When I was young, a box of Cracker Jack was one of my favorite treats. I loved the sweet brown coated popcorn and peanuts. I’m not sure what the coating was, but it tasted great. I remember that I would pop open a box, and pour the treat into my mouth. What made Cracker Jack even better was the toy surprise in each box. To many, these surprises are no big deal, but they were to me and obviously they had their appeal, because Cracker Jack and its surprise are still around today. The surprise, which was never bigger than an inch square and not much thicker than a quarter, could be a pendant , a book, a puzzle (I remember one where you maneuver a little steel ball through a maze andther was like a mini pinball machine), a set of tattoos (one of my favorites), a whistle, a top, and so on. Most prizes were OK but some were mini treasures, and I kept them all – yes, ALL. Some I played with a little but was always careful not to break or ruin them. Most were never played with, just gently handled and prized. Today I look back and see how this seemingly innocent practice might not have been the best behavior.
June 8, 2014