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Etta And The Hershey Bar

Story ID:6838
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Dillon MT USA
Year:2011
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Another in the continuing stories about my dear grandmother, Etta.

Etta And The Hershey Bar
By Chuck Dishno

My grandmother, Etta, who I have written about before lived with my family in the small logging town of Bly, Oregon. At the time we lived there the population was around 400, mostly hard working loggers or saw mill workers. There was one church, one movie theatre, one 2 lane bowling alley and one school that started in the 1st grade in one end and ended with the 12th grade at the other. There were also 5 beer joints and one pool hall to accommodate the hard working loggers. The only stores were a dry goods store with a soda fountain and two grocery stores. One was the Sycan Store which had about everything needed including a frozen food locker. The other was a mom & pop store called Elders Grocery named after the proprietors, Mr. & Mrs. Elder. They were great people and it was just like stepping back in time to “Lum & Abners Jot-Em-Down Store”. Mr. Elder was a wizened up little man who we thought to be at least 80 years old. His wife was a delightful little lady of about the same vintage. This was the kind of store where you went in, told them or gave them a list of what you wanted and they would fill the order for you. They would even deliver it to your door and run a charge account for you.
Elder’s store was just a short way from our house and when my grandmother, Etta, would get a little extra money from her piano students she would walk to the store and buy something sweet. Etta had a sweet tooth and loved chocolate. One day she went into the store and bought a large Hershey bar. Remember them? In the 40’s you could buy one for 20 cents and it weighed almost half a pound. Now they are over $2.00 and smaller too. On this particular occasion she picked out the bar and when she got home she carefully opened one end and took a small bite out of the corner. Grandma was very frugal and made every bite a treat. Much to her surprise, the Hershey bar she picked was bitter sweet chocolate. She loved chocolate but if she was going to pay 20 cents for something, she wanted it right. After much contemplating, she carefully wrapped up the candy and took it back to the Elders. She told Mr. Elder that she had picked up the wrong one by mistake. He said that was OK just to put it back and get the right one. This she did and on the way out, her conscience got the best of her and she confessed to Mr. Elder that she had taken a bite out of one end. He said, “Oh, that’s all right, Mrs. Hartman.” Then he turned to his wife and asked, “How much should we charge her for the bite?” When the story of this got around it created much hilarity for years. Every Christmas for many years, someone would buy a Hershey bar, open it and take a bite out of one end then wrap it back and give it to Etta as a gift.
Etta is in Heaven now and I hope she has all the milk chocolate she wants. She deserves it.