Almost as soon as I entered Eastern Market in Springettsbury Township, I met Keith and Darlene Winters.
The Winterses, of York Township, are market regulars. The couple is active in their church, Christ Lutheran Church of Spry, where Darlene is the choir director.
Keith Winters said they come to the market to “chit chat,” and most of the same people are there shopping and socializing every week.
“You have to come every week,” Darlene Winters said. “Then you get to know everyone.”
And the Winterses did seem to know everyone at Eastern on Friday.
Keith Winters introduced me to local radio personality and celebrity George Trout. Trout was sporting a Rail Trail hat embroidered with the phrase “Go play outside,” and toting a basket filled with his haul from the market.
Trout told me a little bit about his 30 years at WORK and also about his time as a York County Commissioner.
While we were talking, Trout started looking around for his wife.
“I hope she didn’t take the advice on my hat,” he said.
The Winterses also pointed me toward Fitzkee’s Candies, which Darlene Winters said “makes the best candy” in the county.
Bob Fitzkee and his wife opened their stand when the market opened in 1955.
But that doesn’t mean the business began a mere 57 years ago — Fitzkee said he’s been in the candy business for more than seven decades! (In my travels, I’ve meet several York County residents who worked at the same place for several decades.)
“My mother started this business in 1934,” Fitzkee said. “She was a far-sighted lady to start a candy business at the height of the Great Depression.”
But the business has survived and thrived, and Fitzkee, 82, said his son and grandson are following in his candy-making footsteps to make four generations of York County candy history.
If you want to visit Fitzkee’s Candies at the market, there’s a good chance Bob Fitzkee will be there. In his 57 years at the market, he has missed only a few days.
“We’re closed the week after Christmas and the week after Easter,” Fitzkee said. “But other than that, I’m here pretty much every week.”
Want to meet me out in York County? Let me know where you like to go.