Monday, January 17, 2011

Old Picture of the Day

Leck’s Confectionary featured groceries, a deli, a soda fountain, a
massive candy counter, over-the-counter medicines, magazines,
newspapers, cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, work gloves, a
pin-ball machine, a juke box and a whole lot more.

Old Picture of the Day is a blog I like to read and this week the blogger is giving attention to old general stores!
by Charlie Leck

I’m a blog reader, but you know that already. I suppose I read about 40 of them nearly every day. I enjoy taking my lap-top computer (soon, I hope, to be an iPad) to one of my favorite coffee shops and reading my favorite blogs over a nice hot Brevé-Latté.

One of my favorite blogs – and an unusual one – is Old Picture of the Day. Good stuff! Very creative! If you want to be touched, read this guy’s blog about his best friend and see the photograph! He calls himself PJM (and you can read his profile here). He grew up in West Texas, a kind of barren and god-forsaken place in my mind, and he went off to the University of Texas and then Stanford. All his learning taught him he wanted to be back in West Texas and that’s where he is and where he writes and posts some wonderful old photographs.

This week (starting Sunday) his theme is old general stores. Last week it was old gas stations. A few weeks ago he concentrated on cowboys of the olden days. I really recommend his blog to you. You can look in on him very quickly and get out quickly, too, if you want to.

Well, this week’s old photos of general stores, of course, sends me off to home. We’ve been told, you know, that you can’t go home again, but PJM has enabled me a moment in the old place once more. I’ve told this story plenty here, so I won’t go into again. I’ll just say that the week’s theme at Old Picture of the Day prompts me to post again a shot of the old store I grew up in. My bedroom was behind those two windows in the center, above the front porch of the store. I slept there from the time I was two years old until I went off to discover more of the world after graduating from high school. From there, I could look down upon Main Street, the Old Chester House right across the street, the Auberge Provincal restaurant straight out from my windows, and directly out on our town's little park and its big honor roll of vets who died in the two great wars. If you wanted to go to a real, modern grocery store you had to drive at least nine miles.

I agree with PJM when he says general stores were something pretty special:

Growing up, the grocery stores were individually owned by owner/proprietors. Each one reflected the individual tastes of the owner, and the local community. They were a place to not only buy groceries, but to also visit with folks and catch up on what was happening around town.

And how the town's folk gathered in my dad's store, around the coal stove right in the middle of the place, to gossip and tell tall tales that fascinated me and made me, more than anything, want to be a writer so I could retell their ramblings.

Try Old Picture of the Day out sometime and see if you don’t find it intriguing – especially if you, too, are an old godger.


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