"Hunks" or "Fend Hunks"

by Charles McGrath


A very common phrase used by Newark kids was "Hunks" or "Fend Hunks." 
Back in the 1940’s there were many candy stores. These stores offered penny candy that was very attractive to us. It seemed like candy stores were an integral part of every child’s life. Most of it was either the hard type or something in the caramel or taffy family. Chocolate candy was not readily available during the war years. But the Indian brand salted pumpkin seeds were my favorite. They came in a small box that cost two cents. There were also grab bags for a couple of pennies. A grab bag was a small little brown bag (not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes). This bag was tied closed so no one knew what was inside. This was how the owner sold his old stale candy.  
Twice a day we would walk to school with our friends. I say twice because we walked home for lunch. After lunch we would ask our mother for a couple of pennies. Sometimes she had it, sometimes she didn’t. Most kids with their friends walked past at least one candy store on their walk back to school. There was a form of rules or etiquette that we all abided by in acquiring candy. If we walked into the store with a friend who had money we would yell “Hunks”. If he was fast enough he would say “Fend Hunks” 
Surprisingly friendships were not compromised by those phrases. 
"Hunks" or "Fend Hunks"


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