Penny Candyby Tyler Woods on Aug. 11, 2010, under Life
Recently I was standing in line at a covenant store and I saw a swarm of kids looking at the candy. Their mother was yelling, “no no not that it cost too much.” That was normally followed by a little whining and a “come on mom.” I was amazed at how much the candy run had cost this poor mother and it got me thinking…
Whatever happened to penny candy? When I was a kid, my mom could give us kids a dime and we could get enough candy to get a belly ache. I know that sounds impossible, but believe me, it wasn’t. Sometimes she would give us 50 cents and we would stock up. Now, 50 cents might buy you a candy bar on sale, but it is rare.
Penny candy was a real treat for young kids and to top it off, there was every imaginable flavor in the world, all for a penny. Come on, it didn’t get much better. It cost a penny for a piece of salt water taffy, a sucker, a jawbreaker, a tootsie roll, root beer balls, bubble gum cigars, Abba Zaba mini bars, Bit-O-Honey , Caramel Squares, Now and Later, mini Slo Pokes, wax lips, and wax containers that looked like little soda bottles filled with sweet liquid. The list could go on and on and so can the memories.
For a nickel, you could get almost any candy bar like Mounds bar or Almond Joy, Dots, Sugar Daddy, Clark bar, Nut Goodie Bar, Big Hunk and a pack a candy cigarettes. Then there were the specialty candies that I loved like Horlicks Malted Milk Tablets and Satellite Wafers the flying saucer candy. Oh the memories are coming in now! Not only was this a cheap form of entertainment, it became a part of life. You could get your penny candy and trade with other people.
I loved eating my penny candy. I am unsure if I had a favorite, I suppose it depended on my mood. I think I really liked the little wax bottles filled with sweet flavored syrup. It was so fun to bite off the top, tilt the bottle to my lips, take a swig, then chew on the wax and spit it out. It was almost like a ritual. I did lean however, that you never left wax soda bottles in the hot car in the summer. Perhaps that will be another story one day.
The other memories I have about penny candy is not all kids got the opportunity to get penny candy, so those of us who did get penny candy, we could use it to get other needs met. For instance, a tootsie roll, a jawbreaker and one wax lips got me out of doggy doo detail. All I had to do was offer the neighbor boy bribes in candy. If he did chores I did not want to do, then he would get a few pieces of my penny candy. The only thing you had to be careful of is not getting caught.
Penny candy holds a great deal of memory for those of us who were fortunate enough to live in a time where a dime could satisfy your sweet tooth and give you entertainment. We did not need video games or cell phones for pure pleasure; all we needed was a dime, and a friendly clerk.