Growing up in a small town had it’s ups and downs. But oh, how I miss it.
The town was small, so small that you knew everyone who lived there. It was nice cause we had our own little community.
There were no major stores there. Only a small store that you could buy bread and milk, that is, if you were there early in the morning, candy, pop, and small things like that. They also had the old soda fountain with the bar that you could sit at and drink your pop. Something you don’t see very often now a days. In the summer you could buy tomatoes, potatoes and corn on the cob fresh from the garden. They did have some small stuff for the house but not much. We use to love to go up there with our pennies. You could buy candy back then, 2 for a penny. And the bubble gum machine that had the specks on certain gum balls. If you got that, you got ten cents worth of candy free. Oh the pennies I would put in that machine. I thought that was great. Gum and free candy on top of that. Remember when you could buy a candy bar, and I am talking one bigger than you buy now and it was only five cents. A pack of cigarettes was thirty two cents. Well the owners of the store retired. Which, when I was growing up I thought they should have been retired many years before that. Their kids didn’t want to continue to run the store, they wanted to go to the city to live.
We also had a post-office that was in the front room of a lady’s house. We would go in there and look in the glass window and see if there was anything in our box. I use to get mad when they would tell me what was in my mailbox before she would even give it to me. Like I said everybody knew everybody and knew everyone’s business. If you wanted to know anything, just go to the post office. You found out what was going on in your town without even asking.
Then we had the old school house. I only went there for first, second and third grade. The building was getting bad and they decided to bus us out of town. The school only had four very large room, with a cloak room between the rooms. Two rooms were on the first floor and two rooms upstairs. First and second grade was in one room……Right side first grade and left side second grade. Second room had third and fourth grade and upstairs was fifth and sixth in one room and seventh and eighth in the other. The other grades were bused out. Each room was heated with a pot belly stove. Reminds me of the old cowboy movies. Back then, they didn’t have kindergarten, either it wasn’t thought of then, or they just didn’t have enough room for them. It was a great school. We had recess in the morning and afternoon and walked home for lunch. Which kids don’t do now a days. We had one teacher for two grades. So you really got to know her. It was a sad time when they closed the school, and scary to ride a school bus to school. And no more going home at lunchtime.
We had a lot of neighbors who put in big gardens and sell their produce. I remember going down to one guys house and buying tomatoes. I would tell him I need fifty cents worth of tomatoes. I would be carrying a large bag of tomatoes home. What we pay five dollars for today would probably cost us thirty cents back then. I don’t know if everyone got that many or if he was just being generous cause there were so many in our family and fifty cents worth wasn’t many. He sure did give us a lot. Corn on the cob…..I would buy a dozen and he would always throw in some extra. What a guy.
Everyone looked out for everyone back then. Now a days no one wants to get involved. Oh and did I mention getting in trouble. You think no one sees you until you get back home. Like the time I was on my way to a friends house and walked down the middle of the train tracks. Wow did I get my butt warmed up when I got back home. That was a no no. Trains ran pretty fast back then.
And the time I was caught smoking walking up the road. There were eyes everywhere, even if you couldn’t see them. I remember the time my sister and I would buy a pack of cigarettes. At the time I had a pack and she didn’t. She wanted some and I wouldn’t give any to her. Well, I was out walking and lit up a cigarette, bang, lit another one, bang, the little brat loaded half of my pack with the cigarette loads. Talk about mad. But who could I tell. I wasn’t suppose to be smoking, I was only about 13 or 14 at the time. But sooner or later I did get even with her. I could never find her cigarettes to get even. Here years later I found a hard back book in the closet, opened it and in the middle of the pages, she cut out a hole as big as a pack of cigarettes. What a smart idea. Of course, mom didn’t find it until she was grown and on her own.
I could go on and on about living in the little country town but I am running out of steam.. If you ever lived in a small country town when you were growing up then you can probably relate to this, if not then you don’t know what you have missed.