C is for candy (and cigarettes)

I was finishing off a box of Malteasers the other day and I started wondering – who doesn’t like candy?

Then I started thinking back to the penny candies and treats I used to love as a kid. The highlight of my week was a trip to the local candy store with a dime clutched in my hand.

A dime went a long way back then and the hardest part was choosing which candy would fill the paper bag the storekeeper would hold onto while you picked out your goodies. For instance:

* a cup (like the ones they use in hospitals nowadays for pills) filled with cinnamon hearts – 1 cent

* a triangle-shaped container filled with powder that we sucked out through a licorice straw – 3 cents

* a chocolate bar (Sweet Marie was my favorite) – 5 cents

I didn’t buy chocolate bars very often. Even at that early age, I was learning to figure out economics. I could buy a whole bag of penny candies  for the same price as that chocolate bar, and those candies would last longer.

Sponge toffee, gobstoppers, Lik-M-Aid (almost like jelly powder with a candy stick), chocolate coins covered with gold wrapping, Turkish taffy – loved them all.

But no list of candy would be complete without mentioning candy cigarettes. We thought we were so grown-up walking around with that “cigarette” between our fingers and flicking our imaginary ash, ignoring the fact that our lips were white from the coating and that the ends disintegrated when the sugar melted.

I’ve been on Google and there are quite a few on-line stores that still sell “retro” candy. I think I’m going to have to make up a shopping list.

What about you? What was your favorite candy as a kid?


C is for candy (and cigarettes) — 17 Comments

  1. 😉 I remember the candy cigarettes too and walking around just like you did. How funny! I also remember the candy necklaces….and when my kids were small I bought some for them to enjoy….but talk about sticky, messy fun! No wonder my dad would always try and talk me into buying something else.

    But I have to admit I’m a bit boring when it comes to candy…give me chocolate most of the time and I’m a happy girl!

  2. I loved the wax pop bottles. You bit off the tip and sucked the sugary juice out of it. Then you chewed the pop bottle. Nowadays that gets a big old ewww out of me. But back then they were heaven!

    Great post!

  3. My dad is a three pack a day smoker. I emulated every move he made when I was a kid. Having a pack of candy cigarettes in my pocket made me feel just like him.

    Love ya, Pop!

  4. What a great bunch of memories you opened up for me. We felt so grown up, biking down to the little Mom and Pop store, doling out our pennies. I guess it says a lot about me that I spent my money on the chocolate, eh? Mom and Dad forbade me the candy cigs – although I did sneak them a few times.

  5. Christine, I forgot about the sticky mess. I can’t imagine eating half the stuff now that I did back then.

  6. Sharon, I forgot about the wax pop bottles. I liked the juice but I wasn’t crazy about the taste of the bottle.

  7. Jennifer, ooh, whistle pops. Yes! Forgot about those. Didn’t like anything sour. Still don’t.

  8. D’Ann, we picked up a lot of bad habits back then, didn’t we? It wasn’t far to go from those candy cigarettes to the real thing.

  9. Tam, it’s fun to reminisce once in a while. As an adult, my parents had a small country store with a real penny candy counter. I loved to see the little ones come in, remembering how it felt.

  10. I was a Bazooka Bubblegum girl who liked a chaser of Pop-Rocks. Back then, Bazooka was two for a penny. Pop-Rocks actually came out later, but I still remember them. I have a retro candy store in the next town over. It’s fun to go in and buy packages from the past.

  11. LOL, love this post. Brings back so many memories.
    I remember all the candies you mentioned–and like you, I hardly bought chocolate bars because I could fill a little, brown paper bag with candies for the same price.

  12. Oh, yeah, penny candy. I loved Swedish Fish… Still do. My grandpa used to take me to this old gas station and they still sold cany from behind a glass case.

    I’d get a bagful of red fish and Toosie Rolls. Yum…

    Loved those days.

    Thanks for the memory.