Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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Were you a bubblegummer?

When I was a kid, I loved bubble gum. We had Dubble Bubble and Bazooka, and we chewed a hole in that stuff.

I had no idea at the time that Dubble Bubble was invented in 1928.

 Or that Bazooka wasn’t marketed until after WW2. (Thank goodness for Wikipedia!)

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As a kid, I always liked Bazooka best because it was softer, easy to share (it had a dividing dent down the middle) and it had comics! Remember Bazooka Joe? I think he was GI Joe’s brother. 🙂

Okay, confession: I’m not sure which gum was flat with that dividing line down the middle. Maybe at one time they both were made that way, because they both had cartoons.

I might have forgotten which one we liked best, I haven’t forgotten–

  • The beautiful pink color. (All bubble gum was pinky-pink back in the day.
  • Bubble blowing competitions with friend.
  • Mama getting the gum off my face when my bubble popped.
  • Mama getting the gum out of my hair when I fell asleep with it in my mouth. (That hurt!)
  • Bubble gum cigars. (We didn’t take them around Dad.)
  • The thrill of a friend giving me a piece of bubble gum, even though it only cost a penny or two.
  • How excited everyone was when “new” bubble gum was invented.

Remember the “new” gum? What was it called? Hubba Bubba? I’m not sure, but it was soft and came in so many colors and flavors. Everyone chewed it! Even women who managed dress shops. ;p

Then we heard there were spider eggs in that gum. And lots of people believed it, because either it was made over seas or one of the ingredients was. But it wasn’t long before we went back to chewing a hole in it, too.

Of course, we couldn’t chew bubble gum in church. Regular gum was okay if we didn’t pop it or smack, but bubble gum was off limits.

I’m not sure why. Maybe Mama thought it was disrespectful to blow bubble in God’s house. Or maybe she thought the preacher wouldn’t like bubbles exploding during the sermon. Truth is, she was probably afraid I’d blow a big one, it would explode and cover my entire face, and the preacher would laugh out loud at just the wrong time.

Do you remember . . .

The first time you blew a successful bubble?

The first time you saw your mother blow a bubble?

Teaching your kids how to blow bubbles?

Santa Claus popping a bubble into his beard and mustash? (Miracle on 34th Street 1947)