Lollipops range in size from the tiny ones bought by the bagful, and sometimes given away at banks or thrown from parade floats, to the enormous ones twisted into rainbow swirls.
When I was growing up, my sister and I always watched for the candy man who made deliveries to the company store where mother was manager. We lived in a coal camp at the time and the store was only a stone’s throw from our front porch. We knew if ran down there to greet him, he would allow us to choose a piece of candy from his many boxes. Remember Sugar Daddies? That was usually my pick. Back then they were large and would last for hours. I also loved Tootsie Pops in cherry or grape. Though I no longer indulge, I may have to listen to my inner child and celebrate this special day.
George Smith is usually credited with inventing the modern style lollipop in 1908. His idea of putting candy on a stick made it easier to eat and he named the treat after a popular racing horse at the time, Lolly Pop.
In my book, Agnes Hopper's Bridge to Retirement , one my characters who lives in this small-town retirement home is nicknamed Lollipop because his shirt pocket is always filled with suckers. His sister brings him a new box every week. He also loves to watch cartoons. His real name is Elmer McKinsey and he is a dear, sweet man who happens to be mentally challenged.
Lollipop doesn’t speak many words in the book, but he is delightful just the same. One of my favorite lines of his is, “Wanna be my girlfriend?” He makes me smile and he seems as real to me as a next-door neighbor or the candy man from my childhood.
What was your favorite sweet growing up? Something on a stick? Anything chocolate? Or maybe ice cream. Yum. Let me know!