For Baby Boomers, This is the Most Important Story of the Year
Hostess has sold off their brands. Hopefully they won’t change the recipes of Hostess cupcakes, Twinkies, Ho Ho’s, and Ding Dongs. This was the junk food I grew up eating.
When Hostess filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2012, and began closing its plants in November, those of us who grew up in the 50’s were in terror. Our daily snack food, included in our brown bag lunches, was going the way of the 8 track tape deck. We were losing “our Americana”.
My PBJ’s or tuna sandwiches were always made with “Wonder Bread”, because it “built better bodies eight ways”. And how could I resist Hostess cupcakes with that little bit of crème in the middle of all that wonderful chocolate? And what would my life have been without Twinkies. Later came Ding Dongs and Ho Ho’s.
Apple Pie may be THE American desert, but for we baby boomers it was anything Hostess.
Thank God last week the private equity companies of Apollo Group Management and Metropoulos & Co. snatched up the “snack cake” portion of Hostess for $410 million, and on March 19 a Manhattan bankruptcy judge officially approved the sale.
What a relief. Today’s kids have their fast food, pizza, chips and soda. All we had were our snack cakes.
But, somehow we weren’t obese. Of course we didn’t have 200 plus channels on television, or computers with Facebook and twitter. We didn’t have iPhones or even wireless phones. If we wanted information we had to walk, yes, I know it sounds cruel, but we did, to the library. If we wanted to talk to a friend we walked to their house, or bicycled. We didn’t have the ability to play games on a computer or phone, we actually went to the baseball field and ran. We did the same at the basketball courts, often playing until it was too dark to see. During football season, we played touch football until we were too tired to walk.
Summertime found us playing “hide and go seek” in the dark, or roller skating on the sidewalk.
We had no idea what health food was, it was all just food. We didn’t have bottled water, we drank from a hose. We didn’t have someone to drive us everywhere, we walked or rode our bicycles.
Most of us were poor, but life was good. We made our own fun.
And when we went home at night our mothers had cooked us dinner. There were no places to call and have food delivered, and fast food was in its infancy.
When I went to high school the vending machines had apples and oranges, and sometimes bananas in them. Pre-prepared food did not exist. Believe it or not, microwaves were not invented until I had my own children.
We were fit and healthy. We didn’t expect everything to be given to us, we earned it. And life was good.
So I say thank you to the companies that saved my “junk food”. These snacks were the only memory I have of eating something that I know now was bad for me.
Columnist-The Guardian Express