Crystal’s Corner:  Earning Money, Penny Candy and “What would like in your tea, one lump or two?”

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Like Ron, I also remember working for quarters in order to be able to buy penny candy.  We had a candy store right across the street from our school and there was a drug store on the way to school that sold candy bars and penny candy.  I would rake leaves and shovel snow and do odd jobs for neighbors to earn money.  My sister and I also wove potholders on a loom and tried to sell them door to door. Unfortunately, in our neighborhood there was an abundance of potholders, so we were not successful.  My friends and I would also go caroling in our neighborhood around Christmas time.  We were given oranges, cookies and sometimes candy.

My favorite penny candy was red licorice which was made into a long strand called a whip.  My sister and I also like the candy necklaces and would wear them when we had our tea parties which was quite often.   We baked tiny little cakes, pies and cookies in our Easy Bake oven.  I remember giving my Dad a tiny piece of cake.  We had made two little cakes, frosted them and then cut them into quarter pieces.  He couldn’t believe how little it was and also what a mess we made to make tiny cakes.  My mom also taught us to bake real cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.  I think my Dad was happier when we were using the real oven.   Our tea parties were quite elaborate with our toy dishes and a table cloth.  We would dress up and wear hats and use English accents.  Our dolls also attended.  My baby doll, Charley Ann, (which I still have in my living room) always came to our tea parties. My sister, who named every doll Susie, always brought one of them.  We also had matching 15 inches tall lady dolls dressed elaborately from our grandmother Kampman.  We would have them sit next to each other.  I have a lot of good memories of raking leaves, burning them in the alley behind our house and roasting marshmallows.  Also, we use to kick the leaves when we walked the mile to school every day.  On Fridays in October, our Junior High School sold Caramel Apples for a quarter.  To me, those were the best Fridays of the whole year. You never saw so many children smiling on their way home from school.

Another thing we use to do in the fall is gather the pretty leaves.  Some of them we would put in the phone book to preserve in wax paper.  Other ones we would place on a piece of drawing paper, draw around them with one color crayon and then fill in the shape with a different color.  We would use most of the colors in our crayon box.  We continued to trace and fill in until the whole page was filled with the colors.  The pictures became very colorful; and it was fun to use most of the crayons.  My mom would put our pictures up on the refrigerator or maybe in a window.  She liked everything we made and encouraged us to be creative. Sometimes I worry about what we’ve lost, when I see my grand kids and kids in general, sitting for hours and playing games on their phones. I just hope that when my grand kids grow up they have better memories than the high score on some video game they played as a kid.


Another of Ron’s favorite old barns that got knocked down this fall.

P.S. he takes more barn pictures than he does of me.

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