Saturday, October 06, 2007

3:10 to a malt loaf?

A couple of weeks ago I had an amusing trawl through some childhood memories over a discussion of the current film 3:10 to Yuma. 50 years ago - oh, Lord - 50 years ago I was taken by my parents to see the original movie with Glenn Ford and Van Heflin, and recalling this experience I wondered at the description of the new Russell Crowe version as a taut thriller. I had the memory that Glenn Ford spent the entire time handcuffed to a bed and that I spent the entire time wishing something would happen. At that age, like Polonius, I needed a jig or a tale of bawdry or I slept - or at least some action, and that was strangely lacking. Maybe I was too young to appreciate the tension, and I certainly felt no sympathy for the miserable-looking Van Heflin.

These recollections led the discussion on to another childhood memory: Youma bread. There was a brief moment of doubt about the spelling, but it's not the same as the filmic town and Googling the correct spelling brought up a discussion about this wee malt loaf here, if you're interested - that's where I found this picture. In its later incarnations it came wrapped in waxed paper - white, green, red, touch of yellow? - and was always very sticky and very dense. It tended to survive well in a rucksack or schoolbag, and cried out for some butter. Talking about it brought back the taste, the smell, the texture - and yet I cannot think how long it is since I ate any. It doesn't exist any more, and I doubt I'd buy it if it did, but it was one of the tastes of childhood.


  1. Anonymous2:26 AM

    Hi, Chris, this is Jo across the Pond in Pittsburgh and I, too, was taken to see Yuma as a kid and remembered the same things about it that you did. You never did say what you thought of the new version as you got off on memories of Youma bread...but I found it quite delightful somehow that your mind wandered along the path it did because it makes you a rather more interesting person with all that stream-of-consciousness stuff you've got going on there. Am glad to hear you are 'on the loose' and hope you are enjoying the heck out of I imagine you are.

  2. I have to confess that I haven't actually seen the new version, and may very well be influenced by my memories of the old one...
    I'll just keep butterflying about and maybe some day I'll see it!