Monday, January 20, 2014

Small Market Memories

Like many communities, my hometown once several small neighborhood markets. I remember one near my grade school, another on Fifth Street, and the McCormick's store on Randolph and Third Streets. I was a very small child when I walked with another little friend to the McCormick's store for candy on summer days. Vance McCormick was a distant cousin, but I'm not sure I was aware of that at the time.

I had faint memories of the interior of the store, which was eventually closed and razed, and no memory of the exterior. On our hometown Facebook page, however, a friend posted a photograph of the store, which thoroughly warmed my heart and elicited other folks' hometown memories of getting not only candy there but sodas, bologna sandwiches, and the like. I asked if I could share the photo here.

During my post-secondary student days, I was glad to have small markets within walking distance. When the weather was nice, I loved to stay barefooted for my walks: so relaxing amid studying stress. One market owner was glad I went barefoot because she liked to, too, but customers gave her dirty looks. I became a cohort in the joys of going shoeless. I'm glad to see (online) that these little stores still operate, for my student days were quite a few years ago now.

Many small businesses can be a wonderful blessings if you're a regular customer and the store folks know you and greet you. Places like McCormick's shine in memory as small, good places that became part of our lives. You feel like your life would've missed something crucial without those memories of baloney sandwiches, your hands in the candy bins, your change rattling upon a welcoming counter.

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