Mints and Jerky by Dawn


When we were traveling to Michigan, as soon as we crossed the state line Dad would always go in to the gas station and come out with a bag of Michigan Mints for us kids. It is interesting to note that both I and my eldest sister Vicki remember the mints to be the same. Shiny transparent pale blue hard candies wrapped in clear cellophane. And yet today everyone I speak to thinks of chocolate covered mints in foil wrappers. And an internet search turns up only those foil wrapped treats. I wonder what became of the mints we remember as children?

For me, crossing the border and going to our first gas station meant an opportunity to go in and buy a long beef jerky to savor over the rest of the trip. Yanking tiny bites of the jerky with my teeth I would suck on it and chew it until it finally dissolved in my mouth and it was time for another bite.

Also crossing the border meant a stop at New Buffalo State Park to run off my pent up energy under the white pines and then sit at a picnic table devouring the sandwiches and drinking the Tang Mom packed before we left….

Even today, when I cross the border into Michigan, I remember these treats that marked the crossing in my youth. Sometimes I still stop at the first gas station and grab a bag of jerky for the road, salty goodness for the road ahead!

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