“Anybody can throw a few Tootsie Rolls at your feet,” I told people lining the streets for the Pittston Tomato Festival Parade, “but a Swedish Fish must be placed right in your hand.”
Then I’d place a Swedish Fish in their hand.
Not just any Swedish Fish either, but the original ones. The soft and chewy ones.
And, get this. Individually wrapped ones.
That’s what I’m talking’ about.
I bought them, close to 50 bucks worth, the day before from Dick Yaniello at his Pittston Cigar and Candy Store on Broad Street. They were worth every penny.
I envisioned eyes lighting up when I passed them out and was not disappointed. “Oooo, the good stuff,” more than one person said, much to my delight.
“The Cadillac of parade candy,” I proclaimed as I dropped them into eager palms.
“Parade candy for adults,” I told others.
“Let the kids grovel on the pavement for the Smarties and lollipops,” I said. “You deserve something sophisticated.”
Of course it was all part of creating positive feelings about Greater Pittston Progress and I’m pretty sure it worked.
I’m thrilled I thought of it, but I must admit I was upstaged by my brother-in-law, my sister Sheila’s husband Paul Kern. Paul rides in a pick-up truck representing Greater Pittston Meals on Wheels. He takes the time to fill plastic bags with assorted candy but also buys dozens of boxes of Cracker Jack. Cracker Jack. Can you believe it?
But, wait, there’s more.
For weeks prior to the parade Paul stops in the Dollar Store and buys little plush animals to toss to the children.
I must admit a plush teddy bear trumps a Swedish Fish every time.
But they don’t taste as good.