This is a first hand account of what a small town grocery store used to look like. The woman here is reminiscing about her childhood in the midwest, in the early 1920′s.This was a time when the store owner was still in charge of the shopping and it didn’t take money to buy your weekly groceries as stores would carry a tab for families between paydays.
“Whatever happened to the mom-and-pop grocery store? When I was a child, my mother would send me to Mr. Johnson’s to get something – a pound of butter, for instance. When I would get to the store, I would ask Mr. Johnson for the butter. He would go back to his dairy case and find the butter for me. Then he would record the purchase on my mother’s account and hand me a bag with the butter in it. If he wasn’t busy, Mr. Johnson and I would talk about all kinds of things for a little while before I headed home.
“Most grocery stores now are grocery chains and hardly anyone knows the store owner or employees. If I were to send my grandson to the store for butter today, I would give him cash and tell him exactly what brand of butter I wanted, since there would probably be at least three brands of butter in the dairy case. He would then go to the chain store, find the butter himself, and go through the Express Lane to pay. I might get the butter faster than my mother used to, but the whole errand is now much more impersonal.”
While there are some advantages to having things the way they are today, it can be difficult not to be nostalgic about a time that seems so much more wholesome and simple. This type of account, from someone from another generation, is a reminder from where we come.