Sky Bars and Bazooka Bubble Gum

A few weeks ago I went to Columbus to shop at one of my favorite stores. Now I am a true believer in shopping locally, but there are times when you just need to venture out of your comfortable surroundings and get away. When this happens, I normally make a day of it and shop, browse, visit friends, and take in breakfast and sometimes even a late lunch. That is, if shopping is successful. After quite some time in this particular store, I proceeded to the check-out with a full cart and two weary feet.  Each opened lane was a long one, with at least six to seven people standing in line. After looking the lines over and deciding which group of people had the least amount of items in their carts, and if  I was going to be stuck in line for awhile, who I would probably enjoy talking to the most while waiting. ( Tell me that you have never done this )  I finally chose one that  had only five people in line, three of whom were men with only a few items in their carts, which suggested a faster moving line, and thus began my wait. I have a vivid imagination, as many of you probably could have guessed by now,  and am fortunate to have learned the art of entertaining myself. So , I must tell you that sometimes I look at people’s carts and try to figure out what they are going to cook. I know that’s a little crazy, but my life seems to be an open book, and I don’t mind sharing some of my little “quips.”  If I see a lady with a cart full of lunch meat, frozen entrees’, bread and carbonated beverages, well, I feel sorry for her husband and children. If  I see a man who has a cart full of beer and snacks, then I know he’s either single or he’s spending a few days by himself  while his wife is out of town. Anyway, today is the day I discovered the “ old candies and gums from the past” section, or at least that is what I have named it. It was a nostalgic experience because there in front of me were items from my past, such as Sky Bars, Mallow Cups, Old Red chewing gum and Bazooka bubble gum. Man I wish I had a quarter for every piece of Bazooka bubble gum that I had chewed when I was a kid. My dad knew that I loved this bubble gum and many, many times when we went to the little country store he would buy a package of it for me. This gum was not only large, pink, and incredibly sweet, but inside the outer package , neatly wrapped around the gum, was a little sheet of waxy paper with a cartoon. It was only a 3 or 4 framed cartoon, short in message, but something that I had always looked forward to reading.
I hadn’t seen this gum in years and resisting it was too difficult. So, I picked one up, opened it and popped that ole familiar taste into my mouth and unfolded the cartoon. I looked up and noticed the gentleman in front of me watching and smiling. “ I remember my dad bringing that gum home after work when I was a kid,” he remarked. “ He would carry it in his pocket and give us one as a treat now and then.” I extended my hand with the package of unopened gum. “ Have one.”  He took a piece of the gum, and after unwrapping and popping it in his mouth, proceeded to unfold the cartoon and read it, just like anyone who has ever chewed a Bazooka does! He got out his wallet, paid for his purchases, pushed his cart towards the door and looked back at me, waving the cartoon in his hand. “Thanks,” he said.
I paid for the Bazooka, then put it in my purse, and there it remained out of sight and out of mind. Last week my grandchildren came for a visit and while we were sitting on the couch watching television, my youngest, Reagan, asked me if I had any chewing gum. “No, honey, Mamaw doesn’t chew gum.” I said. WAIT A MINUTE!!!! I sent her upstairs, where she rummaged in my purse and found the pink treat that I had put there weeks before and had forgotten. “ Is this it Mamaw?”she asked. “It looks a little weird.” I explained that it  was a type of bubble gum that was my favorite when I was a little girl.
As she opened it ,she was surprised to find the cartoon. She read it, and then read it to her sister. She looked over at me, who was smiling and thinking back, and said,” Mamaw this is kinda cool. Is this what you did when you were a kid?”  Oh my, talking about feeling ancient. In this world of texting and computers, along with I-Pods and Wiis, it’s downright remarkable that a piece of pink bubblegum with a cartoon attached could bring a little pleasure . I wouldn’t trade that memory for anything. She opened another, and started reading the cartoon while adding the new piece to the first. Time reflected. Enough said.
The following isn’t really a recipe because it’s so darn easy and a no brainer, yet folks will rave about your tasty cake, with the only difference being the addition of a popular candy bar that’s been around a few years of its own, since 1923.
Butterfinger Cake
Make a chocolate cake using your favorite brand of box mix and bake according to the directions. Ice with a vanilla frosting. Unwrap and place 4 Butterfinger candy bars in a zip-lock bag and with your rolling pin crush them into little “bits” Sprinkle over the icing
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