My sister sent me a little box of candy from that greatest of all candy stores, Gowell’s, in Brockton, Massachusetts.
Brockton is a once-great town that has fallen on hard times. Half the boots worn by the Union Army were made in Brockton. It was once the shoe-making capital of America, maybe the world. It was always a tough town, but now it has gang problems and many other pathologies and seems to be heading downward.
But I find myself almost emotional with relief to see that Gowell’s lives on. Gowell’s home page says: “John Wayne was a customer of ours. He received our chocolates during his stay at a Boston hospital. He ordered candy monthly and his favorite was Dark Almond Bark.” It is probably 25 years since I set foot in the place, but I remember the picture of John Wayne. If business or pleasure should bring you to or through Brockton, stop in and get some candy. Buy whatever you think you want to bring home, and a few loose pieces in a bag to eat in the car.
UPDATE More Brockton trivia. The northwest border of Brockton is astride the boundary line between Plymouth and Norfolk counties. That is the oldest boundary-line in English-speaking America. It was the boundary-line between the Plymouth Bay Colony and the Massachusetts Bay Colony, way back in the 1600s.