Thursday, May 8, 2014

No more garter belts

Throwback Thursday is here. My former sister-in-law, Debbie posted a photo of herself as a teenager at the corner confectionary in our old neighborhood. She asked, Where have all the confectionaries gone?

There are very few left in our town. When I was a kid, there were little corner grocery stores, bakeries and taverns across from churches in our south side neighborhood, just about on every corner.

Mrs. Bean purchased the corner confectionary from a little old couple who retired. Sue, my late sister-in-law and I were 14 & 15. We walked to the corner store everyday to make purchases for our parents and ourselves. That is not to say that we had money. We had ways though to get what we wanted. We scoured the neighborhood for discarded glass soda bottles (yes, litter) and we collected them, then cashed them in at the store for two cents deposit on each bottle. Cho-Chos (creamy chocolate ice cream) on a push up stick was our favorite treat. Every day and sometimes twice a day we trekked to Ms. Bean's Confectionary.

When begging our parents for change didn't work, we worked the system. My parents ran a tab every week and paid the "bill" on Friday. It was never over a few dollars. The first time I decided to add something to the "bill" I felt like we'd pulled a bank heist. We purchased, of all things, pickled pigs feet from a jar on the counter. Also, Fifth Avenue candy bars, and once in a while a 16 ounce Coke. 10 ounce bottles were the norm, so when they came out with 16 ounce, I could never drink the entire bottle. But I tried, and we experimented with various types: Tab (I still remember the after taste) and Royal Crown Cola, 3V was a local product, I think. A bag of salted peanuts in Pepsi...why?!

The confectionary carried all sorts of products besides groceries: velvet hair bows in every color that we girls clipped in our bangs. Nylon stockings in a box. I will never forget when Mrs. Bean asked if I wanted to see the newest product. She removed an infant size pair of suntan colored sheer nylon tights from a package, and she stretched them to adult size. Sue and I were amazed when we saw our first pair of panty hose. The concept was ingenious. No more garter belts.

Many days I walked into that little one room store, made my selection and said, "Put it on the bill, please." Eventually our little scheme was discovered. Mom went to the store with five dollars to pay her tab...and the bill was nearly double. That was the end of my charging.

15 comments:

Sioux said...

I remember 16-ounce glass bottles of soda (I loved Vess Cream).

Your post brought back lots of memories, Linda.

(And give Ashley some castor oil ;)

Mary Horner said...

Love the story! When I was a small child we lived several blocks from a similar place we called the candy store! Old building with a wood floor and a glass and wood door that had a bell on it. Just thinking about it makes we crave something sweet!

River said...

I remember Tab, the most vile cola ever produced! I also remember corner stores with the glass fronted counters and inside the glass front boxes and boxes of different lollies (sweets) that we could pick and choose from to get a mixed bag. and "the book" where we would have our purchases written down and dad would send me around every payday to pay off some of the total. Never the full amount though, that "book" went on for years and seemed to never get paid off.
I remember once going there with three pennies and choosing lollies from the boxes that stated "six for a penny" or "eight for a penny", I spent a good hour choosing two of these, two of those, eventually the owner got fed up with me and made up a full bag of mixed lollies and shooed me out the door without taking my pennies.

Shelly said...

Pickled pigs' feet! Now that brought back memories of the little corner store across from my elementary school. What a fun post~

Lisa Claro said...

Here in the South you may still run into an occasion "general store," usually in the rural areas, that carry "a little bit of everything." It's always cool to see what they have. I'm surprised by the number of items still available from when I was a kid, like the Bit-o-Honey candies.

Tab Cola -- only palatable with a slice of lemon.

Kim said...

My brother and I earned a quarter every Friday when we dusted at our grandparents' house. We walked along an abandoned train track to the general store. Wooden floors and glass - fronted display cases. Best of all, penny candy! We got a ton (in our childish minds) of sweet loot that lasted all week.

But we never went at noon - that was the owner's naptime!

Susan said...

ha ha haha ha Your Mama must have been wild when she found out you doubled her bill, Linda. You were a little dickens! Nice memories. Susan

Bookie said...

Full of fun memories...I have some similar ones. It was a simpler time! Imagine charging a candy bar at Walmart until payday!!!

Val said...

Living in the country, we didn't have a store like that we could walk to. We had a little candy store that people ran out of the front room of their house, where we could spend our 25-cent per week allowance.

My grandma let my 14-year-old boy cousin drive us to a general store in her white Galaxie 500. She called it the "junk" store. Junk being candy. We each got a bag of junk before the death-defying ride back to her farm.

Mevely317 said...

What a delightful share, Linda!

Our wee town didn't have anything as sophisticated as a confectionary.
Nevertheless, I remember "dumpster diving" for glass soda bottles we'd redeem at the nearby Piggly-Wiggly market. Getting a few cents-per-bottle seemed like such a BIG deal back then, didn't it?




Daisy said...

Fun post with lots of memories, Linda. I'm surprised you got away with the charging for a while. Haha! :)

Tammy said...

Wow, did you ever bring back some memories! :)

jabblog said...

I liked the thought of you using your parents' charge account. The trouble is that when you get away with something you become more confident and do more and more and then it's too late to change it.

Debora said...

Ahhh, you make me remember collecting pop bottles for candy. And RC Cola. And confectionaries. We had it great, didn't we?

Lynn said...

Do you remember chocolate soda? It was more like chocolate milk, but in a soda bottle. We never had a "tab" to bill our stuff and good thing too!