Baby Boomer Memory: A Small Town Grocery Store And The Magic Machine
Let's go back several years. OK, truth be known, several decades.
I suppose there's not a lot of small-town grocery stores anymore. A lot of them, I guess, have gone the way of the Blacksmith Shop and Barber Poles. But there was a day. Yes, there most certainly was a day.
Back then, when I wore a young boy's skin, our small-town grocery store was called DeBoer and Van Essen's. Herman DeBoer and Hank Van Essen had it then. When you came in through the front door, there it was: 3 or 4 isles and just about everything you could want.
If you look there to the left, there's the small counter with Sophie Beckering behind it, adding up someone's bill on the magic machine.
The old cash register, that's what it was you know. A magic machine. When you're 6 or 7 years old and you would hear that special ring that machine made it was, well...magic.
Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Ka-ching.
How many times did Mom and I go into that little store? I don't know, but if memory serves, it had to have been hundreds. Mom going around with a small cart, filling it with cereal, milk, cans of this and that and the other, too. We didn't have to buy a lot of meat in those days, heck, there was a butcher shop hooked on to the grocery right through that door on the right and Dad would have them butcher up whatever it was that would fill our freezer at home.
Anyway there we are, Mom and I up at the counter and Sophie Beckering would make the magic machine sing. And then there was that special Christmas time when they would give away prizes. You'd drop your name in the box there on the counter and who knows what you could win! A Ham, a gift certificate, maybe some other deliciousness off the shelf somewhere in the store.
Or maybe you could win what my Mom won. I remember it all these decades later as if it happened yesterday.
Mom won a Jim Nabors 8-track.
Yessir, Jim Nabors, 'ol Gomer Pyle. There he was on the front of that 8-track. We did it. We struck gold, we found the end of the rainbow, we had won a prize! And not just any prize. This was an 8-track. This was the newest technology!
Well, yes there was one problem. At the time we didn't have an 8-track player...yet. That would come a few years later.
But that 8-track did look good sitting on top of our black and white console television. It looked really good. No, we couldn't play it. But we had it.
Mom and I had won. Weird, but I miss that 8-track of Jim Nabors. And I miss the magic machine. These scanners they have today? They just don't have that magic sound.
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