By Jug Varner

Is there a drugstore-shopping American who has never heard of the Whitman's Sampler? I doubt it.

Seems like it's been around forever, and in my youth it was the one gift boys wanted to give their mothers and best girl friends on special occasions - especially Valentine’s Day, when the box was covered in red cellophane.

In retrospect, there is no way its quality (and certainly its cost) would compare with today's Godiva Chocolates or comparable brands, but in its heyday it probably was the top of the nationally marketed candy lines.

Back in those depression era days, when one could buy a hamburger for a nickel, I thought Whitman’s was the ideal gift for a girl. But she had to be very special for a kid to spend 25 cents of his hard-earned money on a box of candy.

I hope your Valentines Day in 2006 was as sweet as some of mine were back then!

Candy has been the most popular Valentines Day gift through the years, and for that special day this year, I thought the following subject might be an interesting change of pace. This collection is unusual, cleverly presented, historic and occasionally humorous… as well as enlightening.

See for yourself by clicking on CANDY WRAP