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October 03, 2018


Sally Schmidt

Grape and Fireball gum balls. You can still get Fireball hard candy but no gum balls. What's up with that?

Alan P.

Rocket Fizz in the Delmar Loop (St. Louis) has the penny candies. They are around a nickel each.

I liked the root beer barrels and Chicklets. My father loved black licorice. His office was downtown as was the Switzer's factory. When the wind was right, you could smell licorice in the outfield at the ballpark. He liked to leave it open in his desk so it would get hard and chewy.

Alan P.

At Passover, you could get Israeli Bazooka bubblegum. It was one of the early imported foods from Israel. I have no idea if the comics were funnier in Hebrew.

Margie Bunting

I loved those molasses/peanut butter candies called Mary Janes. Unless you sucked on them a little first, they threatened to pull out all your fillings, but they were worth it! And Elaine, I remember all of those candies you mentioned--a trip down memory lane.

Deb Romano

Elaine, I do remember all of those, and more. Like you, I probably ingested a lot of paper along with my candy buttons. I ate them row by row, beginning with the top row. I also remember those straws filled with flavored sugar. I brought one to school with my lunch when I was in fourth grade. While pouring it into my mouth I accidentally inhaled some, and began to choke on it. I was sure I was going to die!

We also would get Mary Janes and Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy, although I wasn’t as fond of these two. I think the taffy was more expensive.

In the downtown area of the city where I grew up, there was a billboard that proclaimed “Candy is wholesome food. Eat more of it.” We kids always pointed this out to our parents, of course, and I’m sure you can imagine their reaction!! We would persist and tell them “it must be true if it’s on a billboard!” More laughs from Mom and Dad!

Elaine Viets

I remember Fireball gumballs, Sally. Cinnamon flavored. Speaking of which, what about Red Hots?

Elaine Viets

Definitely like root beer barrels, Alan P. Switzers licorice is a St. Louis brand. I'm a fan of red licorice.

Elaine Viets

Yep, Margie, May Janes could take out a filling or two, but they were good.

Elaine Viets

No such billboard in my neighborhood, Deb, but I remember Lik 'M Aid -- sort of like Kool-Ade without the water.

Sally Schmidt

Oh yes, Elaine, anything cinnamon, including Red Hots. Even Dentyne gum. But I loved having the heat in a gum ball with the Fireball.

Elaine Viets

Fireballs were unique, Sally. I'm sorry they're gone.


I liked Necco Wafers, especially the black and pink ones. I also used to eat the candy buttons, and like you I swallowed tons of paper. And any licorice, but especially black. Thanks for bringing back a fun memory, Elaine.

Elaine Viets

How could I forget Necco Wafers, Kris. They were delicious!

Karen in Ohio

This is such fun, Elaine.

I loved the candy lipsticks, although they were so sweet they could almost cause a diabetic coma. And the sugary bacon slices, which had nothing to do with bacon. And Red Hots, and caramel buckeyes. And although they weren't penny candy, I really loved Necco Wafers, too. Except the licorice one. Of course now I'd love it.

Elaine Viets

I don't think I had caramel buckeyes -- were they an Ohio treat?

Storyteller Mary

Oh yes, Mary Janes and Bit o' Honey . . . and licorice.
We used to find soda bottles and return them for the deposit with which we bought candy. ;-)

Elaine Viets

Soda bottles! When Don and I were first married and very broke, we would go to the park and collect soda bottles and get enough for a White Castle dinner. Three bucks could do it.


OMG! I had a babysitter who's parents owned a convenience store. All of the candies you mentioned were in there plus the necklace of candy! You're right about those red lips - a very slight flavor. Thought I was chewing wax almost like chewing gum! Used so many pennies and a few nickels in there. Forgot about the pickle loaf - olives in ours. Such great memories! Thanks Elaine!

Elaine Viets

Olive load -- very classy stuff, Cath. And you're right about those red lips -- wax gum!

Josh Pachter

"Yipes, stripes, Beechnut's got 'em! Yipes, stripes, Fruit Stripe gum!" I also used to do the Teaberry Shuffle. And wax mustaches and wax fangs in addition to the wax lips. And Pixy Stix. And, while we're at it, can we have a Happy Fizzies Party?....

Elaine Viets

Arggh! Now I have a Teaberry Shuffle earworm. Thanks a lot, Josh!

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