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Faded Pictures from a Life: Candy



My relationship with sugar is a long story of addiction. My mother grew up during the Depression and was poor, “not enough to eat” poor. Sugar was out of the question when you were picking weevils out of discarded flour for your food. When my mother was married and there was a reasonably steady income to buy groceries, sugar was finally accessible. She foreshadowed the U.S. processed food industry by putting sugar in everything she cooked. Homemade high sugar baked goods were always available in our house. Holidays were saturated with candy. I don’t think I ever got “sugar highs” because I was always high on sugar. Even with an active play life in the neighborhood I still was chunky and that chunkiness has stayed with me through most of my life.

Every penny of my 25 cent allowance was spent on candy. Across from our corner grocery store was little rundown building that housed a bicycle repair and candy shop. That is where most or all of that quarter went. It was run by a kind old man who charged little for bike repair and his candy was cheaper (at least in my memory) than the grocery store. It seems that there was a far greater diversity of wrapped candy in those days — penny candy, two penny candy, five cent candy, and the king-size — 10 cent candy. Standing and looking at the racks and jars is a vivid memory. All that wonderful sugar.

The addiction has followed me all my life. I have overcome other addictions but not sugar. Many times I have tried but have inevitably fallen off the wagon followed by a binge.

Candy, 9″ x 12″, acrylic on shuen paper, 2021

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