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
Links for candy:
Old Time Candy
BIT OF HONEY. SLOW POKES WERE MY FAVORITES, THEN TO I LOVED THE DOTS OF CANDY ON STRIPS OF PAPER AND THE BRACELETS AND NECKLACES OF CANDY, BUT THE WAX BOTTLES OF SUGAR WATER ESSENTIALLY BUT IT WAS FUN TO JUST CHEW THEM UP LIKE GUM WITH THE FLAVORED WATER FLOODING MY MOUTH.. MEMORY LANE.. HOW FUN..
The chocolates were my favorites but I didn’t care for the vanilla. We had a variety store in our small town tha had large selection on candy. We only got a quarter to get candy with so we spend most of it on penny candy. Chocolate was always fair game but Zotz were a favorite for that burst of sour fizz when you broke into the candy. Oh, a frozen Charleston Chews when you were at the pool, the best!
Yes, Linda!!! Slo Pokes. I forgot all about them. I can taste them now and remember so well how they felt in my mouth. The site says they were introduced in 1926. Isn’t that cool? The little wax bottles were awesome, weren’t they? I didn’t care for chewing on the wax, though. It wasn’t sweet enough for me after drinking the liquid. I think every candy you mentioned is on that site. Thanks for your thoughts. This is so fun!
Susan – Yes, chocolate was the absolute best for both B-B Bats and Kits. You can buy them on that site in just chocolate, too–they don’t make you buy in assorted batches. Zotz! I forgot all about Zotz. A tidbit on them from the site: They were Italian-made and introduced in the US in 1968. I couldn’t remember what Charleston Chews were, so I went and looked. They were launched in 1922 and named after the Charleston dance, which was all the rage at the time. 😛 Thanks for sharing your memories!
Be careful, I read on Amazon that a lot of the candy from that company is old and stale. Let us know what your experience is.
I just bought my dad a case of 24 full size Sugar Daddys
(2 oz. caramel pops for those not in the know) from another vendor. I just have to make him swear not to suck on them while I’m there. He can nurse one for hours, smack, smack, smack.
Way funny on your dad, Anne! I was just reading how one of the suckers (can’t remember which kind) lasted so long, it was common for people to re-wrap them after their first “serving”, stick it in their pocket, and fish it out later for round two. Ew! I haven’t heard that about this site, definitely something to watch for. Maybe some of it’s stale because they’ve had it since 1920? ROFL! Sure hope that’s not the case, though. Glad you stopped by!
Yes, I remember kits, wax bottled, colored water. Sugar babbies, now & laters, sixlets and a few others.
Yep, memory lane.
Hi, Ginger! Wow, how could I forget Sixlets? They run a very close second to Kits and B-B Bats for me. I loved biting/pulling on the first ball with my teeth to open the package. Still do–I snatch a package every now and then at Walmart. 😈 Appreciate you sharing your candy memories!
You used to be able to buy all-day suckers. They were barrel-shaped and lasted a long time. Pixy sticks, candy necklace and fudge-o bars.
N.J.! Hey there, so glad you stopped by. I’m curious about the all-day suckers–do you remember the name? I don’t recall fudge-o bars. Was it candy or an ice cream bar? Candy necklaces were great fun, only when I look back on it now, it’s kind of gross to think of wearing a string around your neck soaked with your spit! 🙄