Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Brooklyn, New York

A Trip In The Old Ford

Don't ask when the trip was please.

All I can tell you is that Daddy and I made a one day trip sometime in the last century in an old Ford, the kind that looked like a box with an engine out front.

I guess I can give a couple hints now that I've had a few minutes nap in front of the screen. I was about 10 years old I think. And it was during the depression years when a lot of folks were scrounging around for a little extra cash even if they were working and that included my father.

Brooklyn. Not far away now that there's four lane highways and a speed limit of maybe 70 or more. Back when we made the trip it was on Route 6, a two lane road not very wide and bumpy as well. We had to leave home in the dark, long before the sun got up and it was dark when we got back home.

What a trip and I don't remember if it really did any good in the long run for Daddy who was just trying to bring in a bit more moola anyway he could to keep us all well fed and clothed.

How Daddy got into the business that took us to Brooklyn is unknown to me or un-remembered if I ever knew but it had to do with candy and that's my SWEET topic for tonight's blog.

Whatever time of the century that was, it was one when candy was cheap ==- or nearly cheap - a nickel a bar for Hershey, Baby Ruth, Snickers, Mars and some other names I knew then but aren't around anymore these days.

Those SWEETS were sold everywhere but also in candy machines and that's where Daddy and I came in. He had made a deal I guess with somebody to get some candy machines which he could fill with SWEET bars of enjoyment . He must have had a deal, too, to get candy wholesale.

He'd hang them up in the railroad station, the bus station, the downtown rest room, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars halls and the beano parlor where hungry folks could get a snack.

He even had one in the newspaper office where the first Mr. Reed could buy a quick pickmeup.(That would be William H. Reed, father of William R. Reed for whom I worked in the late '40s and early '50s.)

Anyway, this one special day, Daddy and I took off to Providence and then down through Connecticut and into New York, arriving at the George Washington Bridge.

That bridge is quite high and underneath it, at least then, were stores, houses and warehouses. We got to one of the warehouses and saw a guy about the candy machines who first said "you got the money?"

Daddy said yes, he had the money and the guy said to give it to him. Daddy gave him some. The guy counted it and said that it was not all he was supposed to get.

Daddy said put the machines in the car and then I'll give you the rest. The fellow didn't want to do that but Daddy showed him the money and then put it back in his pocket.

The car was soon crammed with candy machines, each one about three feet by one by one foot. Back seat, floor, trunk and running boards, where they were strapped down. Daddy paid and we started again for home. Rained all the way. The roof leaked a bit but nobody got wet.

What happened after that I don't know. Later I saw the machines in lots of places around town and often I helped Daddy fill them up with candy bars, At least once a week I probably swiped a SWEET Hershey bar but Daddy knew and didn't ever say much.

How long the candy business lasted with Daddy I don't remember. The next sideline business - at least another sideline, there might have been others after the candy machines - was selling neckties.

Probably my helping to sell candy bars and neckties is what got me into selling raffle tickets on lampshades a few years later.

- 30 -

1 comment:

  1. Did Grandad put the Chiclets machine in the bus station in Taunton? That's the only one of those small vending machines I remember.But for some reason I've often thought of it.