Favorite

Trick or treating on Memory Lane 

It's Halloween time again, and The Observer is saddened to report that Junior — only 12, but already a hefty 5'10" — is finally too big for trick or treating, even if we could convince our headstrong 'tween to take such an indignity as door-to-door begging upon himself. Halloween has always been our favorite time of year, especially so after Junior was born. The Observer is something of a tinkerer and mad scientist, and we've built him some hum-dinger costumes over the years, including a paper mache round-dome diving helmet so he could go as "Junior Cousteau: Ocean Explorer" one year.

Paired with a gray tracksuit and a faux weight belt, that baby scored Junior and his Wheelman a lot of candy that year: 6-year-old him bobbing along in the cool dark in his helmet, busily bankrupting the candy bowls of Ridgeway. Ah, memories.

The Observer loves old timey stuff — old timey cars, old timey books, old timey houses. We're not personally old timey yet, but we feel that way sometimes. We particularly like old-timey stores, those places where you can get all the stuff you never quite knew you needed.

If you're in the market for an old-timey drugstore, check out Drug Emporium on Rodney Parham. Spouse has been a fan for years, and last weekend, we stopped in for something for her real quick and wound up staying for almost an hour until she finally dragged us out.

We don't do commercials in this space, but Yours Truly was honestly amazed with their selection. That amazement can be summed up in two words: mustache wax. Yes: mustache wax. If you're dying to wax your mustache — to go Snidely Whiplash or Salvador Dali or just freestyle it — they've got tubes of mustache wax at Drug Emporium, each tube packaged with a tiny mustache comb.

That's just the tip of the weirdo-mercantile iceberg on display there: Shaving brushes, cakes of shaving soap and wooden shaving soap cups. Bottled kombucha mushroom tea. Frozen Indian food. Over a dozen varieties of steel-cut oatmeal. Bay Rum cologne. Over two dozen varieties of crazy Dr. Bronner's Soap with the weird little writing about the Apocalypse on the label. The biggest vitamin selection we've ever seen under one roof. Little foam jellybeans to keep your knees apart when you're sleeping. A humongous organic food section (at prices that wouldn't even get you in the door at Whole Foods). More. Just row on row of interesting stuff to look at, smell, and puzzle over.

Maybe best of all, we discovered that Drug Emporium still has what appears to be one of the last surviving examples of the three-for-a-quarter, honor-box candy stands. The Observer loved those as a kid, always begging two bits out of Pa while shopping with the Parental Units at Safeway so we could buy root beer barrels, our hard candy favorite until that love affair came to an end over a shattered molar in our early 30s.

On Saturday, we turned the corner at Drug Emporium and were suddenly back there again: 6 years old, standing with a quarter in our hand before that first hint that someone out there trusted me to do the right thing. The only difference was this one happened to be situated smack dab in the middle of the modern world, seems so obsessed with the idea that somebody is going to make off with something they shouldn't have. No need to check out. No need to get a receipt and copy of the receipt to keep from setting off the alarm at the door. Just your own personal morality and sweet tooth. Plunk your quarter into the steel box with a lock on it and select your candy. Easy as pie.

Praying for our fillings, we chewed Milk Maid caramels all the way out the door, marveling that our own childhood could be purchased so cheaply.

The Observer's hands-down favorite Democrat-Gazette headline of recent memory, from a story on the outdoors they ran last Saturday: "Moss Grows Where the Sun Don't Shine."

Given that every comment we've thought of making right now sounds worse than the original headline, we'll just leave it at that.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Show and tell

    The Observer is an advocate of the A+ method of integrating the arts and using creativity to teach across the curriculum, an approach that the Thea Foundation, with help from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, is offering to schools across the state.
    • Feb 25, 2016
  • Yawp

    The Observer has been in a funk lately for a number of reasons: revulsions and slights, both foreign and domestic. We get that way most years as the winter drags on, once the tinsel and colored lights of Christmas drop into the rearview, soon after we come off the New Year's Day hangover.
    • Mar 24, 2016

Most Shared

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • Raw feelings in the Arkansas Justice Building over workload, pay

    Strained relations between the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of Appeals broke into public view this week. I expect more to come.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.

Latest in The Observer

  • Summer resolutions

    The Observer likes making resolutions at New Year's. We don't manage to keep any of them other than the one we always start with — "Stay Above Ground" — but we do like making them.
    • May 25, 2017
  • More bad news

    As we write this, the Little Rock City Board is readying an ordinance to make it exponentially harder for charities to feed poor and homeless people in city parks.
    • May 18, 2017
  • Art imitates life

    If you're not watching "The Handmaid's Tale" on Hulu, you should be, if your heart can stand it.
    • May 11, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
  • Health care policy FAQ

    What proposed state and federal changes mean for the future of health care policy in Arkansas.
  • High school MVP

    An Academic All-Star who approaches perfection.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Profile of a plant

    • After having a persistent cough for over a year, I was diagnosed with COPD in…

    • on May 25, 2017
  • Re: Profile of a plant

    • NOTE: My treatment/solution to every problem don't have any negative side effects... you will be…

    • on May 25, 2017
  • Re: A long way to fall

    • Is all of this true?

    • on May 24, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation