powder with a candy stick. We called them Lick 'Em Sticks... Not sure that is the accurate name, but they were good!

    Great post, Donna. Brought back memories for all of your readers!

    Kerri in AL :-)

  16. I remember all of that and more. Remember the candy necklace you could wear so you could nibble off it until it was gone? For some reason the boys never bought those. :)

    We also drank Kool-Aid. The only time I remember having pop in the house was when Mom learned to make pizza and hosted a pizza party with a jug of A&W Rootbeer. I liked both but not together.

    So who drank the pop from the bottles we returned to get the money for candy?

  17. I loved the sugar babies, taffy(all flavors), regular red hots, and the all day suckers. What memories you have brought back. I used to do ironing when I babysat, and that really had them calling back.

  18. Just loved this post. Made me forget all the problems of the past few days. I was particularly fond of Mallo Cups. They resembled Reese's peanut butter cups but were filled with creamy marshmallow instead. They initiated a girth issue that has remained loyal over the years.

  19. Great blog! We lived with my grandparents until I was 5yo, above their small-town little grocery store. Needless to say I "sampled" everything ...and often. I'm telling you every favorite mentioned in the post and the comments I've sampled. Incredible memories...thanks to all for the trip back.

  20. We had a grocery a block from our home. It was run by a German couple, the Keschners, who lived upstairs over the grocery. They had Sputnick bubble gum, Chum Gum, Dots and Raisinettes...I'm 62 years old...and still wish I could get the Chum Gum...

  21. So many Fav's to consider. Loved the Penny Candy Corner Store, in Duluth, Mn (Kindergarten-2nd Grade) Younger sister and I would spend a few cents on the wax mini-pop bottles with the sweet liquid. I liked Milk Dud's and I think you can still buy them- maybe an Adult version is Werthers. We didn't have "PoP" at home. Did have KoolAid. When my Grandma stayed with us, she made "homeade Root Beer" and that was a big experiment! It wasn't Great like the A & W Root Beer in Frosty Mugs (on very special occasions), but it was still fun to have a beverage other than Kool Aid. Yes, we drank a lot of tap water.
    Lot's of great memories. One of my Aunties would offer us a Coke in a Bottle, or "Bubble Up" like 7-UP when we visited. That was wonderful. As a Baby Boomer; oldest of 8, life was good and didn't realize how my Folks had to stretch the food budget. Mom mixed "Dry" Milk, she bought "oleo margarine" and us kids would have a blast mixing the yellow coloring into this baggie like package of "margerine". Our sweet treats were mostly homemade and when MoM mad Caramel Rolls THEY topped Milk Duds, and All Day Suckers, and Black Cow Suckers too.
    Oh my, I feel like a 5 yr old again. sigh.
    Take Care Friends, Karen

    January 16, 2011 4:34 PM

  22. Bonomos Turkish taffy, banana flavor..Pixie sticks, like eating dry jello thru little tubes...the paper would get soggy by the time you got to the last part of it...Cracker Barrel carries a lot of old timey candy... it's great to have help remembering this stuff!

  23. I loved those Atomic Fireballs too, but after reading the other comments, they brought back so many good memories. I guess I loved them all!

  24. I too was a fan of the turkish taffy! We had a candy store across from school as well. Funny, we bought candy with our pennies several times a week and none of us were fat! I guess it was because we also walked a mile or more to school!

  25. My favorite treat wasn't really candy, but close. We use to love to go to the SS Kresges counter in town and they had a cookie that was kind of a graham cracker with a star shaped marshmallow puff on top and the center had a hole that was filled with a kind of raspberry jelly kind of filling and then the whole cookie was dipped in wonderful chocolate. I've found the graham cracker cookies with marshmallow and chocolate coating, but have not seen them with the raspberry filling since I was in high school in the 60's! Does anyone know where you can buy them these days?

  26. Oh, yes ... it was great to discover some of the childhood favorites were available from "Vermont Country Store". Favs? Well, don't think I met a candy I didn't like, but I loved Black Jack gum and got into lots of trouble 'blacking out' my front teeth for that toothless 'gummer' look - made my folks crazy! And Dave is always pleased when the VCS package arrives with more horehound candy - you should see the expression on a store clerk's face when you ask for THAT one.
    Happy memories - thanx, everyone. LdB


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