“Half the town went out of work when that factory shut down.”
— Lillian, 47

“Twinkies are what this town knows. It’s always been this way. My grandpa worked Twinkies from dawn to dusk. His grandpa before him. And his grandpa before him.”
— Gary, 32

“I used to wait up for Pop to come home. He’d be exhausted, gassed from another day at the factory. Hands covered in frosting. Flecks of cake in his eyebrows. He’d collapse into a chair in the kitchen, just a single light over his head, one Twinkie sitting on the table in front of him, and I’d watch from between the railings on the stairs. He never ate it. Always just stared at it for a bit before he picked up his bones and went to bed. I’d wait a bit then go downstairs and scarf it down. We did this for years. He never said a thing. That was Pop.”
— Todd, 41

“The President came here during his campaign. In June of 2016. He promised he’d bring the Twinkie jobs back. It was the greatest day this town’s had in a long time. We needed those words. He still talks about it on the news all the time. ‘Zero-calorie twinkies…’ Can you even imagine?”
— Martha, 54

“I must’ve been 12 or 13 the first time I realized I liked Yodels. I tried one at a gas station a little outside of town. I was planning on telling my parents, but Ma ending up finding a wrapper in my jeans. First week or so there was a lot of yelling. Then silence. Like I was a ghost. I had to move to the capital to be closer to Yodels, to set my own path. Since then…it’s gotten a little better. They visited last year. I know they’ll never understand Yodels. There’s just too much potassium and not enough polyunsaturated fat. But they’re starting to respect that this is who I am.”
— Jack, 24

“That factory meant something. It stood for something. So did this country. Now those jobs are off in China. Or Puerto Rico. We’ve got kids sneaking in there, using it as a hideaway to touch each other and smoke doobies. And I wake up every night in a cold sweat, thinking I’m behind on boxes, only to remember I retired fifteen years ago, and the lights went off ten years after that.”
— Bill, 77

“Back in the blizzard of ‘82 our boys were snowed-in at the factory for what must’ve been a month. What do you think saved them? What do you think they ate all those days? I swear, some of them came out shining, looking better than they looked before the storm. The Lord’s somewhere in those cakes. I’ve always said it.”
— Aliza, 87

“People used to come in here all the time and ask that same question. I’d show them over to Old Blue, a few blocks up from here, rocking on his porch all day. I'd just yell out, ‘How many is that today, Old Blue?’ He’d take a few moments in that chair, rack his brains a bit, until he knew the number. Then holler back ‘27!’ Not that exactly, but you get the point. When we put him in the ground, we dropped in every Twinkie wrapper he’d ever kept. Somewhere a shade under a million. And he lived to 103. So…yes. I think they're ok for you.”
— Beatrice, 36

“I remember when I was young we used to head down to the river during the summer. The high fructose corn syrup would run-off from the factory pipes and collect on top of the water, and you’d lay there, let it take you downstream, enjoy a sip when you wanted. Everyday we’d float along, flirt with the boys, rip our jeans climbing fences. Nobody planned it for us. We knew how to make our fun. But this new generation, with their playdates, their karate classes, their iPods…it’s not the same. I often think about those old days. And I often think about that factory closed down now. How that water no longer has any high fructose corn syrup. It’s heartbreaking.”
— Emily, 60

“Doobies? Never!”
— TJ, 17

“We’re in talks to buy up the space, yeah. ‘Regional farmer’s market’ has been kicked around. As much local flair involved as possible. Maybe some food trucks? I could see people from the capital coming out for a cute weekend. There’s so much history here, isn’t there? The factory has, just, such a cool story.”
— Allie, 27

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