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.