Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Donna's Journal
August 6th, 2004

     Each generation of our children had the delightful opportunity of visiting the candy factory at Dexter, Kansas. The experience is always new for the children and although we have seen it many times we still enjoy watching. Adults plug along with the dogged determination of a turtle. Children, on the other hand, do not. They are always busy. Their minds are ever searching for learning. Kids  see so much on television, it's true, but this is not the complete meal for them. In fact, the tube is a little like having a sandwich without bread. On this day the children stand looking through wide, long, windows while the workers go about their business.

      One of the workers is watching a large vat of bubbling green liquid. She keeps a constant vigil over  the thermometer. When she is satisfied with the proper degree she calls another worker. The woman who comes to help her has thick gloves on her hands. Together they lift the large crucible looking pot off its place on what looks like a giant Bunsen burner.  The table they pour the boiling liquid onto is about four feet wide and ten feet long. It is a heavy metal material and is only about three inches deep. The green liquid quickly flows across the top. One woman has a long flat tool resembling a flattened tire tool.
The other woman uses a small, flat, spatula-looking tool.Each woman begins to turn the edges of the candy into the center of the table.

       “Oh wow!”  The children are amazed to see the candy beginning to harden.

        The two women continue this turning of the candy and it gradually become a large, soft,  ball. By now it is cool enough for one of the women to begin folding it over and over like a large piece of dough. One works for a time with it and then transfers the great glob to another table.  Again the two women lift it from that table to a machine with cylinders which look like fingers to hold it. The machine is beginning  to spin like a miniature roller coaster pulling  the  taffy candy into a long ribbon of glistening opaque material. It is no longer  transparent syrup.

       After only a short while,  the women remove the sweet ribbon from this machine and transfer it to a different table. The table has a long row of small flames all along it. The flattened candy cylinder is cut into numbers of foot long pieces. Each is run through a machine which is much like a pasta maker. It rolls the cylinder into a  flat strip. The strip also has individual markings on it creating small pieces of one half inch squares. Another woman picks these long strips up and lines them in a long flat row across a table. After the candy has been there for maybe three minutes she simply picks them up, drops the strip and it breaks into identical pieces of candy squares.

      The children are all indulged with purchasing whatever favorite candy they can find in the great selection.  We are then off to Winfield, Kansas which is only a short drive. Our driver  follows  the directions given to us onto what was described as an island surrounded by a moat of water. After crossing over a bridge to come onto the small island,  we immediately are able to drive directly up to an individual picnic spot. The place is a simple  nine feet by twelve feet slab of cement. There is a table.  Overhead a small wooden roofed arbor is our shady place. There are four brick posters supporting this covering.

       Our lunch of egg salad sandwiches, pop, and potato chips are wolfed down by our hungry children before they are off to play in the gigantic castle playground.

      The castle is built for children,  but we find ourselves walking through with enjoyment as well. There is a  delicate mist of water coming over our heads to cool us. The light spray comes  from a door frame,  which is an arch. A group of cylinders, hung together so we can play melodies on them, is whimsical and the minor notes lend themselves to the enchantment of the castle.

       While we drive around on the edge of the moat,  the ducks, wild geese and tame geese all proudly display their goslings for us to enjoy. A rather large, man-made waterfall adds to the nostalgia of the scene. We decide the small house toward the center of the park has to be a restroom. At a distance it looks like a cozy little brick residence. As we walk closer we can see it has been hand painted by an artist to look like brick. Actually it is no more than a cinder block structure of cement blocks. The artist has lovingly decorated it not only with realistic bricks,  but with windows through which we can see scenes of family life going on inside the house. There is a mother carrying a pie to the table, children are reading a book together and a father is on his way to the kitchen. On the brick walls of the house, the painter twined live-looking ivy. When we enter the restroom there is an immaculate room waiting. The floors have been painted and are as clean as any restroom in someone's house.

       Close to the restroom is a small circle of a secret garden called The Peace Garden. It is surrounded by  tall flowing grasses through which we must pass to enter the private space.   Lovely rich colors with numerous varieties of blooming plants are nestled beneath the tall grasses. Small stone markers hold quotes by  great men such as  Gandhi, one of which said:

      You must be the change you wish to see in the world.  There were others which were  equally as inspiring.

       We take a few moments  to sit on the cement benches to discuss the messages.

      In the car on our way home each one of us samples our own private stash of candy purchased at the candy factory.

      A good time was had by all.

Return to Donna's Journal Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus