Walt’s Walk-in, that was the place! Every kid dreamed of a way to tie up Walt, break into the gigundo glass covered candy counter, and make off with a Radio Flyer full of loot. Nobody really knew who Walt was, but we all pictured a jolly fellow, kinda like Santa. There is no way that we believed that Walt was the cranky old coot behind the counter!! Such a person was not worthy of the name “Walt” in our opinion.
The store was in a nasty part of town, so you had to walk about a mile or so, past the dreaded Nellis boys house, and then make it back without getting mugged by the little bastards. On our way there, we would wander by the Texaco station with its massive Palm Soda machine, Karg’s Brothers Leather Mill, and Washburn’s Ice Cream store (chocolate soda’s oohhhhh yummy). More on Karg’s Brothers Leather Mill later, but I just have to say, whoever the Karg’s Brothers were, I doubt they had girlfriends.
Upon entering the store, you were greeted by a crabby old codger that wanted to be around kids about as much as WC Fields did. For 25 cents you could walk away with a paper bag filled with ten bars of Bazooka Joe bubble gum, a handful of licorice sticks, and a vast array of gooey gummy sugar coated kibble. I’ll bet you could feed a family of four for a quarter, just not sure how long they would live.
I recently drove by the location formerly known as Walt’s Walk-in, it is now somebody’s garage. It is sad that Walt did not build his candy empire into the massive industrial conglomerate that it deserved to be. I suppose that the Republicans would make this into a statement about how high taxes drove him out of business and that the Democrats would say that inadequate social programs for the poor resulted in too many people dying from rotten teeth. I prefer to think that Walt’s dream is still alive, perhaps rattling around in the minds of all those kids that feasted on the hundreds of pounds of refined sugar products that he doled out on a daily basis.