When I was 9 years old my parents moved to a farm near the town that I still call "My Home Town". It was a bustling little community with all of the stores that we needed.
On Saturdays and usually once during the week my Mom would drive us the 9 miles to town. We had to go during the week to take the cream and eggs to the produce to sell. Saturdays was a family time, we went in the afternoon and spent the evening. We kids would go to the Matinee at the theater and watch our cowboy hero do his thing. This was in the day of Gene, Roy, Smiley Burnett, Gabby Hayes, Lash LaRue and Sometimes a really good cowboy like John Wayne or Randolph Scott would be on. We each got a quarter and could pay our way in, get a coke and share a box of popcorn. If we worked it right and weren't hungry, we could go to Dauber's and buy something afterwards.
Dauber's was the name of the Variety story that had something for everyone. In my time, I think it was better than Wal-Mart is today. There was a personal style about the store and Mr. and Mrs. Dauber were always glad to see us. (MAYBE) They helped us find something that we had always wanted for a dime. It might be a book of paper dolls, a toy truck, game of jacks, fingernail polish, a tiny bottle of apple blossom perfume. The list could go on and on. The Rancher always bought animals or army guys. This was his hometown too.
We could also buy penny candy. Does the younger generation know what penny candy is? There were all different kinds in boxes and jars. It was a hard choice to pick, as you wanted it to last all week and wanted something that you liked and your brother didn't. My brother must have liked everything though. He would always find my candy unless I had Mom hide it or carried it with me. Mr. Dauber would put it in a sack and tell us we had bought the very best that he had that day. He was such a happy man.
Just down the street was the Bakery. The smell coming from it was simple heaven. Do little towns have bakeries anymore? Milligans made the best donuts and cookies. I know their bread was wonderful but the donuts and rolls and cookies were what appealed to us. We could buy donuts for a nickle each or 6 for a quarter. That was when we would pool our pennies and try to get a whole quarters worth. What a bargain!
While we ran around the town, Our parents were most likely visiting with everyone they knew at the cafe or doing their own shopping. The stores were opened until everyone was through shopping. The main street was a busy place. Not only were the sidewalks lined with cars, but we parked in the middle of the street. You better drive slow as people were darting in and out of the cars putting their purchases away. No bother to lock them as everyone in town did the same and respected each others property. Sometimes we didn't leave town until 10 o'clock, and stores were still open.
There are many more stories to tell about "My Home Town" but I won't make this post too long and will continue later. I will say one thing: It has changed today with the times. There is no longer a produce store, a theater , Daubers or a Bakery. Those things are long gone and there are blank places where some of the buildings once stood. Should you go to town on Saturday afternoon, the only thing you would find open would be the Grocery Store (there were three), the quick stops (2) and the Western Auto. Everyone (even the local business people) have gone to the Superstore in the town down the road. How sad for small town America.