By Mike Ullery
The sun was shining brightly on Friday morning as I woke, ready to
face the coming day. As is my daily custom, I opened my computer to
check for any possible news story that I might need to look into.
And, just like that, my day was ruined — possibly my entire life. One
of the first things that I saw was a headline proclaiming that Hostess
brands was going out of business.
What? No more HoHo's? No more Hostess Cupcakes? No more Wonder Bread? How will any of us survive?
Life can be so cruel. Okay, I survived when M*A*S*H went off the air. But, we have reruns that make life without Hawkeye, Radar and Klinger bearable.
Some of my favorite stores have closed their doors over the years,
and I guess that I have managed to survive. BK Photo and Gallery, in
Troy, leads the way in my mind. It was not only my place of employment
(and enjoyment) for many years, I was also a customer long before I
began working there.
I grew up shopping at Uhlman's and J.C. Penny in downtown Troy. I
should probably say that I grew up tagging along with my mom as she
shopped at those stores. (I recall standing in downtown Troy with my dad
as we watched the Uhlman's store burn to the ground.)
Most of us can recall the Woolworth store at the "old" Piqua East Mall. I spent many hours there and at Mr. Wiggs across the road on East Ash Street. I never had to worry about going hungry because the venerable Ponderosa Steakhouse was directly in between those stores.
I sit here, writing this column and attempting to recall other
favorite foods or products that are now just memories. The problem seems
to be that I cannot recall any of them. That makes me wonder if old age
is affecting my memory, potentially caused by overdosing on HoHo's, or
possibly those material things were just not of enough importance for me
to keep their memory stored in my head.
I am admittedly a junk food connoisseur. Okay ... a junk food junkie.
There is no doubt in my mind that I will forever miss products bearing
the Hostess name.
There was nothing better than opening my lunch box when I was in
school — yes, a good old-fashioned metal lunch box, with Roy Rogers,
James Bond 007, or Gunsmoke theme — and finding a Hostess HoHo, packed by my mom, for dessert. That made taking time out to eat before recess worthwhile.
Some of you are probably thinking by now about all the new trends toward only
eating healthy foods at school. Back in "the day," our parents still
cooked meals at home and eating what is today know as "junk" food was a
treat, not the norm. Oh, and we also spent hours and hours outdoors
playing nearly every day. We did not sit in front of a television. There
were no computers or video games. We burned more calories than we took
in, although, instead of calling it exercise or working out, we just
called it baseball, basketball, fishing, biking ... well, you get the
I'm not sure how I will ever explain to some of my younger grandchildren the pure joy of unwrapping and eating a Hostess HoHo or Cupcake. But, as with everything else, life will go on.
Now, if you will excuse me, I need to rush to a grocery and buy what could be my last box of Hostess goodies.