Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday, where Darlene's Book Nook features authors and their books! We are joined today by author Kate Kindle!
I am married, the mother of four grown children, a former teacher and journalist, who has had a dream to publish books all her life, and is finally seeing that dream come true. Northern New Jersey is my home, and I particularly enjoy time spent either in a boat on the Atlantic Ocean, or at one of the harbors or sea shore parks nearby–neither of which I get to do often enough. My husband and I are now awaiting the birth of our third grandchild within six weeks or so, and we are delighted to be thinking pink this time!
Guest Post by Kate Kindle:
It’s the time of year when our thoughts turn to Halloween. I was in the Target store the other night and stopped at adult Halloween costumes. I spotted a witch hat to die for. Made of black sateen fabric, it was decorated with large black leaves, topped by a widow’s veil with spiders crawling on it to, cover the witch’s face and giving a tinge of glamour as she grieves for her dead warlock on Halloween.
I told a young Mom about it this morning when I encountered her during my shopping. We also got to talking about all the candy I collected All Hallow’s Eve when I was a kid. We were city kids, my brothers and sisters and I. In my day, some fifty years ago, there were what we called penny candy display counters in every delicatessen in the neighborhood.
Those delis would be like bodegas are now. Old, with big glass front windows; but, then again, not at all like bodegas are now, there would be row upon row of penny candy enclosed in glass display cases–cinnamon-flavored red fish, sugar-coated peach stones, rows of dots that we licked off the white paper they were stuck to; there were Mary Janes, and red and black licorice sticks, one for a penny. As our eyes roamed up and down the case, we were followed by an old woman whose eyes watched patiently as the eager child walked up and down the length of the case, a speculative finger tracing the glass.
The woman or her male counterpart, might well be smoking a cigarette while they served us. Ah! The good old days! The small customer would relinquish his/her dime only when the order was satisfactorily filled. We had our choice of Bazooka gum in bubble gum flavor, peanut butter kisses, and red hots three for a penny. An interesting item, though not my favorite, Pez candy, had five Pez candies and a dispenser made of an animal head or some such to place on my headboard as a keeper. It was something I bought occasionally. Jaw breakers, king size to store in our cheeks like squirrels, would either a.) break our molars or b.) last for up to an hour of sugary fun.
Summers would find us daily buying creamsicles, orange, cherry and grape popsicles, for a nickel each. Our paths from home to the deli were strewn with papers that wrapped around a pedestrian’s feet on a windy, rainy day. It was like disengaging our small feet from silly putty as we struggled to release them from yesterday’s candy trash. Nobody cared.
This was before Lady Bird Johnson’s anti-litter campaign, which despite the serious nature of our current day crises, was and still is the single most important First Lady campaign to ever come along–of course, this is strictly from a city kid’s point of view.
When the city cleaning crews set up those aluminum mesh trash bins, every two blocks or so around our city of Buffalo, we eyed them with amusement and contempt. Ha! Nobody was going to make us band of street smart city kids pick up our wrappers. Nobody could do it! No siree!
Each mesh bin had a metal sign appended at a child’s eye level that read: “Stash your trash. Don’t be a litterbug.” Now, suddenly, it seemed the First Lady was using her auspicious power to call us names. We had been labeled with a slur! Litterbug! That hurt. This was serious.
Somehow, this anti-litter campaign was all tied up with her Beautify America campaign, too. Our parents took us for Sunday drives. They began to be able to see the trees in the woods and the sights along the way as the billboards began to be limited. They liked it! As her campaign got publicity for her stance in conserving forest lands and stripping national forest areas of billboards, too, our popsicle wrappers, and our ‘here’s to gum on your shoe’ attitude suddenly meant we were anti-conservation. What would Teddy Roosevelt say, we wondered.
“Bully for him,” our parents answered. “Pick up that wrapper. You heard me!”
We began to encounter the old women from the deli’s and their male counterparts, early in the mornings most school days. Even if it was raining a bit, they would be sweeping up the pavement in front of their shops. God help the kid who dropped a Twinkie wrapper or a coke cap.
“Pick up that garbage!” they would call as they straightened their backs which ached from sweeping. It had become personal. And it spread like wildfire across the country.
America had entered an era of clean cities, which we kids came to realize, filled us with pride in ourselves and our town. So. Roosevelt was right after all–the old carrot and big stick routine worked every time.
Thanks for stopping by my guest blog, compliments of Darlene. It’s been a pleasure to visit with you all. As a way of saying ‘thank you’ to my visitors, I am offering to enter your email address into a raffle to win a copy of my spooky, spoofy Halloween thriller novella, “I Love Pie” at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/88848. In addition, it will cost only 99 cents to purchase yourself, so I’m proud to say it really is a Halloween treat for the reader.
My recently published print book, “Angel’s Requiem”, is another Halloween story I hope you’ll enjoy. This mystery novel is about a trick or treater who is murdered in Central Park. Come travel across romantic Europe with Dave, Libby and trouble-making, puzzle-solving Aidan Bonner as they solve the murder and fall in love. On sale at Amazon.com. Available in eBook at Smashwords.com/books/view/12422.
Don’t let the price scare you if it seems too good to be true! The eBook is on sale for only $3.99, your choice of epub styles.
Remember to leave your email address with your comment in order to win a copy of “I Love Pie”. Stay safe, hear? And stop by my blog and say ‘hello’ at http://kindlecloudnine.blogspot.com.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Kate! My favourite penny candies were mojos, caramel squares, and Koo-koo bars which were Neopolitan striped bars of taffy. Yummm!
Please leave a comment with your email address to be entered in the giveaway. Since this is an e-book, the giveaway is open internationally and will close on Friday, September 30th at 11:59 PM CST.