Someone posted a photo of an old country store on Facebook that reminded me of two stores that you just don’t find many of anymore. They are the old wood frame buildings with a wooden screen door. I guess if I ran across one these days, I’d probably feel like I was in a movie.
The last one I remember was in the 1990’s. We had hiked a trail in the Big Thicket called The Woodlands Trail. On our way home we stopped at a little store in a small community by the name of Dallardsville, if I remember correctly. It felt like we were sharing our childhood with our three sons as we went up to the door and went inside to get sodas and snacks. I usually got a root beer after hiking the Thicket.
The other store was in a tiny town by the name of Fred. If Fred wasn’t on a hill you could probably see the back of the sign that says ‘Fred’ on the southbound side of the highway while at the same time, standing next to the sign that says ‘Fred’ on the northbound side. I loved going to the store in Fred to get the Sunday paper when my grandparents lived up that way back in the late 60’s and on into the mid-70’s.
This was a really cool old store. Of course, the floor was made of wide wooden planks. The owners had a cat that hung out inside the store, just like it was a normal thing. I guess it was. There were comfortable chairs up front, close to the counter so that customers who were of a mind to could sit and visit with the owners while the cat listened in. Several of my friends have heard me tell of the day I went there with my grandma and we sat in those chairs and shared a bag of pork rinds while she visited. I can’t hardly eat pork rinds now without thinking of that little store in Fred with the comfortable chairs, the wooden floors and the cat.
You know, next time I head up that way I think I’ll see if that store is still there and stop by for a visit. I’ll have to get some pork rinds while I’m there.