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*Senior Chief Of Staff*
Posts: 1525
(12/18/02 5:28:07 am)
More than half a century ago, there in the true Heartland of America, things were not all what they seemed. To people of other countries around the world, the Americans were all wealthy and prosperous---the "yellow brick road" remembered from THE WIZARD OF OZ, was indeed a road of gold in their minds. Small farming communities scattered around in northeast Iowa, would certainly qualify by todays standards as being poor and needy. Oh sure, there was always plenty to eat---fresh meat on the fare every meal---good canned garden items for the long winter months. Money was scarce--very scarce. Cream was sold at a co-operative dairy processor at the Chicago listed prices and eggs sold in town on Saturday for the going prices so that was the money the farmers had. In the schools, at Christmas time, the celebrations was what could be afforded---the school I attended had 12 grades but less than 200 students and at Christmas time our classes would exchange names drawn out of a hat and then buy that person a gift. The carved-in-stone amount that could be spent on a gift was set a $.50 or less---. It sure didn't give one much of a choice of things to select for a gift. The local grocer in town really stocked up on items to meet that requirement---the favorite being one pound boxes of cherry centered chocolates---- you know, those syrupy, sticky, sweet things that if it's cold you can crack the thick chocolate covering off in big pieces and get that syrup all over your fingers. Chances are, most of the kids hadn't had a Cherry Centered Chocolate since the box they had rec'd the previous year as a gift---they remembered that technique of biteing the chocolate in to and holding it so it didn't drip. You didn't want to carry that box everywhere you went so you'd put some of those delights in your pocket---the warmth of you hot little body would melt the damn things and when you'd decide to partake of another, it would be soft and mixed with pocket lint, sand, or whatever was in your pocket. It didn't take long before the classrooms smelled like chocolate, the hallways, your fingers, your breath!!! Even the old Dodge schoolbus, vintage 1937, that usually had the odor or a cowbarn or a horseshed, took on the delightful aroma of sweet, cherry centered chocolates---that is until one of the youngsters who had really gorged themselves on those oversweet morsels, decided to up-chuck---to barf---!!! Amazing thing with barf, when you been eating cherry centered chocolates---maybe not having been chewed well in a hurry to get more---it's red and lumpy---looks like the subject has really puked their gutts out---looks very much like chicken parts you feed the cats. Many days late,r after Christmas is over, you may crave the smell and taste of those Christmas delights---that old jacket you were wearing that day when those sweets melted into it's lining---just turn that old pocket inside out and sniff that delightful aroma---just made you almost swoon with the recollection, and you pondered how soon the next Christmas would come. Wilborn
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