I was a little kid back in the late 1970s. My most prized possession was my Misty Rose banana seat bike. I rode it around the whole neighborhood, all by myself. Back then, parents (or at least mine) had no fear of children being abducted or otherwise harmed. I certainly didn’t grow up with such fears. I guess my only dangerous encounter was when I was riding down a quiet road one day, daydreaming, only to be snapped out of my trance by the sound of a braking car. I then looked, and quickly stopped my bike staring head on with the car. I remember apologizing to the driver, and them warning me to pay more attention.
There were a couple little stores in the area,one on each end of the neighborhood, which I simply labeled as “candy stores”. One was a fairly new 7-Eleven quick mart, the other was a privately owned joint called the Orange Wood Deli. I’d ride to one of them nearly every day with some change, or even a dollar bill I earned from my simple chores at home. Sometimes mom would even give me some extra money so that I could buy her a treat, too. She’d make me promise not to tell anyone else. Ha, ha! Years later as an adult, I’d find out that she said the same thing to my sister and brother.
Once I searched through my mom’s bureau drawer and found a bunch of shiny dimes, and used them for candy. A few days later, mom asked me if I took them. I said yes. Apparently, they were silver dimes. Whoops! Luckily, I didn’t get into too much trouble. I wonder if the store clerk or another customer ever figured that out? They were definitely worth more than 10 cents!
I would never buy a lollipop at the stores, unless my money supply was really low. I think they were the very cheapest candy available, for like 5 cents or less, and I didn’t think they tasted good. Really, the only time I even touched a lollipop was when they gave them out for free at the bank or the doctor’s office. No, I had more sophisticated tastes back then. My ultimate favorite candy was called Toffifee, which happened to be the most expensive individual-sized candy available, at about 25 or 30 cents. It was a package of only three little mini candies containing a hazelnut in caramel, with creamy nougat and chocolate. As you can see below, they looked very fancy and sophisticated. They tasted mighty good, too.
I guess my other favorite candies were Almond Joys (still like them) and Charleston Chews (but only the strawberry flavor, covered with chocolate). The advantage of the Charleston Chew was that it was very big. Again, it cost at least 25 cents back in the late 1970s, but oh so worth it! The tastes of these candies also struck an eight year old as superior, especially to things like the sheets of white paper with colored sugar dots, and junk like that.
Well, I don’t eat that many candy bars anymore, but when I do, I’ll admit that I’ve graduated to even more luxury options. The German import Ritter Sport with marizipan or hazelnuts, or the Swiss Lindt chocolates of various flavors both go particularly well with a fine mini cup of strong espresso.
Toffifee is almost impossible to find anymore in my stores. The Charleston Chew strawberry flavor is rare, too. They now cost well over $1 for the same size I ate as a kid. Of course, Almond Joy is still readily available. Yea, I eat one from time to time. I’m afraid I don’t ride a bike very much anymore. I certainly should to burn off the calories.
Now my mouth is watering thinking of chocolate, and it’s not even 10 am.