National Mom and Pop Stores Day

Before, long before shopping malls, Kmart, Walmart, and on line shopping, most of us older than forty-five might be able to recall their favorite store. Many were owned and operated by mom and pop, aunts and uncles, or grandparents.

The first thing that popped into my mind today was the old country store my Aunt and Uncle owned and operated in Bonanza Arkansas. The one horse town where my mother was born. Where I grew up in Michigan we had local owned stores downtown but we lived two miles from town. We did not have the luxury of a country store.

What a thrill for a young girl of four or five to visit the family owned store. For years it served as store, gas station and post office to my recollection. Seems there was an old pot belly stove that heated the building, with chairs sitting around it. Again, I’m trying to remember back sixty-five years ago.

The one thing I remember most of all was the special treat we would get from our Uncle. Dr. Pepper soda pop. Dr. Pepper wasn’t available up North back in those days. When we would visit every year or so, having one of those cold drinks was a very special treat. Daddy would even buy some to take back home with us. There were held back for special occasions. Now days when you can walk into any store nation wide and buy one, they just don’t seem to taste as good. I still treat myself to one every now and then, which always brings back the memories of the old store and my family.

Sadly so many people will never know how it felt to walk into one of those family owned stores and be called by name. Or what it was like to stay and visit for a while, discussing the world news. No one got mad because someone else had a different opinion. Privately we might have thought that person was a real kook, but no hateful words were spoken.

I miss those days. Days when a soft drink was a treat. When people knew us at the local stores. When we took time to visit with people. When we could have discussions about anything without anyone going home mad.

Maybe with shopping malls going out of business and online shopping taking over, we will see an increase of the ol mom and pop stores make a comeback. Everything that goes round comes around, so they say. So maybe there is hope.

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