Dem Candy/Special Ladies Took All My Coins

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Happy Halloween!! It’s national candy day and it made me think of always wanting to be one of those candy ladies selling to children afterschool. But here in the states or at least around where I stay, it’s not as common as it was back home. Nowadays, parents have to worry about child predators or malicious people poisoning or adding razor blades to candies.

To avoid those horrors, parents today just buy snacks in bulk and make sure that their kids can grab something (usually healthier) that will hold them over until dinnertime. But boy oh boy, back in the day, I gave all my extra coins away to our neighborhood candy and special ladies. They made a killing off of the school children everyday after school.Candy Lady or Special Lady every neighborhood had one.

Housing Special Lady

I think I hardly ever went to her front door. Afterschool you just went by her back porch, conveniently located by the playground, and yelled ‘INSIDE’. In less than a minute, someone came onto the back porch to take your order and your coins.

Milk was my favorite special, but there were other flavors like pink lemonade, tamarind, green, red….. Yea, I told you before right? Some of the colors I had no clue what the flavor was supposed to be. I just called the color I wanted and that made it all the easier.

Ras Valley Candy and Special Ladies

On the weekends or holiday breaks when I was by my grandmother, I had easy access to the candy lady. In building 15, my grandmother lived one floor above the candy lady, Ms. Carthy. From bazookas to long boys, she had most of the candies we young’uns were looking for.

Then, right around the corner and up the hill was the King family. In addition to candy, Ms. King also had specials for sale too. This is where I got my special fix when I was staying in the country.

All these ladies combined made hella money off of me and the other candy/special eating kids on any given day. If I were living back home, I might’ve jumped on the wagon and became a candy or special lady too.

I don’t know if I’d be selling as much as I were eating, but either way, I would’ve been collecting some innocent children’s coins who only wanted to satisfy their sweet tooth.

Specials at least ran for 25 cents a cup back then. Today my fam back home says that they cost between 50 to 75 cents (depending on the flavor). That just made me think of the boys who used to bag groceries at Grand Union (before Marilyn blew it away), just to make some change and turn right around and gave it right back to the special lady or McDonald’s. Those were the days.

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What did you spend your coins on afterschool? Let me know in the comments what your favorite afterschool treat was/is.

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