Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Whatever Happened to Salted In the Shell Peanuts

What Ever Happened to Salted-in-the-shell Peanuts?
M J Melneck

   Once upon a time, I sold salted-in-the-shell peanuts at American Legion baseball games in Miles City, Montana. My first dive into entrepreneurship lasted several summers during my fifth through eighth grade stint at Sacred Heart School. I played Little League ball in the daytime, and the Legion games were at night.
   A bag of Circus Peanuts—good sized—cost a quarter, and I got to keep a dime. If the stands were packed, as they might be for a game against Glendive, I could make five or more dollars, a dime at a time. You had to work the stands, find parents with kids, or find the town elders who clustered near the top of the stands and blathered among themselves more than they watched the game. “Not as fast as Billy Post,” one might say, to be answered by “Got a better arm than that weenie from Forsyth, though.”
   Baseball was life in Miles City, Montana. The essence of culture. The core of civilization. I sold peanuts for a quarter, and kept a dime.
The trigger for this brief meander down Nostalgia Blvd is an article in the USA Weekend insert in the Sunday Denver Post, March 23rd, 2014, 60+ years after my introduction to sales.
   At Miller Park in Milwaukee you might challenge your arteries with “The Beast,” a hot dog, inside a brat, wrapped in bacon, in a pretzel roll. It costs $9.00. It’s unlikely these things are sold out in the stands.
   I’ll argue that the best food in Kansas City is the BBQ at Arthur Bryant’s—the original location way, way downtown. But at Kauffman Stadium you can buy…for $10.50!...the Cheesy Corn Brisket-acho. Here you go: tortilla chips, smothered with brisket, cheesy corn, baked beans, coleslaw and BBQ sauce. No doubt the price includes a beach towel sized bib and a side order of Alka Seltzer.
   Then there’s the seemingly simple grilled crab sandwich at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Simple—and from the picture, as big as a volleyball. Oh. It costs $16.00!
   There are more—Boog’s BBQ in Baltimore, Garlic Fries (a serving for the 3rd Battalion) in Arlington, Texas, the Fried Chicken Sandwich at Citi Field in New York, a Meatball Parm Sandwich (family sized, by the picture) at Yankee Stadium, the Half Smoke (a sausage the size of my forearm) in Washington--I have to think that, standing near the concession stand, you’d miss a good two innings eating any one of these things.
   In Miles City, Montana I sold salted-in-the-shell peanuts for a quarter, and kept a dime.

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