Tender Teacher

Sharing stories about my personal and professional life as a teacher.

The Forties: Neighborhood Stores

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Corner grocery store, Pensacola, Florida.

Image via Wikipedia

Our family never owned a car.  Most people really didn’t NEED a car in our neighborhood.  Mom walked to work at the drugstore, and dad got a ride with his boss to the lumberyard where he graded lumber.  AND within two blocks of our home there were four grocery stores, Tilton’s,  Morris’, Apple’s, and Wilhelm’s, and one newsstand, Jackson’s.  People stood around in the grocery stores and talked for a bit.  So, besides providing access to food stores were for socializing, too.  I liked to eavesdrop, while I took my time to choose penny candy from the candy case.

I learned to “remember” by going to the store for mom.  She would send me to the store for milk, and I would come home with bread.  She’d send me for sausage, and I’d get hamburger.  It was frustrating for her, because I would also forget to hurry home, and then to boot, I’d arrive home with the wrong thing.  Her frustration led to my learning to “keep my mind on what I was doing”, but it didn’t happen over night.

The little old ladies and gents were always sitting on their porches, and would usually invite me to talk with them.  Mr. and Miss McDermott, brother and sister, who lived near Tilton’s Store, would always want me to sit between them (so they could both sit beside me) on their swing.  It was so cozy and they’d really listen to everything I had to say.  I sure wish I had a recording of even just one of those conversations.  Mrs. Bear who lived on the way to Morris’ Store gave me a barrette for my hair one day.  She had made many comments about my beautiful straight black hair, that hung down in my eyes.  I loved that barrette.

Some days I’d make two or three trips to the store for groceries, and occasionally mom would give me a few pennies, and I’d take my little brother and sister to the store for penny candy, and then we would go to the playground on Flander’s Field.  It was good exercise, socialization, and I learned to count change before I started to school.  By the way, Morris’ Store had the best price for candy, and Jackson’s Newsstand had comic books for ten cents each.  Jackson’s was the only store open on Sunday.

Mutt and Jeff as reprinted in All-American Com...

Image via Wikipedia

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Written by kjskjp

August 31, 2010 at 3:27 pm

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