Charlotte Russes

by Barbara L. Rothschild


Hello, fellow ex-Newarkers: How many of you remember those little squeezable tubes of a plastic substance, that came with a little plastic straw, and was called "plastic bubbles"? You put a dab on the end of the little plastic straw, and blew into the other end, and Voila, (!), out came this bounceable plastic bubble. The smell was probably very toxic, not unlike paint varnish or probably could DIE from prolonged smelling the stuff, but no one told us that back in those days. It sold at the local candy store for ten cents a tube, and your mothers went nuts over the stuff, because it did not wash out of clothing, if you got any of it on yourself.

Also, how many of you recall buying those great delicacies called, "Charlotte Russes", they consisted of sponge cake, with a little whipped cream on top, and they came in a little scalloped edge push up cardboard container. They too, sold for ten cents a piece, and you could only buy them certain times a year, but I can't recall just when.

And how about the comic book rack....usually a wooden (probably Mahogany) vertical rack, and you stood there reading, while the candy store owner became increasingly angry, since you usually were "just browsing", rather than spending that mighty dime or later on, that noble quarter!

Of course, on Saturday nights for a real treat, or when COMPANY came to the house, your mom would go to the candy store for fresh, hand dipped ice cream, which would be packed into a carton, similar to the Chinese food take-out cartons we have today. If the candy store owner liked you, he or she would pack the ice cream up past the sealing flaps, giving you some extra ice cream, and then maybe the whole carton would be weighed on a little scale, intended just for this purpose. I can still recall the creamy taste of that coffee ice cream....none like it today, even Baskin-Robbins, or Friendly, no one can reproduce that great, creamy taste of fresh, hand dipped ice cream. What a treat that was!!!

Who can also recall a brand of soda called Washington's; it was a script type of writing on a squat little bottle, usually came in orange, lime or fruit punch flavor. My favorite was the fruit punch!

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