Cracker Jack and Related Memories: A Childhood Story– Part I: I became annoyed AGAIN the other day when I stopped to refuel Boxxer and bought a bag of my favorite snack. You remember, don’t you, when a bag of Cracker Jack was 99 cents and, now, the new, smaller bag is a whopping $1.19?! That jogged an unpleasant memory from 58 years ago! I was devastated when the Cracker Jack Company DOUBLED the price of a box of Cracker Jack from 5 to 10 cents! I was introduced to Cracker Jack through a marvelous sequence of annual church picnics during the early 1950s. It was a favorite time of year during late summer when all the surrounding Catholic churches would do a Sunday afternoon money-making picnic for their charitable causes. Mom and Dad would pile all eight of us kids into the 1953 Pontiac, the one with the plastic Indian-head ornament that would light up at night, and off we went on any given Sunday afternoon to Precious Blood, Holy Family, Ireland, St. Henry, Ferdinand, or St. Anthony parish. Upon arrival, Dad would give us each a paper dollar and remind us to save enough for a hamburger, bag of chips, and a soda (25 cents total). This would be our dinner toward the end of the afternoon. I didn’t think much of paper money; it didn’t seem real. So the first thing I did with the dollar was buy a box of Cracker Jack and ask for 19 nickels in change. Wow, now that was a ton of money! I put 5 nickels in my left pocket for dinner and the other 14 in my right pocket for all the delights the afternoon would offer. Those 14 nickels were hot to the touch! (To be continued)