Happy Days

Candy was rationed in our house. I can’t really blame my mother, because I got my first cavity at the tender age of 4 and my painful early experiences with foreign dentists set the tone for my lifelong terror.

Every two years we vacationed in Los Angeles, staying in the home of my immigrant Greek grandparents where we caroused with our numerous noisy cousins. Papou John wasn’t much fun and his interaction with us was generally from behind a newspaper, yelling at us to “sharrup.”

Yiayia Evangelia, however, even though mostly pre-occupied with feeding the masses, did occasionally play with us, and with her we frequently enjoyed a rousing game of Mother May I. On those idyllic summer days, the Good Humor Ice Cream Truck made regular passes down our street and with our finely developed yet selective hearing we could hear its cheerful jingle from miles away.

Yiayia forked up quarters for each of us and we ran into the street to purchase whatever would do the most damage to our teeth and our appetites. Frozen bubble gum was one of my personal favorites.  On the days that the Good Humor man was a no-show, Yiayia would apparate a giant Tootsie Roll and ask, “Wannatuttsiroll?” while breaking it apart to give each one of us a single, soft, sweet, chocolatey, chewy segment.


Happy days…