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Gobble down some Gibble's nostalgia

March 11, 2013|Bill Kohler

First, it was Twinkies.

Then it was Saturday mail delivery.

Now, it’s my Gibble’s chips??!!

Oh, the humanity!

How much pain and suffering can we as humans take before we just give in to our urges and indulge in other less-fun guilty pleasures such as eating right and exercise?

Shouldn’t we be doing something about this latest corporate American tragedy that makes Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” look like “Mary Had a Little Lamb?”

Shouldn’t we as chip-eating Americans be rallying on the steps of the currently idled Nibble with Gibble’s plant on Molly Pitcher Highway between Greencastle and Chambersburg?

I thought maybe the news was a nightmare or something some hater made up on the Internet. Sort of like the hoax that the fifth “Die Hard” would actually be a decent movie. Or that the Kardashians actually had jobs. Or that Taylor Swift and Harry from One Direction were never, ever, ever getting back together.

But it appears to be true.

No more Gibble’s crunchy, fried goodness with my Lebanon bologna and cheese sandwiches!

No more Gibble’s Red Hots when I’m feeling a little daring.

No more Gibble’s pretzels to munch on after work.

But it’s more than just the unique taste of the chips, pretzels and the jalapeno cheese puffs.

It’s the loss of jobs at the Franklin County, Pa., plant and the loss of a former family-owned business that was a source of pride for those of us who grew up here and still live here.

It was cool when I told people from elsewhere that Nibble with Gibble’s originated in the county where I lived.

When I lived in New York and Wisconsin, where — tragically — Gibble’s were not sold, I would bring bags back with me after visits to Waynesboro.

For those “lucky” enough to be in my circle, a taste of Gibble’s always delivered an “oh, man, these rock. What are they? Where can I get me some of these?”

Sort of like Yuengling beer. It was a Pa. pride thing for me. We couldn’t buy it in Wisconsin, so it seemed to taste better when I came home, and I loved sharing it with my Cheesehead buddies.

Gibble’s also represents a piece of nostalgia for thousands of people who grew up in this area and even the transplants who fell in love all over again.

The smell of the bag when you opened them up.

The first mouthful of goodness.

While cleaning out my mother’s basement last week, we found two Gibble’s bicentennial chip cans that were a part of our family for several decades.

Unlike some of the national brands, you really couldn’t eat just one. And in fact, I never Nibbled with Gibble’s, I shoveled them in like a man who hadn’t eaten in a week. 

The reason for all this snack-food angst?

The man who bought the Gibble’s brand less than four months ago apparently isn’t making enough money to keep it around. Now, I don’t know the exact reasons for the immediate elimination of the brand, but in cases like this, it’s generally all about the Benjamins.

I do know that running a production-based business is difficult and expensive. Maybe, just maybe, someone will buy back the brand and start producing them again.

After all, they brought back original Coke, and J.R. came back to life at least once or twice on “Dallas.”

For the time being, I face a dilemma. I bought four bags of the regular chips Friday. If my dad was still alive, I would have saved a bag for the NCAA Tournament that starts in a few weeks, bought some Mathias subs and we would have pigged out while watching hoops and “shooting the bull,” as he used to call it.

In lieu of that, I guess I will keep staring at them and save them — well at least one bag — for a special occasion. Like you do with a bottle of vintage wine, or a pint of Bailey’s or a pack of Delmonico steaks.

Goodbye Gibble’s, on behalf of all of us, I hope we meet again. Maybe at a summer picnic or a birthday party or some chance encounter at Martin’s or Sunnyway. I’ll leave the light on.

Bill Kohler is Tri-State Editor of The Herald-Mail. Share some Gibble’s opinions at billk@herald-mail.com.

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