Memories of My Parent’s Binghamton Neighborhood Store
I rarely buy anything out of the snack machine at work, but a few days ago I was craving some candy so I went to buy one and was shocked at the price of a piece of chocolate.
I was talking with Traci Taylor a few days ago about paying a dollar for a candy bar and it really is funny how certain things take you back to another place and time when things were so much different than they are today.
My conversation with Traci about that candy bar took me back to the days when my Mom and Dad owned a small neighborhood grocery store on Oak Street in Binghamton called “Mosher’s Market.”
My parent’s story was stocked with what many small stores had back then- can goods, eggs, milk, and other popular household necessities. But they also had the best friend a five-year-old boy could ever have and that was penny candy. Tons and tons of penny candy.
If you’ve never heard the term “penny candy” it pretty much just means cheap candy. See, back in the 1960’s and 70’s most stores like the ones my parents owned had boxes, barrels, and other containers filled with a huge assortment of candy and most of the candy would be priced two or three for a penny. If you walked into the store with a quarter, you could fill a candy bag full.
I can still see the candy counter in my parent’s store- the display was encased with glass in the front and there were wooden doors that slid open from the back where we could reach in and take the candy out. and had wooden doors that slide open in the back to reach in and get the candy.
I remember doing a lot of reaching for handfuls of candy and then rushing outside to share it with kids in my neighborhood. My parents finally caught on where all the candy was disappearing to and eventually put a lock on the candy case, which put an abrupt end to my popularity as the kid whose parents owned a candy store.
You think there’s a lot of salesmen today, but back then there were even more- including a real life candyman. The one who visited our store was named Buck and we’d call him “Buck the Candyman.” We loved when Buck the Candyman would come to visit because we knew he was going to bring us all kinds of samples of tasty treats. wax bottles of soda with juice in them.
In addition to the penny candy, I remember that my parents sold big peanut butter cups and candy bars that seemed bigger than my head. Both sold for five cents or less.
I would love to revisit my parent’s store for a day, but I’ll be happy with just sharing the memory with you.
Enjoy your day, and go get a candy bar or something, you know you want to!