I linked to a cherry Lip Lickers tin on eBay earlier, but this one, this one is the flavor I remember. Bubble gum! I can still smell the waxy pink just-barely-sweet scent. And the sight of that olde fashioned image of the gumball machine whacked my memory right in the funny bone.
We really need a word for what happens when a sight or smell or sound of something you haven't seen in forever just floods your mind with memory, don't we? The somewhat disgraced (but still liked by me!) Bob Greene wrote a column once where he got the people who lived in his childhood home to let him spend some time in it once again. He had a line about taking the doorknob in his hand and having the shape, the heft of it suddenly sent him spiraling back in time. I've had that shock of memory a few times in my life. In fact, maybe that's how I'm going to mentally refer to it: Memory shock.
By the way, that Bill Zehme feature I link to above, on Greene's resignation and the death of his wife shortly afterwards, is masterful. Well worth reading. And through hunting for it I realized Greene wrote a book about the death of one of his childhood best friends -- the "J" in "ABCDJ," if you read the wonderful "Be True to Your School." The book about their friendship and Jack Roth's death is called "And You Know You Should Be Glad," and I just ordered it from Amazon.
And how I found myself here via a simple post about an old lip-balm tin is one of the magical parts of blogging.