We used to ask for a nickle everytime we went to the store. A nickel would buy you some good candy back then. You could get 5 pieces of bubble gum or 5 pieces of penny candy. It would also buy you smaller candy bars like a Reese Cup or Mallo Cup and the greatest candy of all ... those Jolly Rancher sticks! I loved those things. Then they came out with Dippers (the candy stick you dip in Kool-Aid). Also I loved to compose entries for the Razzle's contest although I never sent one off because my mom said the 6 cent stamp was too much to waste.
We ran to the store a lot. I never walked anywhere in those days. Our green house (the one we lived in from the 1st. to the 5th. grade) was about a city block away from the store. Then we moved into our house (my parents built it in 1972). It was only 2 doors down from the store. The only thing between us and candy was the 7th. Day Adventist Church next door.
We made several trips a day to the store. A couple times to get my dad's Lucky Strikes (oh yes, kids could buy cigarettes back then - surely you wouldn't expect an adult to go all the way to the store just for a pack of cigs!) and then the endless trips to get whatever we needed from the store for my mom. If we would have been smart (and we weren't) we could have saved a lot of money up and got good stuff, but I preferred instant gratification back then just the same as I do now.
We waited for the school bus at that store, playing chase everyday until the bus came. One time I remember running full speed over the side of the embankment trying to get away from Ricky Irving. I landed solidly on my head that day. The signal for the game to end would be the lights from the school bus coming over the hill. The last one to base would be "it" the next morning.
We hunted for pop bottles in the ditch next to the store so we could get the nickel for turning them in. We thought nothing of wading barefooted through that sea of broken glass with the bees buzzing everywhere to get one filthy pop bottle! It was worth it for that nickle! One of the greatest days ever was the day we collected enough money for each of us to get one of those new 2 liter pops just for ourselves. (I think they were 29 cents or something like that) That was when the government was telling us that they were going to phase in the metric system whether we wanted it or not because that was what the rest of the world was doing. (sounds like now, huh?)
I got my first job at that store. I was 14. I would get up at 6 a.m. twice a week and sweep all the trash and gravel off the parking lot. I would get 2 or 3 dollars for the 2 hours it took me to do it. If I missed even a few gravels I would have to do it again or I wouldn't get paid.
Then, of course, later on - I robbed it. But that's another story.