With a single dollar, we were sent off with a very short list. It was usually bread, milk, and a pack of Tareyton cigarettes for Dad.
It was the favorite chore. The trip to the Mom and Pop grocery store.
There was one on just about every corner.
It was a throwback to the time when supermarkets were just taking hold in small town America.
They only sold the basics, and at the time, that included penny candy.
There wasn’t much change from that dollar, usually less than a dime, but we were allowed to keep it, or use it on penny candy.
We seldom kept it.
I love this painting, done by an artist who studied Norman Rockwell, and used on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.
The candy was different, but the expression on the ever patient storekeeper is priceless, a study in patience.
Armed with a small paper bag, he waited while we made some very important decisions.
Bit O’Honey, MaryJane, Bazooka Bubble Gum, Tootsie Roll, Necco Wafers, Turkish Taffy, JujyFruit, Pixy Sticks.
Peppermint sticks, butterscotch disks, caramel creams, licorice whips, candy cigarettes, wax lips, candy buttons on a paper strip, elastic candy necklaces, marshmallow “ice cream” cones.
It’s a pretty sweet memory of a very different era.
Except for the popular bodega that you see in urban areas, the small grocery store has gone by the wayside.
So has the concept of sending a child alone on a quest for just about anything.
And that’s too bad.