When I was a kid, we spent a lot of our summers at Kentucky Lake. There was a little town called Lake City where we would go for bait, tackle, groceries, and such.

One of the real treats was to go to the little candy store in Lake City for a piece of candy. The place was called Candyland and the thing I remember most was the display case full of chocolate “bark” of all kinds. We would get a piece of bark, take it home, break it into little pieces, and try to make it last as long as we could.

Recently, I spent the day at the lake with my wife and kids.  While reminiscing about spending time in the area when I was the same age as my girls, my wife suggested we drive through Lake City.  I was at first very discouraged to see that most of the little town (if you can call it that) is gone.  There were never a lot of businesses, but the restaurants, grocery store, and bait & tackle store that I remember are all gone.

Picture of Candyland from Google Maps

Disappointed, I decided to drive down to the stop light and turn around.  And there it was!  Candyland!  Just like I remembered.  We pulled in and went into the store to find it exactly the same as it was over 30 years ago and all decked out in Easter regalia to boot.  I struck up a conversation with the old man behind the counter and it turns out he was the owner.  He’s owned the place for 50 years, so chances are he was working the counter all those years ago when we would make a special stop into the candy store.

We chatted about how the town has changed over the years and how the new highway has had a (negative) impact on the community.  We picked out a little candy and my wife handed the man the money and suggested that he keep the change.  He was shocked, but he quickly replied that he’d “pay it forward”.  I guess he often gets kids that stop in the store with little to no money, but he always sees that they don’t go away empty handed.  So maybe we helped finance the next few kids who venture in with a bigger sweet tooth than pocket book.

It was pretty special to share that little piece of my childhood with my kids, and let the old man know what fond memories I have of his place.  I hope his family takes up the cause and keeps the little place open another 50 years.  God bless you Candyman……



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