Pretend we open here with an overture medley of “The Candy Man”, “I Want Candy”, “Pure Imagination”, “Sugar, Sugar”, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Lollipop” by the Chordettes, “Good Ship Lollipop”, and the old Hershey’s Kisses bell-jingling rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. Extra credit if you also remember that time Iggy Pop sang a duet called “Candy” with Kate Pierson from the B-52s. Extra demerits if you think it’s funny to say Candyman’s name three times. IT’S NOT FUNNY, YOU GUYS.
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
In 2019 my wife Anne and I attended our very first Dragon Con in downtown Atlanta, even went so far as to make it the centerpiece of our annual road trip. We were so blown away that we executed an encore presentation in 2021, which was a similarly amazing experience even with strongly enforced pandemic precautions in place. It likely won’t be our last time in town.
We regret we’ll be opting out of D*C 2022 for a variety of reasons despite numerous temptations, but we’re trying to content ourselves with sharing the previously untold tales of our two-day drive down to Georgia and the sights we caught along the way. It’s perfectly okay to make a prequel nobody asked for…
Not far away from Jeffersonville’s Vintage Fire Museum we stopped for snacks and history at Schimpff’s Confectionery. Eponymous founder Gus Schimpff, who came from a family of Bavarian immigrants, opened the shop in 1891 after extensive experience at nearby candy factories and concerns. His brother Charles had previously opened a similar shop in 1871, also in Jeffersonville, but had closed its doors a bit before Gus ran with the idea. The Schimpff family has been a major provider of candies, fudge, and various other sugar-based wonders ever since at the exact same location. In 2001 they expanded to the storefront next door and added a candy-making demo area as well as a candy museum.
We were happy to see modest exhibits and buy pounds of fudge, not necessarily in that order. As an unexpected bonus, we’d arrived at the right moment for a live demonstration: time to make the candies. Our hosts and chefs were the current owners, Warren Schimpff (Gus’ great-grandson) and his wife Jill, who took us through the steps of how lemon drops get made. They didn’t name all the ingredients, and we didn’t take notes, and you don’t need to be stealing their methods anyway, so the following is a very loose summary of where lemon drops come from. It does not involve a lemon stork.
…and then we thanked them muchly, bought a lot of chocolate, and took off.
A few steps down the same quaint row of shops, we grabbed lunch at a place called the Red Yeti. They’ve plied farm-to-table artisan fare since 2014 in a building that dates back to 1881. As we encountered among many a restaurant throughout 2021 time and again, their menu seemed stripped down to essentials and there was a bit of a wait, but we were fine with it.
To be continued! Other chapters in this very special MCC miniseries:
Part 1: Firefight Club
Part 3: The Ohio River Runs Through It
Part 4: Louisville Sluggish
Part 5: The Stones River Runs Through It
Part 6: A Taste of Tennessee
Part 7: The Atlanta Outtakes
Part 8: The Welcomes Back