By: Paige Cline
A friend and I were discussing the state of the economy the other day and I was reminded of a column 1 wrote on that subject some time back.
As I was getting out of my car the other day, I looked down and saw a nickel. I reached down and picked it up but felt no particular excitement. But I remembered a time in my life when finding a five-cent piece would have caused my heart to start pounding. In a time when a couple of pennies would buy you a lot of candy, a nickel was wealth.
For instance, you could buy yourself a 12 oz. Pepsi Cola or a Spur or an RC (Royal Crown). If your taste was for a soda, you could choose from Nehi or Sun Crest for orange, strawberry, cherry, lemon-lime, root beer, ginger beer or ginger ale. Orange Crush was popular even though it came in a smaller brown bottle. It was so real that there was orange pulp suspended in it. Man, that was good.
I liked Coca Cola even back then, but I usually opted for a Pepsi because you got twice as much pop for your nickel. RC and Spur were also popular for that reason. The combination of RC and a Moon Pie had much more meaning back then. Ten cent would buy you a large drink and a delicious Moon Pie. People younger than myself have no idea what a wonderful treat the Moon Pie was Unlike the things we buy today, Moon Pies were one layer. They were round and six inches in diameter. The inside was a delicious marshmallow concoction not at all like the white glue that they use today. The cake part was tasty and covered with real chocolate. Yummy.
If you were a mind to , you could take your nickel to Holloway’s and get a cone of ice cream. The cones were constructed to hold two scoops, side by side. I usually got one scoop of vanilla and one scoop of chocolate. If you knew the soda jerk, which we usually did, there might be as much ice cream sticking over the sides as on the cone.
A pack of Nabs was a nickel and you got five in a pack. A big bag of popcorn was also five cents at the theatre as was the candy from the vending machines. Peanut Chews and Milk Duds were my favorites.
Anyway, a kid with a nickel in his pocket was a man of means, roaming around town with the coin burning a hole in his pocket, trying to decide where to invest his newly acquired capital. Money was made to be spent. This big-time spender lived by that tenet.
A kid’s life was changed just a little because he had found a nickel. He resisted the temptation to slip away and drink all the Pepsi. Instead, he remained true to the code and saved “ducks” for his buddy. A couple of drinks were left in the bottom of the bottle for his pal. Stuff like that was the glue that sealed the friendships that would last a lifetime.
E-mail [email protected]