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Cracker Jack is more than.....

posted 6/22/2009 9:16:36 PM |
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tagged: memories, good times

Candy coated popcorn, Peanuts and a prize. For me it's fond memories of warm summer nights sitting on our small front stoop, with my father, listening to all the night sounds. Him pointing out star constillation to me and just talking about things that happen in our day. All while sharing a box of Cracker Jacks. Of course I always got the prize. But now when I see a box it bring back memories of happier days.

Someone I spoke with recently told me I should post more often, so here is a first for me in a very long time. Take a few minutes and think about it and let's hear what triggers those memories for you. It could be a place, a smell, but there is always a trigger.

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Jun 22 @ 9:24PM  
cracker jacks use to have the neatest prizes in them now they are just paper junk Do you remember the hot dog gum?? cinamon taste

Jun 22 @ 9:55PM  
What about catching lightning bugs??? (depending on where you live)

Jun 22 @ 9:55PM  
Sugar Daddies....that carmel all day sucker. Locust beginning to sing in the summer. Lightening bugs. Crayola name a few.

Good blog...cookie for you...

Jun 22 @ 9:57PM  
Wow I haven't had cracker jacks since I was about 10 or 11. Dang I miss those. There is a few candies I used to like that I don't see anymore. The one thing that I remember the most vivid is the snowball truck that used to come by here when I was a kid. Man I loved those chocolate snowballs with extra marshmellow on top! Wonder if it still comes around here. lol

Jun 22 @ 9:59PM  
The smell of taffy...

Takes me back to my childhood years...of having fun with my cousins at the local county fair, the games, the rides, corn dogs, REAL hand made lemonade, not that halfass mixed shit they sell now...then all at once we would smell taffy...instantly we were drawn to a small vendor booth where a wrinkled old man in an all white uniform, complete with white paper hat and apron worked busily away pulling strands off this huge stretching machine. A machine we kids were all sure of, one slip...and we would lose an arm....but he skillfully avoided the churning arms to pull off about a 3 foot strand which he them rolled briskly on some powder to make it less sticky. Then...our favorite part...he would then feed it into this metal machine with a long crank and spin the handle 900 miles an hour, it felt like, and it would spit out squares of taffy RIGHT against the glass we pressed up so hard to see through RAT-A-TAT-TATT!!!! Just like a machine gun. Then he would wrap each piece in waxed paper, and for an old man, his hands were nearly a blur at his craft.

Then began the process of wheedling our keepers for the day out of some coin for the oh so delicious smelling confection, then trying to decide what flavor, they had over a dozen and from years past, we KNEW they were ALL soooo good...
My all time favorite was always Black Walnut, with real chips in it. Patiently in line we waited ( well, for kids anyway ) to at last receive a box of the soft and tender treasure... none of it ever made it past the car ride home...melt in your mouth sticky goodness, not at all like the rock hard store kind...and then we would mourn our loss and wait expectantly for next years fair...

*Side note....a few months ago I got to thinking about those days and the taffy. I did a little research and to my utter surprise and delight, the family had kept the business going to this day. Matter of fact, they are today using the original recipe from the start of the business, which was actually at the 1932 Chicago World's Fair and it is still going strong today. If you are a taffy lover at all, I would glady proclaim this as THE best taffy in the world. You can also read and see vintage photos from their humble history on their site.

Jun 22 @ 10:20PM  
my mom loved cracker jacks! she saved all the toys she got from them, all in good condition too. some one told me they be collectables! my thing when i was a little girl was this cabbage patch doll! i used too bring it with me every where, i still have that doll too!

Jun 22 @ 10:48PM  
For me its the sound of loons. We would hear them when we where at camp and had no worries and lots of cousins to play with.

Jun 22 @ 11:04PM  

On the Radio.

Amos & Andy
The Creeking Door
The Shadow Knows.
The Lone Ranger

To name a few.

Then they came out with TV 2 inch round screen, they called the boob tube.
First things were a bunch of little squares put together to form patterns. The very First Show was " Felix The Cat ".

Jun 22 @ 11:07PM  
For me its the sound of loons.

No wonder you feel so comfortable here.....

Jun 22 @ 11:14PM  
No wonder you feel so comfortable here.....

LOL that could be it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jun 22 @ 11:51PM  
The smell of fresh cinnamon rolls being baked reminds me of growing mom would get up early in the summer before it got hot and would have them in the oven...........and I can remember coming in after doing the horse chores.........she would have a glass of cold milk and a hot cinnamon roll with homemade butter melting on it...............Thank you...........I hadn't thought of that for a long time.

Jun 23 @ 1:19AM  
Lake water and the smell of meat barbequeing- reminds me of well, cook-outs at the lake of course,lol Oh and since Knight mentioned taffy at the fair...elephant ears/funnel cakes they sold at the County Fair every fall. I remember right after you bought and paid for your all-night or day pass at the ticket booth there would be the funnel cake stand a little ways away.

Aww man- so golden,chewy and heavenly with the dusting of powdered I need to find some mix and make those for old-times sake.

Jun 23 @ 6:32AM  
Spear grass takes me back home a while, It was harmless but would stick in you & fun to have battles with neighbor hood friends as a kid along with daisy B.B. gun fights.

Jun 23 @ 7:45AM  
Wow, it seems I'm not the only one waxing wistful for summers gone by!

It's amazing, the little things which take us back, which are so much more than what they appear to be to others.

The shape of certain rocks or trees will send me back to the hill above my childhood home. I was once convinced that elves lived there.

When a wind whips up and those around me glance nervously to see if a storm is brewing, instead I close my eyes and breathe deep, tasting that wind for both information and nostalgia.

My wife cannot abide the chirp of crickets. For me, they were a lullaby once upon a time and I've taken steps to convince her it's bad luck to kill a cricket in the house, that they must be caught and put outside.

On the porch of our home my wife natters and putters; I try not to speak when the evening wanes and twilight falls, the shadows growing long then fading into one another like the fog of ghosts.

Jun 23 @ 8:58AM  
For me, they were a lullaby once upon a time and I've taken steps to convince her it's bad luck to kill a cricket in the house, that they must be caught and put outside.

I remember that!!! I still won't harm a cricket

Jun 23 @ 9:52AM  
For me it would be...

Burning leaves (brings back childhood memories).

The smell of Zest soap (reminds me of my grandfather).

Eating peanut butter on a spoon (reminds me of my grandmother - her favorite treat).


Jun 23 @ 4:30PM  
A lot of things can trigger memories. Some of them are good others not so good.

The days before air conditioning produce some as well as certain dimensions of rural America. I recall taking family vacations and the old man giving us a dime and a nickel when we stopped for gas. The dime was for a soft drink and that was always cool anywhere as you could find coke or pepsi any place.

The nickel was a different matter as it was for a candy bar. In the country there would a candy machine that sat outside in the summer sun. To make matters worse, all of the candy came from a company called Tom's. The crap was always stale. I remember getting a Tom's candy bar that appeared to be like a Baby Ruth knock off. Once we got in the car I noticed it said that it was choklet coated. I asked my dad how chocolate was spelled. Obviously the candy bar was a fraud.

At the next gas stop, I just put the nickel in my pocket as I was not buying anything from Tom's. But my brother, Tommy, did. He got a Tom's nut roll. When we got down the road he started crying because it was wormy. I started laughing and said, "With a name like Tom's what do you expect?" My mom slapped me.

Jun 23 @ 5:15PM  
The smell of Old Spice aftershave and pipe tobacco. It brings me back to sitting on my great granddad's lap and hearing stories about faeries and witches in gaelic.

The smell of bread baking reminds me of my mom and I every Saturday morning baking a dozen loaves to get through the week.

The smell of mown hay. Mmmm.. so many memories.

Jun 23 @ 5:16PM  
I started laughing and said, "With a name like Tom's what do you expect?" My mom slapped me.

I used to get smacked for being a smart-ass like that too! I didn't think it fair since I was the baby of the bunch. To this day, I am the black sheep...I lovingly refer to my family as marshmallows...they're all soft inside and if you poke 'em, they give in.

Not me--I used to think I was adopted for just that reason!

Jun 23 @ 7:16PM  
I started laughing and said, "With a name like Tom's what do you expect?" My mom slapped me.

I used to get smacked for being a smart-ass like that too!

There were a couple of other "Tom" references that I could play that my parents didn’t pick up on that could make him cry. One was on turkeys. There were hens and toms. I would ask my mother (I already knew the answer) why a hen was more money than a tom. She would say a hen was better. I would say something like, "So if you want a GOOD turkey, you don't want a TOM." She would agree and Tommy would cry.

Then there was the deep sea fishing report in the evening newspaper. It would list how many party boats went on fishing trips and how many of what types of fish were caught. The fish started with the best like albacore then yellow tail, and worked their way down to the least desirable which was a tom cod. Once my dad finished with the sports section, with Tommy near by, the conversation between my dad and I would go something like this:

"Hey dad, it says they caught 27 Albacore. Are those good fish to catch?
"Oh, yes!"
"Do they put up a good fight and a good fish to eat?"
"They sure do and they sure are!"
Then we would eventually get to the tom cod and I already knew the answer to my questions. "Hey dad, it says they caught 54 TOM cod. Are those good fish to catch?
"Do TOM cod put up a good fight and a good fish to eat?"
"TOM cod eat garbage don't they and aren't they wormy?"
"WAAAAA" was Tommy's response. The old man would just look befuddled as Tommy ran off to his room.


Jul 1 @ 5:06PM  
Going to the drive in. :o)

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Cracker Jack is more than.....