Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sweet Nostalgia

Sweets rocked my world as a child. I was partial to almost anything. I could often be found at local bake sales, such was my devotion. As surprising as it may sound today, I was totally taken with those lovely cinnamon toothpicks that were sold in cornershops in the late seventies and early eighties. I realize, they were merely toothpicks but how I enjoyed them and longed for the next packet. Sadly the shops stopped carrying them and we were left only with soon to be faded memories. It wasn't a dream was it?

There were so many goodies back in the day that aren't available now and it's such a shame. I hadn't quite noticed while growing up that the "times" are even reflected in chocolates and potato chips. Actually it's reflected in everything. Will I be reminiscing about my thirties, thirty years from now? You bet. I'm just wired that way.

Fear not dear reader, for there's a way to make such reflections more tangible, as in the reach out and taste them variety: Sweet Nostalgia offers for sale old-time candy, games, and a host of other novelty items on their website. While browsing, I discovered a few items that made living more pleasurable when I was a kid:

I posted the following piece entitled "Sweet Memories" in my personal weblog two years ago. It offers another look into my childhood (and ever present) penchant for sweets and such:
Cinnamon toothpicks, FreshenUp gum, Mackintosh’s toffees, multi-coloured gumballs, suckable rings made of candy, every-flavored lollipops, jaw tensing and breaking bubble gums (chiefly Bubble King, Rainblo, Hubba Bubba, Bubblicious and Jaw Breakers); chocolates galore (especially Coffee Crisps, Kit Kats, Three Musketeers, Caramilks, Malted Milks, Smarties, Mr. Bigs, Oh Henrys, Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Wonder Bars, Peppermint Aeros, Turtles and Rosebuds); Humpty-Dumpty potato chips (including: sour cream, ketchup, dill pickle, salt and vinegar and sometimes Doritos); hockey cards (with bubble gum included), comic books, trick toys, and birthday and anniversary gifts for the folks. These were the treasures that awaited us at the local candy store, a mere crosswalk away.

When we were kids, as for most people, Sweets, Bonbons, Toffees, Chocolates and Crisps were the stuff of legends. Fortunately, on many occasions (when health and mothers permitted) we were able to indulge in such legendary exploits. Nickels, dimes and mostly bags of pennies were saved and stored carefully (except for the time a small purse full of pennies was accidentally spilled upon the store floor) in hopes that such treasures would adorn our fridges, dressers and school bags (what’s a treat if you can’t share it with your chums?) when we got home. That’s all we ever wanted. Planning trips to the candy store even in inclement Toronto weather was quite a feat. That’s why it always felt rather like victory to come home, bundled up in scarves and mittens, with a bag of loot and enjoy it among the finest of company, ourselves.

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