27 1/2" x 20"
acrylic on vintage wooden door
After digging through the couch cushions and under car seats for every spare piece of coinage we could find, my brothers and sisters and I would gather all the working bicycles and caravan down dusty gravel roads to Martha's store at the intersection called Hillview. From banana seats to ten-speeds, we raced up and down gentle hills, cautiously watching for traffic ahead and behind, taking care not to get bogged down in the soft sand near the shoulder. One final long uphill that sometimes required our short legs to get off and push, and we had reached the cool relief of our destination. Drooling in front of the glass candy case, we shyly made thoughtful decisions while Martha deliberately punched every piece of penny, nickel and dime candy into her huge old-fashioned cash register and then added it to our individual brown paper bag. No coin was left behind. Our bags were filled with an assortment of Astropops, Fun Dips, Poprocks, Charleston Chew, Bit o Honey, candy necklaces, wax pop bottles, Bottle Caps, double lollies, Sixlets, Necco wafers, Bazooka gum, and some Luden cherry cough drops, because, well, not only do they taste good, but they are good for you. Closing the bell-jingling door behind us, we'd take time to do a few blissful tar-road-riding loops in front of her store, and then turn our bikes back towards the gravel leading home. The return trip always included a brief rest stop at a tiny creek to stare at the water, but mostly to inhale some more sugary heaven. Ahh, such sweet memories. Just a glimpse of this spot transports me right back to the simple, hot, sticky summers of my youth.