Good stuff

Free fun for kids

  • Elks Spring Carnival -- The Livermore-Pleasanton Elks Lodge will host a free children's carnival for Tri-Valley kids ages 2 to 12 on Sunday. Free of charge, each child will receive 10 game tokens, a hot dog lunch, popcorn and cotton candy. The carnival runs from 1 to 4 p.m. at Elks Lodge #2117, 940 Larkspur Drive in Livermore. The event is funded by an Elks National Foundation grant.

    Seen & Heard

    Why'd the turkey cross the road?

    Overheard last week on the police scanner: A dispatcher reported turkeys on Interstate 680 near Bollinger Canyon Road in San Ramon.

    Moments later: a second call from the dispatcher came through, canceling the turkey alert -- nothing left on the road but feathers.

    -- Jim Stevens, Staff

    April 20, 1977 Top story of the Pleasanton Times

    Headline: "Exploding Candy and Merchants Blast"

    Watch out. America is right in the middle of an exciting although probably short-lived fad -- Pop Rocks!

    These little sugar crystals, in grape, cherry and orange are being ripped off the shelves by kids and grown ups alike, local merchants report, due to their unique effect: Once in the mouth, they explode.


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    Ten cases of Pop Rocks (Nearly 2,000 packages) sold out in two-and-half-days at TG&Y in San Ramon, the clerk said. The 7-Eleven store on Silvergate Drive in Dublin rations them three to a person, and the chain's Pleasanton store is completely sold out.

    A common occurrence in playgrounds, office buildings and who knows where is for someone to come up and, with a sparkle in his eyes, ask, "want to try something neat?" A skeptical glance follows -- a flashback to the time when chocolate laxatives were placed in the candy dish -- curiosity rules and the typical reaction is, "Wow, what's that?"

    They are artificially flavored sugar crystals, processed with carbon dioxide to provide the pop. And at 20 cents a pack, it works out to nearly $20 a pound. A chemist at the Foremost research center in Dublin theorized that when saliva dissolves the candy coating, carbon dioxide is released. The gas exerts pressure, which stimulates the crackle effect.

    "Are you looking for Pop Rocks?" a night clerk at the Dublin 7-Eleven routinely asks when a bewildered adult scampers fruitlessly up and down the candy aisle. (They are usually kept on the front counter, away from sticky fingers.)

    "It's fantastic," she said. "We can hardly keep them in stock, that's why we ration them. Adults buy them to show their friends."

    And 1977 has a new star!

    Real Estate: Valley Realty, Livermore. Improved with age, beautiful house with Ben Franklin fireplace. Located on a large lot. A real doll house at $40,500.

    UCB Realty, Pleasanton. View location. Four bedrooms, three baths, large master bedroom, pantry and more. Price reduced to $79,500.

    Groceries: Lucky's. Beef chuck blade roast, 59 cents a pound; strawberries, 12-ounce basket for 33 cents; Ragu spaghetti sauce, mushroom or meat, 32-ounce jar for $1.19; Harvest Day long spaghetti, two pounds for 75 cents; Van de Kamp pork and beans, 16 ounces, 29 cents.

    Trivia Question: What type of research lab did General Electric start building in Pleasanton in 1956?

    Last week's answer: See top story above for April 20, 1977.

    Contact Louise Hartman at lhartman@bayarea- newsgroup.com or follow on Twitter at Newsie1195.