My last piece of Bazooka gum
Posted on August 4, 2014 by Sun News
(By Larry Barnett). I chewed a lot of bubble gum in my youth. I liked the taste and liked to blow bubbles. Of course, gum was not allowed in school, so my chewing was done at home or after class with my friends.
In the 1950s gum was cheap; a penny a piece for Bazooka. The pharmacy sold it as did the toy store; it seemed like bubble gum was everywhere. Packages of baseball cards came with gum, though it was often stale and hard and was usually cracked into little pieces by the time the pack was opened. It had a thin, chemical flavor I didn’t like much, and was covered with a mysterious powder to keep it from sticking to the baseball cards.
It seemed a matter of pride to me as to how many pieces of gum I could chew at once. Bazooka was sold by the piece, but also came in one package as a roll one-half inch thick and six inches long. Five indented lines circled the roll to designate portions, but to me it was just a matter of time before the whole package ended up in my mouth. The bigger the wad, the bigger the bubbles, and more than once I had gum stuck in my hair. Our family dentist, Dr. Loring, made some good money filling my cavities, I expect in large part due to all that gum.
I went a long time not chewing gum as I aged. I can’t say why, exactly; perhaps it was not a counter-culture artifact, or inappropriate for a guy in business. Whatever the reason, for most of my adult life I forgot about bubble gum, then one day six months ago I wandered into Tiddle E. Winks Vintage 5 and Dime near the Plaza, and filling a bin were at least one hundred pieces of Bazooka. My long lost youth came rushing back, and I bought a handful. The price had gone up to ten cents each, but it didn’t matter. I popped one in my mouth and – Poof! – I was eleven again. The taste was exactly the same, though the piece was smaller. The bubbles blew good.
Next time I went back, I was given bad news: no more individual pieces of original flavor Bazooka were being made. I’d bought some of the very last batch. Therein ensued the great bubble gum taste test, comparing original Bazooka to its replacement along with Double Bubble, Bubblicious, Hubba Bubba, some off-brands and one shaped like pink cigars. I won’t call the taste test traumatic, but disappointment came with every new wad. Some were too fruity, others too grainy; some too soft, others too chewy. One made my throat itch, another had a metallic aftertaste. Here I had just rediscovered the bubble gum of my youth and its thrill was promptly snatched away by the evil demons of marketing!
Heidi, the proprietor was sympathetic; she could lose a devoted Bazooka customer who might spend five bucks a visit! More than that, she could feel the crush of my disappointment. Next time I came in, she gave me a deal on my next choice, and a free sample of a new offering from Double Bubble; its package said it was the original formula from 1928. The ingredients include high fructose corn syrup, which did not exist in 1928, but what the hell, it’s bubble gum.
Definitely a good time if you're under the age of 5, but probably pretty enjoyable no matter how many candles were on your last cake, these Got Milk? Magic Milk Straws
($3/package) infuse your milk with their yummy flavor as you sip. Choose from chocolate, strawberry, cookies and cream or vanilla for some seriously luscious leche!
We got somewhat carried away with downtown Sonoma. Not only did we enjoy wandering all the stores, boutiques, candy stores. The Sonoma Cheese Factory and Tiddle E. Winks
were our favorite. We wish the tri-tip sandwich at Sonoma Cheese Factory was not sold out, because it would have been a great addition to our picnic in the late afternoon.
Walk off some of that delicious cheese and head to the other side of the plaza, where you’ll find Tiddle E. Winks
, Sonoma’s Vintage 5 & Dime. Colorful candy and sweets practically spill out the front door, and inside you can find every vintage item you could ever hope for- trinkets, gifts, notebooks, glasses, 50′s records, etc. You’ll love the sweet smell of this tiny shop, and make sure to get a good look at the checkout station- it’s actually an old diner bar complete with bar stools.
Take a trip down memory lane at this fun, colorful “vintage five and dime”. Walk inside and you’ll be greeted by the storeowner, Heidi, best known around town as “the Candy Lady”. Let your eyes wander and as you become reacquainted with your beloved childhood toys and games. Like a museum, you can’t help but want to touch everything in the store. Enter further and you’ll be halted by towering shelves, jam-packed with classic candies that will have you yelling “Please Mom, Can I have it?!”
Love him or not, Sonoma native Ben Flajnik’s starring role on “The Bachelor” has brought international attention to Sonoma Valley, to the delight of business owners.
During the Sonoma-centric episode, he brought Kacie B., an administrative assistant from Tennessee, on a late-night date around the Plaza, filmed between 10:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. when the square was all but deserted. It began with a visit to the Centre du Vin at the Ledson Hotel where the pair played piano before heading to Tiddle E. Winks for some quirky toys.
Read More: Sonoma News Article
That's right boys and girls, we have been featured in Every Day with Rachael Ray not once, but twice! April and May, oh lucky day! The first issue showed the fun & fabulous Fizzies as an Easter basket item, and the May issue has the yummy & delicious Magic Milk Straws as one of Rachael's "Fave Eats".
We're tickled pink to be in Frommer's
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A nice, little blurb in the SFGate section of the Chronicle. And just in time for the holidays! The geography glasses in the picture are a big hit in the store. We carry every country and state that they make, and most of the cities as well. You can mix & match them any way you like! Oh, and don't forget the matching dish towels and fabulous, hand embroidered pillows!
There was lots of fun and laughter when Masud Husain came to Tiddle E. Winks for a book signing of his latest book, Ad Boy.