Growing up there were two places near my house that were worth riding your bike to. One was a bowling alley and the other was a Tom Thumb convenience store. Tom Thumb won out most times as the place to go. Don't get me wrong I'm a big fan of bowling but what made Tom Thumb so special and so worthy was the candy aisle.
No, it wasn't some supernaturally sized candy aisle nor did it hold more mystery or excitement than the bowling alley on a typical suburban summer afternoon. I grew into a fairly decent bowler and still have the skills today, but for some reason it was those rides up County Road 19 to spend my allowance on candy that really stick with me.
Just a few doors down from Tom Thumb there was another place to shop for candy but it was a gas station and they also sold live bait. I could not go there. No, thank you very much.
So Tom Thumb it was. That candy aisle helped to shape my tastes for sweets and to this day I'll buy an item just because they used to have it there. That's what happened today while shopping for my lunch at Safeway. I picked up my oh so healthy salad and then stopped by the candy aisle to see what I else I might need. There it was that hot pink box that had changed a bit through the years but what I had to know was had the candy it contained stayed the same?
It has been years since I've eaten a Good & Fruity. I can't even remember the last time I saw them for sale anywhere. So I've been sitting here like a good girl eating all of my salad with that bright pink box staring at me. Begging for me to open it and try all of the flavors.
Salad done. Box being opened. First an orange one. Then a red one. Green and then yellow. Finally blue. They're different. Don't get me wrong they're not bad but they just aren't the same.
The Tom Thumb isn't the same now either. It's been a variety of different places over the past 15 to 20 years. Most recently I think it was/is a flooring store.
Convenience stores come and go. Candy recipes get altered. But I can still bowl a mean game. At least some things stay the same.