Volume 2, Number 9, Fall 1966
I remember, in times past, the quaint atmosphere of the old country store.
It has a pot-bellied stove, settin counter where folks visited an hour or more,
Mid calico bolts, barrels of crackers, flour, and coffee beans, black and green.
There was a calm, sweet-scented setting for visiting, now in markets not seen.
I dont of the old days, often have nostalgic thoughts, nor for them do I pine,
But I know the stores have charms for people, I have not seen in my prime.
Now we rush through markets, never getting the full joy of the stores scents,
We have rapid service but seldom a friendly courtesy, that the mind contents.
We say: "Hi Joe, Hows things?" Before he can answer we rush on and are gone.
We never say: "Got a chaw, Joe?" Days of leisurely chatting no longer belong.
Life goes faster now, but there was pleasure in the country in the days of yore,
There was a friendly feeling among neighbors visiting in the country store.
People wonder, without money, how folks bought their groceries back in the hills.
I have traded many orders with them for their goods, paid their balance in due bills.
They brought herbs, as yellow root, possum, skunk, and other animal furs and hides,
Eggs, chickens, goose feathers, and many other trading stocks besides.
The cheese knife, the bulk scoop, and the plug tobacco cutting machine,
Have all been replaced by packages, these are not friendly, but they are clean.
No one need raise a hammer or ax to open goods, never need skin a knuckle;
But still I cherish, with satisfaction, opening a box, finding packaged Arbucle.
Herb Burger 4-30-66
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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