Posts Tagged ‘retro’
By Susan Amerikaner
We recently celebrated our 35th Wedding Anniversary. We are not big entertainers: not party-goers or party-givers. But my husband felt we ought to somehow mark this milestone in style. And thanks to CandyFavorites—and my own planning–our party was a wild success.
People have been asking me how I did it. So I decided to write and share. This was a decidedly adult affair, but you can easily adapt for children’s birthdays. We used candy, creativity and the film Casablanca. For children, you could easily use a film such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! (I prefer the original with Gene Wilder, but the newer one with Johnny Depp would do also.)
We have long loved the classic film Casablanca. We’ve seen it so many times, we can quote lines to each other. Casablanca has special significance for us, because the first time I met my husband he impressed me with his Bogie imitation of “Here’s looking at you, kid.” I was a goner!
We live in a community with a choice of party rooms, and we got one with a projector and sound system. I made the place look as much as “Rick’s Café” as I could. Inexpensive Moroccan style candle lanterns for each table worked well, plus movie posters and a six-foot-stand-up of Humphrey Bogart. We would serve Greek food—and then show the film while serving candy, popcorn and cake.
Then I came up with ways to make the movie “interactive.” If you have ever been to a Sound of Music Sing-a-Long or a Grease Sing-a-Long, you know what I mean. The audience gets a small bag of “props” to use at certain moments in the film. It’s great fun. These films also have song captions on the screen. Casablanca isn’t a musical, but it still has memorable moments to “play!” This is what we put in our party bags:
- Chocolate Cigarettes
- Bubble Gum Cigars
- Chocolate Gold Coins
- Mini Boxes of Junior Mints
- “Lip” Whistles
- Biplane “Whizzers”
- French Flags
We instructed our guests that whenever they hear the line, “Here’s looking at you, Kid,” they take a sip of champagne. Whenever a film character smokes a cigarette, enjoy your chocolate ciggies or gum cigars. When Rick and Ilsa kiss, blow the lip whistles! When you see and hear the propellers of the “plane to Lisbon,” use your Biplane Whizzers. When Rick goes to the Roulette Table, throw your Chocolate Coins on the table. And during the famous scene in the café when they all drown out the Nazis by singing Les Marseilles, wave your French flag!
The purpose of the Junior Mints? I can’t stand to watch a movie without them. Since the room had to be darkened to show the film, we also included little flashlights in each bag. I found these online for a buck a piece, including the batteries. I got the flags from a flag company and the whistles and whizzers from Oriental Trading.
We sent out invitations asking people to come in forties attire if they desire. Our party was a major success. Guests keep calling and saying how much they loved the candy and the props. I was sure to order quality candy from CandyFavorites. Inside the candy bags, I had a little instruction sheet and also some trivia about the film itself. Believe it or not, some people were seeing this gem for the first time!
While surfing through the McKeesport Candy Co. website I found the Retro Candy Gift Pack, all of which comes straight and direct from the hazy days of my childhood. The late 80s and early 90s were, for this twenty-something, the pinnacle of sugary achievement. This pack includes it all, but I’m going to focus on a few particular items which deserve attention all on their own.
1. Candy Jewelry
Is there a single girl out there who didn’t love wearing candy jewelry? Heck, I’ll still wear a candy necklace from time to time with a T-shirt, just as a fun accessory. Candy jewelry loves to taunt you: it just hangs there on your neck or wrist, the delectable sugary goodness teasing you. You know if you eat it, the cuteness of the candy necklace will be gone, but how can you not? The answer is simple: buy two, eat one, and save one to wear. Or just eat them both. That’s what I would do.
2. Fun Dip
Oh, Lik-M-Aid. Fun Dip took the candy concept (sugar + flavors) and simplified it to its most basic parts. You have your packets of flavored, colored sugar substance, and you have the Lik-M-Stick, which seems to be basically a compacted stick of sugar. Lick the stick, dip it in the sugar, and pow! Plus, it’s like getting four kinds of candy in one: you get the three flavors of powder (including one that looks blue but turns itself and your mouth green when you eat it) PLUS the added satisfaction of devouring the sugar sticks when you’re done. However, I have one caution that comes from learned experience: don’t attempt the Fun Dip on crowded car trips. Between the bumps and jostles, powdery disaster could result. I’m not going to give the Pixie Stix much verbage, since they’re basically the same thing as Fun Dip, without the sugar stick, but Pixie Sticks are fabulous. I would always get the really huge, couple-foot-long Pixie Stix and just pour that powered sugar down my throat. Mmmmmm.
3. Sugar Daddies and Babies
When I got my braces in middle school, I pretty much disregarded all the restrictions they gave me about eating food. I chowed down on popcorn and gum and ice, but I quickly discovered that some of my favorite candies were now off-limits. The first time I attempted to down some Sugar Babies, well, disaster struck. It took me almost a day to untangle my metal molars from the sticky stuff, but man, it was almost worth it. Such caramel-ly goodness! I do have to object to the blatant patriarchal domination of this candy: where’s the Sugar Mama?!? We demand candy equality!
4. Pop Rocks and Sweet Tarts
There’s not a whole lot to say about these two candies besides that they’re fabulous. Penny for penny, Pop Rocks are some of the best fun you can have. I mean really, where else can you get a few minutes of mouth-popping excitement for under a buck? That’s what I thought. And Sweet Tarts, well, their name says it all. They have been a Halloween staple my entire life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There are a few of these retro candy packs available, and they all have a far bigger selection than I’ve talked about here. After writing this, all I have to say that I really wish I were 10 and tonight was Halloween.
Do you remember when candy used to cost 5 cents or less? I do, which actually makes me feel old. But nevertheless, its another good family memory. I think being home for a wedding this past weekend is what spawned my overabundance of childhood memories. But it’s always good to remember happy times from the past.
My grandma had a little shore house in Sea Isle. Once a year, my family would stay down there for a few days. I have a lot of memories from that shore house. But my favorite memory is the little convenience store that was about 5 blocks down the road. There was nothing special about it, unless you were a kid. The had this bin full of candy for 5 cents. All year long, my sister and I would save our nickels and pennies. Then we’d walk the 6 blocks together, with our styrofoam cups filled to the brim with coins. My favorite piece of candy to buy was those atomic fireballs. They were all shiny and bright red in color. They lasted long, and left that fire taste in your mouth. This tradition probably started when I was about five. Once I was 10 we stopped going to the shore every year.
I went back for a day or two when I was 16. Things sure had changed. None of the candy cost 5 cents anymore. Everything was 25 cents or more. The candy was different too. Of course life had changed a lot since the last time I had been there, but a part of me expected the little convenience store to remain the same. Of course, that store is just one more memory to look back on and smile.
Until next time, this is Kandy K……stay sweet!