The Candy Men

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Shortly after my birth, my parents were living down in Mount Pleasant, Michigan so my father could go to college to become a High School biology teacher. In the summer they went back home to Harbor Springs, Michigan.

My mother had worked at a Fudge Shop called, “Crumps Candy” and soon my father took a job at the shop.Arnold, Mr. Crump, 1966(Dad and Mr. Crump at the store in 1966)

Dad had grown up just kitty corner from where the shop was located and having a sweet tooth himself was happy to take employment there.

DSCF0027Every summer thereafter our family went back to this little summer resort and Dad worked making sweet cream fudge, brittles and caramel chews. As time went by Randall Crump preferred to make mostly hand-dipped chocolates and let Dad handle the rest of the candies.

Mr. Crump was a retired Architect who wanted to make candy and had been taught the art one summer in Charlevoix, Michigan by a candymaker there.

As the years went along Dad decided to open a store of his own in Frankenmuth, Michigan. When Mr. Crump heard this idea he made Dad an offer and our small family held a council. It was decided to move full-time up north where the candy store soon became Dad’s and he changed the name to Howse’s Candy Haus.

Mr. Crump didn’t have a son and his daughters were not interested in the business. Dad lost his father when he was fourteen to cancer so he and Mr. Crump had formed a close relationship, which continued to his death.

DSCF0090(Dad making a batch of chocolate fudge with his son Chris, the new owner, watching)

After several years Dad decided to stop teaching and keep the store open year round.

All twelve of us kids and several family members and friends have worked at the store. Dad opened shop in Florida, Provo, Utah and Park City, Utah. Later, we opened a shop in Nauvoo, Illinois and Bethany and her husband opened a shop in Orem, Utah.

After many years and too many miles, Dad sold the Harbor Springs business to my brother Chris Howse ~ he and his family are the only family running a fudge shop today.

Tiny batches of the sweet stuff are made by many descendants today on their own little marble tables at home. The grandchildren and great grandchildren are able to enjoy a bit of the smell of chocolate melting over the stove and watch in awe as the fudge begins to take shape, knowing as they do, that samples will shortly be melting in their mouths.

Cahokia Mounds in Illinois

1999 05 00 Cahokia Mounds

We lived a few hours north of Cahokia Mounds and drove the other side of the Mississippi River right past it numerous times on trips to Saint Louis, Missouri.

Why we never attempted the trip is any ones guess. No one really talked about it and so when we moved out west it was just one of those things we had missed. Continue reading Cahokia Mounds in Illinois

Tomato Soup in the Temple

G27 ByeTemple

In the second week of June of the year 1965, our parents took us for a trip across the country to Salt Lake City, Utah to the Mormon Temple to be sealed to each otherĀ  for time and all eternity. For better and for worse. No, I don’t think that was actually said, but it was supposed to be a binding experience and one not to be taken lightly nor forgotten.

There were, at that time, four children in our family.

We drove from Michigan and camped out along the way. When it started to get late they found a spot and set up camp. I have a memory of waking up to a school bus load of kids peeking at us in our sleeping bags as we had slept outside a country school in Illinois my parents thought was no longer in use.

Once we arrived at Salt Lake we were dressed in our best white clothing and taken to the Temple. Our parents had interviews and other things they had to do before we were to be sealed to them, so we were taken to the Temple Nursury for several hours.

I recall the big old baby buggys, lined up against a wall for infants. The older ladies who were in charge were much like our own grandmothers, kind and trying to be fun while keeping a spirit of reverence.

We were used to always having our mother’s cooking so when it can time for lunch we didn’t quite know how to take the, “new” food placed lovingly on the table before us.

When mom made us Tomato soup, it had cream and sugar instead of water and never rice in it. I don’t remember what the exact cause was but another boy was there waiting for his parents too and he and my older sister decided to get into a mess. She was around five and he was close to that age too.

The poor ladies never saw it coming.

Right from the beginning of the food fight it was a mess. These little children, all dressed in their best white clothing, now covered in soup that could stain.

All I remember is they were not happy ladies, the food fight ended and we were cleaned up and separated until our parents arrived.

I do remember our parents arriving at the room and taking us into an elevator and going up to a room where it looked like a place from a fairytale castle and we criss crossed our little hands one on top of the other over the altar and the man in charge said a prayer and declared us an eternal family.

We left that day with a totally different story of our first time at a Temple than most, and I am certain we helped initiate a new menu plan for the Nursury.

My parents were very happy that day, and as we left Salt Lake they took the above photo of the Temple. Decades later, after my own marriage in that edifice, I found myself living almost where the bottom right hand corner of the picture starts.

Everytime I eat Tomato Soup I think of the Temple.

stones would play inside her head

1964 08 Howse, Darby after finger accident a1965 06 00 Howse Family 231August 1964 a little girl was playing with tiny stones, gravel really, but in her head these tiny beads of various shades of grey rock were just perfect for putting through the small hole in the metal that was attached to the door of a Volkswagen Bus. Continue reading stones would play inside her head