Childhood Treats

Me, back in the day.

No matter how old we are (or are not), we all like treats.  These days treats might be something good to eat or something I have been wanting to purchase that I finally do or a surprise from a friend or family.  But back when I was little, there was, what seemed like, a greater variety of treats.

Here were some of my favorites:

Not the Hi-Lo, but I can clearly see the Hi-Lo candy counter in my memory.

1.  Hi-Lo Drive In Grocery. * All time favorite*. It used to be at the corner of League and Main.  When my sister and I were good (like, all the time!), our mom would give us each $0.25 and take us to Hi-Lo to make our candy selections.

They had a rectangle, tiered candy display made from plywood just the right size for kids.  It was on the right side when you walked in. I usually selected a combination of pixie straws, candy cigarettes, dip sticks, bottle caps, or a six pack of wax soda bottles filled with sugary juice.  If I had money leftover, I might get a piece of penny bubble gum.  I was little so I don’t remember much.  Concrete floors, white chill case next to the checkout (maybe it had ice cream or sodas – I was too short to see in), and someone there to take my money.

I don’t know that I ever looked around the rest of the store.  I wish it were still there so that modern day kids could have the joy of selecting candy from such a wide array.  Of course their mommas would have to give them a couple of bucks or more to get all the goodies that we used to afford with our quarter.

My sister kids me because if our mom or grandparents didn’t have 2 quarters, they would give me the quarter and my sister 2 dimes and 1 nickel.  Apparently I would put up a fuss because my sister had more money than me!

Do you remember Hi-Lo?  Did you buy candy there when you were little?

2.  The library.  Our mom was a librarian, and we were pretty studious kids.  Another treat was a trip to the library to check out books.  I can remember going to the old Sulphur Springs Library (formerly the post office, currently City Hall).  It seemed huge, but now that I see it, it wasn’t all that big.  If we were really good, my mom would ask for us to see the music box collection up on the second floor.  The stairs seemed to go straight up and take you to nowhere.  When you finally got to the top, there was a room full of magical music boxes.

I am so glad we still have a wonderful library and that the music boxes are still on display, no key required.

3.  Sometimes on Friday night, we would load up and go to the Ford House, as we called my dad’s car dealership.  There my dad would get a wooden soda crate and let us all pick a few bottles of our favorite drink.  I usually went with grape Fanta.

My dad, would scare my mom, sister and a me by pushing the button to close the huge shop, then running under the closing door to jump in the car outside.  My mom always got on to my dad for doing this.  I think he liked scaring us!

Once in a while, we got to drink our sodas from a fancy glass like a champagne coupe; of course we had no idea what it was, it just looked pretty and grown up!

4.  A trip to the park.  I don’t recall the park being named Buford Park back then, but maybe it was.  I just recall there was a blue elephant slide and a really tall wavy slide, which was a bit too tall for me.  I think there was even an old Merry Go Round that was faded red.  I am so glad the park has been spruced up since then.

Our picnics were pretty rustic, but so much fun!

5.  A picnic in the pasture.  Some Saturday afternoons, my mom might gather a few items like Vienna sausage sandwiches, chips and a jar of ice cold water or Ford House bottled sodas.  My dad would put the folding chairs in the back of the truck.  The four of us would get in the cab (back then they didn’t have extended cab trucks) of the truck and head to the pasture for a picnic.   We might pick some pomegranates if we had gone north of town or check the cows while we were out.

6.  Sunbathe with my mom on an old quilt in the backyard.  We usually did this while my dad was at work during the summer.  As a teacher, my mom had summers off, so my sister, mom and me got to do fun things.

7.  Sleep late.  This is still a pretty good treat if your body will let you.  Back then, we usually slept late on Saturday mornings.  My dad went to work early, so usually my sister and I would get in bed with my mom for a bit.  Then she would get up to make breakfast or start the day and my sister and I would stay in bed some more!

I so wish I could turn back time to spend afternoons having a picnic with my parents or make another soda run to the Ford House.  But, as my mom always said, “All good things must come to an end.”  But why is it always the best things that end first?

As I write this, I am wishing I had a photo of the Hi-Lo, the candy counter, the blue elephant slide, or the old library (as it was).   I think we need to take more photos of things around town so that when they are gone, we still have a record.  If you long for some of the old sights around town, check out the YouTube videos of Sulphur Springs, Texas that KSST has posted.   There is even a Price Ford commercial, but it doesn’t show the soda crates, dang it!

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