Hershey Chocolate writes the number of days until Blush launches.

Now that you know that the last two numbers have been written with Hershey chocolate syrup, and now that you know frugality is a life-long habit of mine, you are probably wondering how I put that syrup to good use.

Iced mocha. Perfect solution for rescued Hershey chocolate.

Shirley Hershey was my name for 21 years, and it’s still part of my identity. Here’s a short excerpt from Blush about my connection by birth and place to both words Hershey and Chocolate. First, my connection to Milton Snavely Hershey, the founder of the world-famous chocolate company:

In America, only one Hershey became a household name: Milton Snavely Hershey (1857–1945), the founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company. Daddy’s grandpa, Henry Hershey, was a third cousin to Milton, whose mother was Mennonite. With that connection and a two-dollar bill, I can buy any Hershey bar I want.

Second, my home town is also a chocolate town, the place where Wilbur Buds are made. This paragraph hit the chopping block for the memoir, but I have brought it back to life here.

Lititz, Pa., would have made Willie Wonka happy. When I was growing up, the chocolate factory there was called Wilbur-Suchard. Its primary products were a semi-sweet “bud” about the size of a Hershey kiss but darker, and Ideal Cocoa used for baking and homemade hot chocolate. Chocolate almost flows through my veins. If your town has to have an industry, chocolate is a great one to have. The best benefit? The scent! The pungent, sweet odor was captured by Joel Brenner, chocolate historian, who says, chocolate smell can be “so thick that at times it seems just breathing the air can give you a cavity.” Even today, the aroma of chocolate is one of the sweetest perfumes I can imagine. When I want to smell “home,” I sniff a Hershey bar or Wilbur Buds wrapper.

Stuart and I are off to Brooklyn today. Our New Beginning is actually an ending. This is the last time we will visit our son and his family there. They are moving to New Jersey on Thursday. They are eager to move into a lovely new home but sad to leave Brooklyn. We feel the same way with them. We will be traveling past Hershey, Pennsylvania. We’ll wave to the spirit of “Uncle” Milton Hershey and dream about the good times we’ll have when our grandchildren are old enough to travel to Hershey Park with us.

What are your New Beginnings today? We are getting close to 200 entries now, and oh so amazing.

Shirley Showalter


  1. Marian Beaman on June 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Growing up, I lived 12 miles from Hershey, PA, but my home town, Elizabethtown, had its very own chocolate aroma from the Klein’s Chocolate Factory. Now defunct, it has been replaced by Dove chocolates made by Mars. To be enveloped in the fragrance of chocolate, who could ask for more!

    Happy travels.

    • shirleyhs on June 26, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      Klein’s chocolates! I loved those too. We got a box of them every Christmas from one of the businessmen in our church. Poinsettias on the boxes. Chocolates inside. Huge orange to go with it. My favorite was the marshmallow. Only one per box.

  2. Sandi Dodson on June 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I have been to the inn in Hershey, Pa. I loved sitting in the lobby smelling the chocolate. Where in New Jersey is Anthony moving to?

    • shirleyhs on June 26, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      Anthony, Chelsea, Julia and Owen are heading to Montclair, NJ, tomorrow. We are part of the moving crew. Boo hoo. And yea! Bitter and sweet.

  3. Sandi Dodson on June 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I think I have been to Montclair. Charlie and I lived in New Jersey when we first got married, a very long time ago. We lived In the Morristown area.

  4. Sherrey Meyer on June 27, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Several years ago we traveled to Hershey, PA, because two brothers wanted to attend the fall car show at Carlisle. My sister-in-law and I were left to our own devices, and so we did all sorts of little day trips here and there. I couldn’t believe my nose when we got out of the car in Hershey! I could smell chocolate! I loved visiting in that town. I’ve often wondered if there was a connection in your family to Milton Hershey, and now I know. Loved this post!

    • Shirley on June 28, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks, Sherrey. Isn’t it fascinating to think we have traveled the same ground without knowing it? And I’m glad you know the amazing smell of chocolate in the vat. Hard to describe that delight. I’m eager to return after many years away from Hershey.

  5. Mary Ellen Harwood on July 22, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Love those soft pretzels. A few days ago I had two from Raleigh Pretzels, a family owned business in Raleigh, North Carolina. The family came from Ephrata, Lancaster County and has a great soft pretzel recipe.

    Oh yes and Hershey is everyone’s favorite. The town, the chocolate, the history, and yes the author!

  6. Mary Ellen Harwood on July 22, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Love those soft pretzels. A few days ago I had two from Raleigh Pretzel in North Carolina. A family owed company with roots from Ephrate PA.
    And yes. Hershey is everyone’s favorite. The town, the chocolate, the history and the author!!

  7. Susan Gallaher on July 23, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Enjoyed your story, Shirley. Have you seen the movie “Chocolat” with Juliette Benoche? Great movie. You’d like it, I’m sure.

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