Went to Knott's this last weekend for lunch, and a visit to their candy store. Came away with a baggie of stuff: jelly beans, rock candy, sugar sticks, etc. The selection in there was amazing (they have gummy LETTERs now, did you know that?). It reminds me of the way I used to feel in the DL candy store. There used to be a huge selection of sugar sticks (straight, flavored candy canes, btw), and all manner of colorful candies to choose from. It seems today all they sell are pre-packaged chocolate and cardboard boxes of cookies, and the like. Not that that isn't nice too, but I just doubt kids feel the same sense of awe that we did, walking into the DL equivalent of the Wonka factory.
That also reminds me of a place my friends and I used to ride our bikes to. It was called Olde Tyme Chocolate Mine, and lemme tell you, it had one HECK of a candy selection. For $.50 you could buy a jawbreaker so big you had to carry it around in a sandwich baggie so you could hold it while eating it (didn't fit in your mouth). They had the wax bottles, gummy worms, bubblegum cigarettes (not that I advocate those), just a huge variety of candies. Somehow, pulling a hershey bar off a shelf in the local AM/PM just doesn't match up. Sadly, a lot of candy stores are phasing out the good stuff in jars in favor of the prepackaged stuff.
While Jelly Bellies are delish, they are very expensive and seem to be carried to the exclusion of all other brands. Granted, most brands of jelly beans have become little more than gelatin dipped in sugar with precious little "flavor" to be found, but there ARE brands out there that are also extremely tasty - I think Smucker's makes them.
Seems so many people think "candy" only means "chocolate" though. Sad.