• Neighborhood Store

    by  •  • LifeStuff • 2 Comments

    When my dad was young, he said his mom used to send him to the store almost every day.

    The store was Smith’s, a family grocer across the street from Lincoln School.

    In those days, you had store credit, so his mother could ask him to go to store without money, and he could pick up a few things. At the counter, they would write the items down on a yellow ticket, which got filed to the family’s credit account with the store.

    When his dad got paid, he would go to the store, like others in the neighborhood, and pay down their account. My mom said they did the same thing in the store in the Sleeth Addition. You picked up what you needed on Tuesday and paid it off on Friday, when you got paid.

    It’s a different world now.

    Credit requires a FICO score and paperwork and an email address today, it seems.

    My dad’s mom just needed him to go to the store practically every day, he said.

    “Smokes”, he admitted, were often on the main reason.

    It’s a different world now.

    Both of my dad’s parents smoked, so my dad didn’t. I suspect he had had enough of it growing up. But if you watch movies produced in the mid-20th century, it’s amazing how prominent the cigarette is. Well, after all, it was the currency of trade among soldiers and prisoners in the big wars. And it’s what you did in the 50’s, if it grabbed you.

    Milk. Butter. A tin of coffee. A pack of cigarettes.

    The middle school boy leaves the store with his small paper bag of groceries, and walks back up and across the cobblestone streets, back home to give the items to his mother.

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    A web programmer by day, I somehow still spend a lot of time thinking about relationships, God, and the significance of grace and love in daily events. I am old school in the sense that I believe in the reality of sin, and in the need of each human heart for deliverance to the Divine. I am one of those who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that you can find most answers to life's pressing issues in Him and His Word, the Bible. I ain't perfect, and a lot of the time I ain't good, but by God's grace and kindness, I am forgiven and free.

    2 Responses to Neighborhood Store

    1. Chris
      February 25, 2018 at 9:19 am

      About 10 years ago, I was working alongside some guys that had served in the military and they said, if you smoked, then you got a smoke break during the day, but non-smokers didn’t get a break. The history of smoking in the military is interesting as I believe advertisers really targeted soldiers all the way back to the 20s as an easy way to relieve stress and back home during WWII companies encouraged people to send cigarette’s, a cheap way to help soldiers get a break from the stress of the war.

    2. Bruce
      February 25, 2018 at 10:23 am

      I think it has remained a viable justification for that periodic break up until recent years. If you smoked, you had to take a break. Maybe we could replace that with a check your email break.

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