Summer Treats and Trinkets

With summer coming to an end, I am reminded of some of the little treats and trinkets that I would frequently get at the local convenience store every summer.


There was a convenience store about half a block from my house when I was in 2nd-5th grade (inclusive), it was originally called “Little Shopper” (though I believe they did one of those “cute and clever” things of shortening it to “li’l” or some such) though it was soon turned into a Country Fair branch. Whenever I would get some pocket change I would head over and look around the cheap candy to see what kind of sugar rush I could get.

The mini jawbreakers (Jaw Busters) blew my young mind, wondering how something roughly the size of M&Ms could supposedly break your jaw. They were nice and fruity, and the flavors changed as the candy layers dissolved. Alexander The Grape’s name lured me in, exactly as such a name is designed to (plus the fact that I love grape flavored stuff). They were decent, but nothing to write home about, but I still got them regularly. The Now & Later candies were like Starburst, only harder and more …waxy.. flavored. I didn’t care much for most of the flavors (in part because the waxy flavor seemed stronger in them), but I did love the yellow and pink swirled ones (lemon and strawberry were the flavors, I believe) and got them on most of my visits. I also would often get one of the siren whistles pictured top-right. These were simple plastic tubes with a metal spinning disc in the middle, almost exactly like an old-fashioned siren, they were very loud, especially for their size. The bird whistle wasn’t something I was ever able to find at that store, but I would frequently get them at a similar store near where I lived in first grade. The way they worked was that you would fill them with water and then blow into their tail, this resulted in a warbling sound, much like a real songbird. With most of them you wouldn’t get any audible sound if you blew them without water, but some of them would make a loud high-pitched shriek if you blew hard enough when they were empty.

There were of course many more treats and trinkets that I often got as a kid, but most were either too insignificant to mention, or too significant to not have their own article *cough*Garbage Pail Kids*cough*, whereas these five items were baby-bear-porridge “just right”. ;)

Still… I might do some follow-up articles on some of those other things….


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