Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

peanut patties

When I was a kid, my father's father worked as a telegraph operator for the railroad. Once, a boxcar filled with peanut pattie candies had a difficulty of one sort or another. The result was that the candies were broken. Instead of looking like little waterglass coasters, only with peanuts on top, they were turned into little crunchy morsels--half moons, crescent moons, gibbous moons ,and irregular shapes. Apparently, the railroad depot employees were permitted to purchase the peanut patties as salvage. My grandfather, whom we always called "Pappy", picked up a huge assortment of these broken candies, apparently at a bargain rate. My memory is that he stored them in huge gallon size pickle jars. We would visit him two or three times a month, at his home in Lester, once an active little town, now two defunct stores and Pappy's home. We ate those broken patties time and time again during our visits. They were a constant for many years, as much as was the Artesian well in the backyard that always flowed water from a pipe put into the ground, and as much as was my father's constant admonition to stay out of the tall grass, for fear of tempting a water mocassin snake to bite. Peanut patties are awfully sweet, and, in quantity, more than a bit cloying. Yet peanut patties symbolize for me something pure and necessary and child-like--the taste of broken candy in a remote country frame house, the sound of my Pappy's voice, a long-time widower, as he offered us the most posh dessert at his disposal. I have never believed that life is about the finest chocolates (much less a box of chocolates) or even the most affectionate relatives. I have always believed that life is about broken candies, salvaged from wreckage, on which we all thrive for years.

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