“Sometimes memories sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks.”
Did you ever wish you could have just one special day back from your childhood? A day where you could be in a certain place, with a specific person, at a particular time? A day you could freeze and thaw anytime you wanted? I think memories work like that.
I have many ”wish days” but there’s one that I’d love to relive. That certain place would be at our family store, Davidek’s Market, the specific person would be my dad, and that particular time would be after school.
When I was in junior high, the bus left me off 2 blocks from our little neighborhood store. I’d walk there after school. Wednesdays were one of my favorite days to come through that swinging glass front door. I knew my dad would be waiting for me. In his crisp white starched apron, standing behind the wooden meat block cutting pork chops, probably for our next door neighbor’s dinner. I see him smile and hear him say, “There she is,” as I dropped my books near the black metal, manual adding machine.
Wednesday. It was the day our candy order was delivered. My dad knew to leave it for me to stock. It’s the day I got to open orange boxes of Clark Bars; brown and green boxes of Milky Ways; red, white and blue boxes of 3 Musketeers and cellophane wrapped boxes of Wrigley’s, Juicy Fruit, Double Mint and Teaberry gum. But my favorite candy treasure to open was the little packs of Life Savers.
Did you know LifeSavers were first made in 1912 by chocolate maker Clarence Crane because he wanted a sweet treat that wouldn’t melt in the summer heat? They got their name because they looked like life preservers.
Right in the middle of my dad’s long, white, porcelain meat counter sat a long metal LifeSavers holder. That holder held that same spot for as long as I could remember. I loved filling in each spot with the different colored rolls. I’d unwrap my favorite flavor first –Wild Cherry, which always seemed to be the first ones to go (hmmm . . . I think I had something to do with that). Then the multi-colored 5 Flavor rolls. The green Wint-O-Green. Next the blue Pep-O-Mint. Each little roll fitting snuggly in their designated spot.
Then when I was all through with my candy duties, I’d grab my roll of Wild Cherry LifeSavers, pull that little green string through the foil and plop one in my mouth. Just like it was yesterday, a burst of that sweet cherry delight swirling across my taste buds can bring it all back to me.
Memories of that one special day sneaking into my eyes. Just me and my dad, in the store after school, laughing and talking behind that white porcelain meat counter. With a roll of cherry LifeSavers in my pocket as I catch a tear rolling down my cheeks.