A whimsical look at life growing up in the small town of Waldron, Arkansas in the 1960s and 1970s, plus occasional observations from the present. Want to start at the very beginning? Click HERE.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Great Candy I Have Known

Another rerun, but one of my favorites...

Before we ever had to worry about calories and triglycerides and saturated fats, there was candy.  Not a lot, mind you; none of us were rich enough to have all the candy we wanted.  But, when we really needed it, there was candy.  A nickle or dime of our lunch money was often allotted to candy, and when we could spare it, a grocery delivery from Robert Davis' store often included something sweet.

Here are some of my all time favorite candy memories:

The Wowee Whistle.  These came out around Halloween each year.  They were made of wax, similar to the wax candy lips that you can still get.  You blew on the whistle until you got tired (a skilled musician could actually produce songs), then you chewed up the wax.  The wax was infused with a flavor similar to Beeman's gum, and was quite tasty.

The Black Cow was a chocolatey, caramel sucker similar to a Sugar Daddy but vastly superior in flavor. 

In a stroke of marketing genius probably covertly funded by America's tobacco industry, candy cigarettes were available in packages that looked just like Dad's smokes, and with names that were often similar.  The candy cigarettes tasted pretty bad, but they looked oh-so real. 

I could always count on my Aunt Addie to have a stick of Clove gum ready at church when the sermon started getting a little too long.  I was never a fan of Black Jack, but the flavor of Beemans is delightful, and Clove is probably the most unique flavor you'll ever taste in gum.  These gums are still available at Cracker Barrel.  I was never much of a gum chewer; I always felt that gum required too much of a commitment.  After all, with candy, you chew it up, enjoy it, and then move on.  With gum, you chew it up, enjoy it, but it just keeps hanging around.

As it turns out, my research reveals that astronauts probably never actually ate these, contrary to the advertising.  Space Food Sticks were a chewy concoction similar to a Tootsie Roll, but much softer.  They came in flavors like chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, vanilla, and others.  They were somewhat pricey, so we didn't get to have Space Food Sticks very often.

The Butter Nut bar consisted of caramel and peanuts surrounded by milk chocolate. It was not necessarily my all-time favorite candy bar, but it was a good go-to candy bar when you wanted something different.

Winner Suckers.  No, this picture is not an actual Winner Sucker.  Evidently, no photographic evidence of this great candy exists today.  But, it did look kind of like this, with its cluster of grapes on one side (it also came in a cherry flavor, although I never bought that version).  The other side of the sucker was flat, and if it had a little piece of tape stuck on it that said "Winner", you got a free sucker.  Not a bad investment for five cents.

Hot Toothpicks.  These cinnamon flavored toothpicks were popular because you got your money's worth for a nickel; enough hot toothpicks to last way past the time you finally got tired of them. 

Wacky Packages were wildly popular among the younger set back in the 1960's.  I include them here because you did actually get one stick of bubble gum with the package.  I usually gave the gum away (I've mentioned my commitment issues) and laughed hysterically over the cards, which featured popular products of the day with their well-known advertising slogans slightly altered to produce hilarious results.  There are several websites devoted to the vintage Wacky Packages of the 1960's and 1970's.

My candy bar.  The Mars Bar.  I ordered one at Burden's Candy Store each day during most of my school career.  Back then, you ordered what you wanted, there was no self-service.  You told the person working at the candy counter what you wanted, they retrieved it for you, and you paid them for it.  For some reason, I always told the clerk that I wanted "a Mars Bar with almonds," evidently under the erroneous impression that there was a Mars Bar without almonds.  The Mars Bar is no more; it has been replaced by the Snickers with Almonds. There is, of course, a Snickers without almonds, so be careful what you order.  (Update:  In the time since this blog entry was originally written, the Mars Bar has been reintroduced!)

Mallo Cups and Smoothies were made by the same company, Boyer's.  I never cared for Mallo Cups; a chocolate and coconut shell with marshmallow cream in the middle.  But Smoothies, that's different.  A butterscotch and peanut shell, with peanut butter in the middle...delicious!  Plus, there was a little card in each package that had an image of a coin.  You saved the cards, which had coins ranging from five cents up to fifty cents.  My sister Janet loved Smoothies, and she decided that she was going to collect enough coins (500 points worth) to send off for the prize, which incredibly was a box of Smoothies!  She saved every card, as we all did, and after a while, she had enough points.  She mailed her collection of paper coins to the company, and we could hardly wait until the box of Smoothies came in the mail.  After what seemed like an eternity, a package from Boyer's arrived.  With trembling hands, Janet carefully unwrapped the package.  Sure enough, it was a box of...no, it can't be...Mallo Cups!


  1. This is so good...such a great blog overall and always enjoy being able to have you share your memories so fondly and accurately as if it were yesterday....keep it up!

  2. Thank you Jana for the thoughtful comment!

    1. my name is Buddy Yates and we were raised in Waldron, just outside of town, we could stand by the huge concrete water tank and see straight down main street. The trip to the "Candy Store" was a true treat! The winner suckers were terrific! all of this brings back a flood of great memories, my dad called Buddy Greys "bloody greys and piggly wiggly was hogly wogly.

    2. Buddy it's good to hear from you; we are second cousins I think; my dad was Abb and my mom was Alberta.

  3. Comments from Facebook:

    Rosemary Perkins Great memories.....thanks for posting....
    November 18 at 2:08pm
    Brad Jett I will always remember the delicious jolly ranchers from math class
    November 18 at 2:12pm
    Teresa Culpepper The wax lips today can't compare with the originals ! They don't have that good , chewy taste. They crumble and have no taste ! I loved the Mars bar w/almonds and the winner suckers too !!!
    November 18 at 5:21pm
    Lorrie Hunt Davis wheww! i remember those hot toothpicks! if u let it stay against your lip too long u could end up with a blister! but it was worth looking cool and having awesome breath!! lol
    November 18 at 5:24pm
    Terri Leming Varner I remember the Wowee Whistle and Hot Toothpicks--hadn't thought of either of those things in forever!! Thanks for posting!
    November 18 at 5:34pm
    Lydia Blalock Butler I loved the Winner Suckers!! I always liked the Cherry flavor best.
    November 18 at 5:53pm
    Carolyn McCain Graham candy cigarettes LOL those were awesome
    November 18 at 6:09pm
    Pamela Allen
    I love this....tried to send you a reply but couldn't get thru....I have so many wonderful memories of growing up in Waldron....the Sat. afternoon movies.....Parsleys....it was a kids dream. If that old theater could talk, what stories it wo...See More
    November 18 at 6:18pm
    Bette Newborn Those candy bars brought back a lot of memories and calories, but they were sooooo good. Thanks for the memories...bn
    November 18 at 8:25pm
    Linda Vaughn The Mars Bar With Almonds was my favorite candy bar also. Thanks for mentioning Mama's candy store. She always had a good selection of candy. Lots of memories were made at her snack bar. Always love reading your blog, afterwards I mull over my own memories of things. Keep blogging. Couldn't post comment on it but this works as well.
    Friday at 9:01am
    Bill Yates I don't know why they make it so complicated to post on blogger. You have to set up a google account and sign in before you can post, and then leave a comment. I'm trying to go back to all my posts and transfer the Facebook comments over to blogger.
    Friday at 9:07am
    Phil Yates I remember buying a roll of nickels (candy) for a nickel. If you just sucked on them they lasted about all evening.
    Saturday at 2:13pm
    Pamela Allen Bill that would be great.....I have some great old photos I'd love to share also....I found your post fascinating.....my hometown, my era.......oh how the memories came flooding back, ty for this, I can't wait to hear more......???
    Saturday at 2:25pm
    Pamela Allen I'll never forget the two candy stores behind the school, one was Gatlin's and I can't remeber the other ones name? I had so many magical, care free times at both of them....the music (the Beatles were huge, then) laughing, singing, falling in and out of love, those yummy ham sandwiches.....what a time and place to be young....we thought it would always be that way...
    Saturday at 2:35pm

  4. OMG. I just ran across this one. I am stunned by how much stuff you like that I also like. I hadn't even thought of Space Sticks (or whatever they were called) in over 40 years. My Mom used to buy them and I ate them and loved them. All the rest I bought myself during my childhood. Still do buy the occasional Mallo Cup and have a collection of "coins" at home to prove it :-)

  5. I think the winner sucker was meant to look like corn. I was looking it up & found an article that called it a corn sucker. I have often told people about them & they don't know what I am talking about.

    1. It was the best but as I recall it looked like a cluster of grapes on one side the other side was flat! Purple paper wrapper.

  6. Corn suckers were different. Maybe they were made by the same company.

  7. Pearson grape and cherry suckers were the best candy ever! I wish they would bring them back.

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