Posts Tagged ‘On Candy’

By Barbara Rick

Whirly Pops from Harrods in London, Copyright Barbara Rick

Whirly Pops from Harrods in London, photo © 2007 by Barbara Rick. All rights reserved.

In my freckle-faced, firmer-thighed youth I had a thing for Butterfingers. And Clark Bars. Sugar Babies, Sugar Daddies, Tootsie Pops and Pez.

It was a long way for a little girl to Lyons, the candy store on the corner. I remember walking down North Pleasant Avenue–under a leafy roof of elm and oak–nickel tight against my palm.

It was dark inside the cigarette smoke-stained soda fountain and grill, but the candy wrappers were neon.

Row upon row of Good ‘N Plenty, Twizzlers, Mounds and Almond Joy. Jujyfruit, Jujubes, SweeTarts. A jungle of flavors. The velvety, creamy, chunky, the chocolately: I loved it all. I never met a peanut butter cup I didn’t thoroughly enjoy.

Every Valentine’s Day, my dad would bring hearts filled with caramels and creams to my mom and my sisters and me…later on, sweet silver earrings shaped just like those heart boxes.

A local clothing store in town had an old-fashioned penny candy counter. Inside the antique wood cabinets and beveled glass gleamed Mary Janes, Jawbreakers, candy corn and those white strips of paper with pastel buttons you’d pick off with your teeth. They had red licorice shoelaces and Bazooka bubble gum.

At the movie theater nearby, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang were all sweetened by Starburst, Goobers and Raisinets.

A great thing about summer sleep away camp in the fourth grade were the bonbons that came in a long box. You could buy them after the sun went down. They warded off homesickness–sometimes.

Mrs. Farrell, our wrinkled piano teacher, dispensed cellophane-wrapped cinnamon and butterscotch drops to polite students after each weekly lesson. The candy beat Bach.

My classmates and I would take the bus to the Plaza for Saturday shopping expeditions. Clothes were the alleged highlight. But for me, the malted balls and caramel turtles at the JC Penney candy counter were my raison d’etre at the mall.

Me and candy. Candy and me.

In the summertime, I’d slip miniature Milky Way and Snickers bars out of their bags in our freezer, one by one, and then play dumb when my mother wondered, hands on hips, where have all the candy bars gone?

Have a piece of fruit, she’d say, when I was prowling the kitchen for sugar.


Over the years, I wasn’t really having candy anymore; it was having me.

Going through a painful divorce, I arrived at a point in my life when I was willing to let go of whatever wasn’t working anymore. Sometimes surrender beats endless wrestling. I’ve found it easier for me not to have any–none–than struggle just to have one.

I’ve essentially given up candy for almost fourteen years now.

People say, no candy?
Moderation! they cry.
Why not just have one?

There is nothing remotely moderate about me and candy, and besides, I’ve had way more than my share.

It IS possible to live in a world without KitKats.

Life is infinitely sweeter for me without them.

On Candy is a compilation of writing practices on confection.

About writing, Barbara says: I deeply love language; the images and feelings it captures and communicates. I’ve been writing since I was eight…creating stories at a neighbor’s picnic table in a wisteria-scented backyard. Perfectionism was a plague early on–I obsessed about getting the quotation marks exactly right!

Whether writing copy for network news anchors, movie scripts, magazine articles, or short stories, I aim for brevity, clarity, accuracy, and truth.

Barbara is finishing up a new documentary on an inspiring journey deep inside South Africa.

More about other projects at Out of The Blue Films.

-related to Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – CANDY FREAK

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