Sweet Tarts and Red Hots

Mindy liked Red Hots, and those chunky Sweet Tarts the size of a ten year old’s palm.  I liked all things cinnamon, and the rows of sugar dots on sheets of white paper.  We both liked to buy the latest Tiger Beat and 16 Magazines for all things Partridge.  We were more like sisters than cousins, and we treasured those trips to the corner store to buy our bounty.

I drove by that corner today, and although it has changed since the days of Red Hots and Tiger Beat, I saw the ghosts of us there by that long ago store.  We were by the front door, trying to decide what to do with our popsicles before entering.  We didn’t want them anymore, and without a trash can nearby, we were at a loss.  In the end, we mailed them.  That mailbox is long gone, but glancing down the street where it stood, I felt a flash of guilt, imagining the mess the mailman found on that long ago June afternoon.

Mindy is long gone too.  It has been three years since they found her dead on the bathroom floor.  I wish I could take us back – back to the days of David Cassidy and Tiger Beat, back to the days of Nana Dog and bunk beds and Mash, back before she got lost.

It feels like a part of her never left that corner store.  The little girl part never grew up.  In her kitchen drawer, she even left behind handfuls and handfuls of Sweet Tarts and Red Hots.  

18 comments

  • Jean

    Jean

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story and memory you have of growing up with Mindy. I have a feeling I am going to think of the two of you next time I mail a letter in a mail box. :) Jean

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story and memory you have of growing up with Mindy. I have a feeling I am going to think of the two of you next time I mail a letter in a mail box. smile Jean

  • Denise

    Denise

    Thanks Jean! I have lots of Mindy stories. I have a feeling more of them will show up here. I miss her! Thanks for reading along. My best, Denise

    Thanks Jean! I have lots of Mindy stories. I have a feeling more of them will show up here. I miss her! Thanks for reading along.
    My best,
    Denise

  • Margie

    Margie

    Denise - I remember that candy store...brings back great memories....and also sweet memories of Mindy. Xoxo, Margie

    Denise - I remember that candy store...brings back great memories....and also sweet memories of Mindy. Xoxo, Margie

  • Denise

    Denise

    Thanks Margie. It was the store on the corner of Manoa and Darby. It may have actually been a pharmacy with lots of candy and magazines for sale. She lived around the corner on Twin Oaks, and we were allowed to walk there by ourselves from a very young age. It was always a treasured outing. I love that people have sweet memories of Mindy. Thanks for commenting. Xoxo back, Denise

    Thanks Margie. It was the store on the corner of Manoa and Darby. It may have actually been a pharmacy with lots of candy and magazines for sale. She lived around the corner on Twin Oaks, and we were allowed to walk there by ourselves from a very young age. It was always a treasured outing. I love that people have sweet memories of Mindy. Thanks for commenting.
    Xoxo back,
    Denise

  • harry

    harry

    i was in the story. reading yours and remembering my own corner store excursions back and forth. i laughed at the mailbox, but then started to tear for Mindy. sad. i held back. then sweetarts in the drawer burst me open. i miss Po. thank you

    i was in the story. reading yours and remembering my own corner store excursions back and forth. i laughed at the mailbox, but then started to tear for Mindy. sad. i held back. then sweetarts in the drawer burst me open. i miss Po. thank you

  • Denise

    Denise

    Thanks Harry. I am touched that it touched you. My best to you...

    Thanks Harry. I am touched that it touched you. My best to you...

  • houstonalle

    houstonalle

    Wow, that was such a great narrative. I feel a song in that Red Hots and Sweet Tarts…I have memories of those things, too. I have my own "Mindy" who died in her 30s of a brain cancer. Very touching.

    Wow, that was such a great narrative. I feel a song in that Red Hots and Sweet Tarts…I have memories of those things, too. I have my own "Mindy" who died in her 30s of a brain cancer. Very touching.

  • Denise

    Denise

    Thanks houstonalle. I appreciate you reading my blog. I am sorry for your loss. I carry Mindy always. You may be right about the song. I have been trying to write one about Mindy, and have been having trouble finding the right way in. Thanks again!

    Thanks houstonalle. I appreciate you reading my blog. I am sorry for your loss. I carry Mindy always. You may be right about the song. I have been trying to write one about Mindy, and have been having trouble finding the right way in. Thanks again!

  • houstonalle

    houstonalle

    I can't wait to hear it blossom. What a great tribute to the memory of your friend and the good times.

    I can't wait to hear it blossom. What a great tribute to the memory of your friend and the good times.

  • Denise

    Denise

    Thank you!

    Thank you!

  • Ronni

    Ronni

    Been thinking of Myndi a lot lately...I love the memories you have with Myndi and love hearing about them...it's amazing how a place or a song brings those memories flooding back....so many special memories...I miss her all the time but even more so in April.Thanks for sharing.

    Been thinking of Myndi a lot lately...I love the memories you have with Myndi and love hearing about them...it's amazing how a place or a song brings those memories flooding back....so many special memories...I miss her all the time but even more so in April.Thanks for sharing.

  • Denise

    Denise

    Thanks for checking in Ronni. I thought of you when I posted this one. I miss her all the time too, and her birthday is always hard. It is strange, I know, but I had to put her name back together for myself. I always think of her as Mindy. We are both going to always carry her with us. Love to you... Denise

    Thanks for checking in Ronni. I thought of you when I posted this one. I miss her all the time too, and her birthday is always hard. It is strange, I know, but I had to put her name back together for myself. I always think of her as Mindy. We are both going to always carry her with us.
    Love to you...
    Denise

  • mommomsandy

    mommomsandy

    I love your writing. Your memories bring mine back. You are so deep in your thinking. i am so proud of you

    I love your writing. Your memories bring mine back. You are so deep in your thinking. i am so proud of you

  • Denise

    Denise

    Thanks Mom! I love that you read my blog. Love you!

    Thanks Mom! I love that you read my blog. Love you!

  • Cindy Richard-Garcia

    Cindy Richard-Garcia Homestead, FL

    Mindy was one-of-a-kind. I can only imagine the fun you had growing up with her; wish I had known her so many years before "stuff happened". I met Mindy in early 1992, before Hurricane Andrew. Something about her made you feel right at home - like you'd known her your whole life. And she truly had a knack for making you feel like you were her BESTEST friend. I miss her so much and will never forget her. Keep up the awesome writing, Denise, you are a great story-teller!

    Mindy was one-of-a-kind. I can only imagine the fun you had growing up with her; wish I had known her so many years before "stuff happened". I met Mindy in early 1992, before Hurricane Andrew. Something about her made you feel right at home - like you'd known her your whole life. And she truly had a knack for making you feel like you were her BESTEST friend. I miss her so much and will never forget her. Keep up the awesome writing, Denise, you are a great story-teller!

  • Amy Parmenter

    Amy Parmenter

    Denise!! I went to that same store with my best friend...as we also lived within walking distance as kids. It was called Williams Delicatessen. Mr. and Mrs. Williams owned it...he was a bit curmudgeony...and she was always sweet. Barb and I were definitely the only two kids who went there for pickled tomatoes!! And we still laugh about it. I am so sorry for your missing Mindy. She was a nice person. Very kind and fun. What a loss. But thanks for sharing the memory... Big hug.

    Denise!! I went to that same store with my best friend...as we also lived within walking distance as kids. It was called Williams Delicatessen. Mr. and Mrs. Williams owned it...he was a bit curmudgeony...and she was always sweet. Barb and I were definitely the only two kids who went there for pickled tomatoes!! And we still laugh about it. I am so sorry for your missing Mindy. She was a nice person. Very kind and fun. What a loss. But thanks for sharing the memory... Big hug.

  • Denise

    Denise

    Cindy, I am glad Mindy had a friend like you in her Florida life. She was a special person, with a big open heart. I wish she was a better friend to herself. Thank you for carrying her memory with you. She lives on as long as we remember her.

    Cindy, I am glad Mindy had a friend like you in her Florida life. She was a special person, with a big open heart. I wish she was a better friend to herself. Thank you for carrying her memory with you. She lives on as long as we remember her.

  • Denise

    Denise

    Thanks Amy. I like your pickled tomatoes story! Thanks for reading along, and for having kind memories of Mindy. That means a lot. I know you get this. Grief comes in waves. It isn't acute anymore. It flattened me at first. Now I feel the good memories and carry her with me, and sometimes it kicks me in the heart. Thanks again for reading along.

    Thanks Amy. I like your pickled tomatoes story! Thanks for reading along, and for having kind memories of Mindy. That means a lot. I know you get this. Grief comes in waves. It isn't acute anymore. It flattened me at first. Now I feel the good memories and carry her with me, and sometimes it kicks me in the heart. Thanks again for reading along.

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