Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The Ben Franklin
This isn't the greatest picture in the world, but just take a look at the mist in the upper portion. I love that, it was the reason I broke my neck to get the camera the other morning at the crack o' dawn even though the lighting was all wrong. The goose was gravy, an added bonus. Mmmm. Gravy. On a bird. With a side of mashed potatoes.....
For reasons that cannot be explained today I thought of the old five and dime store in our court house (aka village), the Ben Franklin.
Ben Franklin was in the building in between Cecil Sibley's General Store and the Farmer's Bank of Mathews, which is now the public library; the public library was where the sheriff's office now is. And so on and so on. While my mother would trot to Sibley's for some vegetable seeds or some horse feed, I always raced to the Ben Franklin to check out the toy aisle.
The store was tiny by today's standards. I've seen bread boxes bigger, but as a kid all I needed to see was the one aisle straight ahead loaded with toys. We never bought anything, we just looked. The joy was in the looking and the wondering.
It really wasn't a toy store, that's just all we really focused on as kids. The rest was stuff like knitting needles, yarn, thread, sewing patterns, cosmetics, Rose Milk hand lotion, shampoo, creme rinse, plastic flowers, spiral notebooks, pencils, costume jewelry and glass candy dishes.
In other words, your bare necessities.
The reason I remember the glass candy dishes is one Christmas I bought one for my grandmother. She lived in a house the size of a matchbox and could have used additional clutter like a hole in the head. Yet she proudly displayed that one dollar candy dish that was shaped like a chicken just as if it were a work of art worthy of the Smithsonian.
Baby Sister once purchased a ring for our mother for Christmas. The "stone" was a brilliant bright blue, and I remember Mamma fawning all over it as if it were a diamond.
The Ben Franklin. A treasure trove of priceless commodities.
All for five or ten cents. A dollar at the most.