The nostalgia bug bit me not long ago. Maybe it’s pre-menopausal hormones. Or it could be my fan-girl obsession with Miranda Lambert and her reminiscence-themed songs, “House That Built Me” and “Automatic.” Add to that my recent visit home to the small Midwest town I grew up in, and that bug really got a hold of me.
As I traveled through town, I caught a glimpse of the abandoned brick liquor store my friends and I used to haunt because of its massive candy and ice-cream inventory. (Well, at least it seemed massive at the time.) Once a week, my widowed mother would give me what she could—fifty cents, or seventy-five if she’d clipped enough coupons. It would be a humid summer afternoon, and the neighborhood gang would traipse barefoot and sunburned down the hill and slip into the air-conditioned store. (Ah, such a luxury. At home, we only had a single fan to share among a family of six.) I would stand for long sessions drooling over all the candy choices, picking my favorites, counting my pennies and nickels to assure I stayed within my budget.
During that recent trip, there were two old-fashioned candies that came flooding back to me as soon as I spied that store: B-B Bats and Kits.
Mmm, do you remember them?
B-B Bats were taffy on sticks, and Kits were small packages of four individually wrapped squares of the same kind of taffy. They came in vanilla, peanut butter, strawberry, and chocolate. Chocolate was my favorite, while strawberry and vanilla scored a close second. I never chose peanut butter. Ick.
Anyway, the memory of that sweet, chewy taffy remained with me until I returned from my trip. I wondered and hoped and prayed…do they still make them? So I did an internet search and got an instant hit—an awesome website, Old Time Candy, that sells old-fashioned candy, retro toys, and party-favor gadgets from your childhood. It also provides the history of when they began making each product, what company manufactured it, and who has taken over the production, if at all.
I learned that B-B Bats were introduced in the 1920s in Johnson City, New York by Fair Play Caramel Company. They are still available in four flavors (again, no peanut butter for me!), and can be purchased online and shipped right to me! How cool.
Kits were also made by the same company, and are still available, as well. I’m ordering a stock of them both for my kitchen candy drawer, and I plan to introduce them to my future grandkids…whenever that happens. (Hint-hint, my dear kiddos!)
So you see? You really can “go home again.”
To prove it to yourself, allow the memories to flow and go explore Old Time Candy. What nostalgic candy, food or toys do you remember from your childhood?
Bio: Titania Ladley is an erotic romance author published with Ellora’s Cave, Samhain, and Red Sage. She writes in multiple genres including contemporary, paranormal, historical, LGBT and BDSM. Visit her on the web at http://www.TitaniaLadley.com