Memories of My Chocolate Ladies

Ladies working hard in a chocolate factory. Vintage photo.

Lately, my author Fran has been dropping by regularly to watch the progress happening to my outside, the part of me that passerby’s see on their way to and from their busy lives. Fran recently looked up into my windows and said, “It won’t be long before your legacy is told, Fred!”.  The last time she visited, she mentioned her meeting with someone important from Fowler’s Chocolate Company and told him about the special connection to “My Chocolate Ladies”.  Alice and Hannah (you’ll meet them later when my book is published), a mother and daughter who resided in my walls in 1951 were hired then, to work in the Fowler’s Chocolate Factory as “chocolate dippers”.

I remember it as if it were yesterday when the ladies had immigrated to America from York, England. They then lived with me for 21 years.  Why they came to America is a longer story, one that involves World War II, The Roundtree Chocolate Factory owned by The Quakers, and Buffalo’s own Fowler’s Chocolate Factory, but they are the reason I love chocolate.  I can’t taste it, but I do know how it smells, and I also know how much my tenants loved it too.  Bobby Mooney, the little nine-year-old Irish boy, was the only tenant I could communicate with, through telepathy.  He told me how it tastes and feels, melting in his mouth.  It seems so very decadent and delicious.

When you read my novel, you will have an inside view of how Alice and Hannah had a major impact on many tenants and their families when they moved in, each receiving a little brown bag of chocolates along with a dinner invitation.  My “chocolate ladies” acts of kindness broke down barriers of misunderstanding between diverse tenants, and created lifelong friendships and new cultural understanding.

Come back in time and experience my memory of the unexpected power of chocolate and friendship. 

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