A -my name is Alice and my husband’s name is Al, we come from Alabama and we sell Apples. As I open the cupboard on memories, bouncing a Spaulding as we sang the A my name is Alice rhyme, lifting our leg over the ball with each bounce was an all time great walk around the corner and under a tree. A veritable, primordial work out and creative singing lesson all in one. My sister Bettie Ann and I grew up together and hung with the girls on the block. We stopped playing and walked home for our tuna sandwich or the treat of salami on rye, only made better with the delicious taste of mustard. After lunch we would walk around the corner to the all purpose grocery store. I can vividly see the barrel of pickles prominently sitting next to the left of the front door. We would use part of our allowance to buy candy. Our first go to was a stripped pixy stick, a straw filled with lik-m-aid. For those in the know it’s a tasty sugary retrospective in time. The original version of Fun Dip. We would then mosey over to the red licorice and marshmallow peeps. At Halloween the chicks turned into orange faced pumpkins. Fast forward 55 years. It’s 6:00 A.M. Time to put up the coffee, my turn to “make the donuts.” I woke up salivating for a piece of my past, inside that grocery store. My sister Bettie Ann and I would bring our bag of goodies up to the counter. The man would take the pencil he harbored behind his ear and tally up our treats.
With our visual bounty in hand we would skip our way home and unveil the contents, perhaps trade a piece or two.
Our afternoon was often consumed through adventures with Dick and Jane, The Bobbsey Twins or figuring out if Nancy Drew was ever going to hook up with one of the Hardy Boys. As we felt the heat of the oven cooking sweet potatoes we knew they would soon be sitting next to the lamb chops and canned peas for our dinner. A welcomed pre- dinner activity was watching Patty Duke and her identical cousin navigate their way through high school. We often tried to distinguish the subtleties in their looks. Hmmm! I long for those days of innocence when the doctor appointments took place as we sat upon the kitchen table. The local store that sold glass bottles of milk and farmer cheese made no room on the shelf for ammunition.
Everybody in Grovers Corners looked into the grocery store and the drugstore once a day in –Our Town by Thornton Wilder. It is with older eyes and a wiser heart that I live my life. So, for today I will reach for the red licorice after a very sour pickle and make it a good Monday.