Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Southern Expressions

I have mentioned many times my southern roots. Southern expressions abounded and hanging out at my grandparents' general store was a lesson in those.  Neighbors did not come in to just shop. There was a checker board, and in the cold winter, a wood stove in the middle that everyone huddled around. There were soda cases where you could reach in and grab a cold Coke, Pepsi or Yoo-Hoo. All the sodas were 6 oz. With your Coke you could get a 2 cent bag of peanuts and poue then in. The sodas were self serve.  

There was a round wheel of cheese and for 5 cents you had something to eat with a 5 cents sleeve of crackers. Baloney was also available by the slice. Dessert was a Moon Pie. 

Everyone came together at the store; both blacks and whites. They talked about the weather, crops and who was sick and not at church last Sunday. All the news. Before leaving, most got a nickle bag of loose candy to take home to the kids.  

Saturday afternoon during the summer my grandfather always had baseball on the radio. During the World Series many came in to just sit, have a soda, talk and listen to the games. A fall tradition. I still remember the sound of the bat hitting the ball; as only radio could relay it.  "And away it goes - It's a base hit."

My grandparents treated everyone equally; same prices and same credit. The credit expression was "Put it on the book" and my grandparents would list the items under the neighbors name in a big green leader book. Accounts were settled in the fall when crops were harvested and sold. How my grandparents were able to do that, I have no clue.   

Growing up, I was unaware of my southern accent. Everyone talked that way. I did know that some of the expression were priceless. "I reckon" it was a wonderful place and time to grow up.  

My Grandparents' store - Now the Town Hall



  1. It truly was a kinder gentler time back then. The war was over and civility was the order of the day

    1. HI Pat. Thanks for the comment. So different. I would head out in the morning on my bike and only had to show up for dinner. Ether I would check in at the store for lunch or my grandmother assumed I was at a friends. There was a group of us all about the same age and we always found something to do. Building a fort in the woods was a big event for one whole summer.

  2. I recall the exact same store. Except it was owned by Mr.Jordan. Except it was at the corner of Idlewild Road, and Idlewild Road North. Except it was literally a white clapboard shack on rock foundations, with 'Cities Service' gas pumps. The screen door had a 'Merita' bread logo imprinted into the screen. On cold winter days, there was a glowing oil furnace at the back wall where the old men would congregate.
    We would bike half a mile down an empty Idlewild Rd.N. so I could buy Mom her Salem cigarettes for 25 cents a pack. The nickel for us was for the penny candy in in the glass (not shop-lift-able)case. We were introduced to the idea of GAMBLING with the penny gum ball machine bearing the 'beloved speckled gumball'. If you got the speckle ball, and you didnt attempt to chew it you could exchange it for another nickels worth of candy.
    Mr. Jordan lived across the road, where he farmed the field with sweet corn and tomatoes, which he sold in his store. Mr. Jordan and his store is long gone, the property now holds a new Citgo gas station. His corn field is now a Food Lion, Family Dollar, Verison, Auto Zone, Rite Aid, dry cleaners and 4 lanes of traffic with 6 pair of traffic lights. My country road is now 4 lane 'Boulevard'. Needless to say, not the same. Velma