Monday, February 2, 2009

chew'em if you got'em

As a kid, a real treat was to ride our bikes down the Pearly & Bens or to Cartee's (mom & pop neighborhood stores that used to be located on Fairview Road, Gadsden, AL) and buy a brown paper bag filled variety of candies. I remember the Finlayson kids getting to do this on Friday nights. Back then, fifty to seventy-five cents could buy a lot of goodies. I'd usually come out with a soft drink, a comic book, and a various assortment of candies. My favorite candy was Baby Ruth back then. I'd get my Baby Ruth fix and spend what ever I had left of penny candies.

Candy cigarettes come to mind. I don't recall mom or dad having a problem with any of their kids enjoying a pack of candy cigarettes. There were the bubble gum variety that you'd have to unroll from the paper wrapping to get to the gum. The ones I remember the most were semi-sweet and chalky. These cigarettes I remember were packaged with real cigarette names. My preferred brand was LUCKY STRIKE. They weren't the best tasting candy, but I like most kids, thought I looked grown-up and cool. If I really wanted to look cool, I'd roll the cigarette box up in my t-shirt sleeve. Sometimes after playing army - it would be good to calm shattered nerves with a good smoke.
It was a different time, wasn't it? Kids pretend smoking like the grown-ups they saw on television. If cigarettes were good enough for John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, and Clark Gable, they were good enough for me. Parents didn't seem to mind, not about the faux fags, let alone the second hand candy cigarette smoke.
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