Friday, October 14, 2011

The Friday Five

I grew up in a small town, 20 or so miles west of Boston. The town has since blossomed, but back them it was  located in the back of beyond. It may have been small, but there were plenty of places for a kid to spend an allowance. I got 50 cents a week. Five places where I spent my allowance.

1. The Golf Range. Across the empty lot and through a small, wooded path was a driving range. There was a small shed like building, too small and rustic to be called the pro shop. Besides being able to buy a bucket of balls or a colored golf ball and putter for the the mini-golf, there was an array of candy and gum. Zero Bars, Sky Bars, Bemis gum. I stopped buying candy there when I opened a package of Bit o' Honey and found ants had beaten me to the treat. Candy bars cost a nickel.

2. During the Summer months, just past the last golf driving tee was the Frosty T. Soft service ice cream cones were just 10 cents. For an extra nickel, you could get a dip top which was a waxy, candy hard shell. My favorite combination was a chocolate cone with a cherry dip top. Oh, and the glorious smell of fried clams was free!

3. In the center of the Clarke Block, downtown, Sterns' Cigar Shop carried yards and yards of gimp. We'd braid the colored plastic lace into bracelets, necklaces, and lanyards. You could buy candy at Sterns' or gum.The gum was coveted for the wrappers which were folded together to form chains. Sterns' also carried comic books. I didn't spend my cash on them, but went next door and read the latest Himself had bought.

4. Woolworth's Five and Ten had it all. Small hardware, household items, candy, and toys. Little cars, dolls, whistles. It was all there. And the place to go for Halloween costumes though Ma and Dad usually bought the Halloween costumes.

5. Tilly's carried penny candy: Atomic Fireballs, Mary Janes, Squirrels, root beer baby's or barrels, wax lips, Mint Juleps, Dubble Bubble Gum, Tootsie Rolls, and Tootsie Pops (they cost 2 cents).

When you were a kid did you get an allowance? What did you spend your jingle on?


  1. I saved all my allowance, and it drove my older sister crazy. She always spent her money, and couldn't stand it that I had a little wooden box full of it.

  2. I didn't get a regular allowance as a kid, but we lived about 100 yards from a Quick Trip gas station, so we were sent over quite often for a loaf of bread or gallon of milk, and we usually got to have a treat too.