Once upon a time I was a real reporter, as I have mentionedbefore. I covered cops and courts and fires and people beating upon each other. But that wasn"t my bag. I chose the non-violentthings that are more fun, like this tale of a Rock Island man andTootsie Roll Pops.

You are watching: Indian shooting a star tootsie pop

The sweet moral of all this, if there is any moral, is that somebig corporations have an unshaking care about the legend of theirproduct.

First, came a call this week from Michael Hansen of Rock Island,an Alcoa employee and a grown man who still loves Tootsie RollPops. He remembers, as a kid, anxiously unwrapping Tootsie Pops. Ifthe inside of the wrapper had an Indian, shooting a star at the tipof his arrow, he would give the wrapper to Weigandt"s Royal BlueStore in Moline and they would hand him a free Tootsie RollPop.

To this day, every now and then, Mike will spot an Indian —rarely, though — on the inside of the wrapper, unexpectedly tuckedin with drawings of kids on trikes or playing basketball or rollerskating. Mind you, just occasionally, an Indian, which mystifiedMike.

Mike wrote Tootsie Roll Industries in Chicago, asking about thisIndian business. Promptly, he received a letter telling all he everwanted to know. Said Libby Timmons, of the company"s department ofconsumer affairs.

"We have always tried to make our wrappers interesting. Thepictures inside the wrappers have changed from time-to-time, butthe Indian (just on some wrappers, for a reason) has held his placefor many, many years. About 50 years ago, a rumor surfaced that anywrapper showing the Indian could be sent to our company for aprize. Our records do not indicate we ever sponsored an Indianpromotion, but from it all the `Legend of the Indian" has becomepart of this corporation."

The legend is long and detailed by Tootsie Roll Industries,Inc., and it could be the subject of a children"s book, but here isa sweet version:

Long ago, all lollipops were made alike. They were flat,non-descript, but one enterprising candymaker made his in the shapeof stars. Still, he wanted to do better. He wanted to figure out away to put chewy candy inside. He tried everything, but nothingwould work.

One night, while asleep, a flash of light appeared in hisbedroom and lo, there was a grand Indian chief smiling at him. Thechief promised to help him make a lollipop with a chewy inside, ifhe would promise to never stop making them for children. Thecandymaker promised.

As the legend goes the chief smiled, walked to the open windowwhere the twinkling of a bright solitary star appeared in the sky.The chief shot a magical arrow at the star, watching with a smilethe arrow"s flight. There was another flash of light, and theIndian chief disappeared, and in place of the star, there appeareda full moon.

Confused, the candymaker rushed to his shop in the middle of thenight. All his star-shaped lollipops had disappeared. In theirplace were hundreds of round lollipops with chewy inside candycenters, which the Indian Chief had put inside, just as he hadpromised. Well, from that day on, the man has always had lollipopswith a chewy candy inside center. But legend has it that once inawhile, the grand chief goes to the candyman"s shop to randomlycheck if the man had continued to keep his promise. The "IndianWrapper" is sign that the grand chief has personally checked thatparticular lollipop for the chewy center.

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"Well, how the Tootsie Pops get their chewy candy center isstill a secret. Some say it"s magic, but however it is done, youcan be sure of one thing, the grand Chief Shooting Star, willalways make sure that the man continues to make Tootsie Roll Popswith their chewy candy centers.

"Since we enjoy them so much, aren"t we all kind of lucky thatthe chief still cares?" And the corporate communique is signed…




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