Monday, December 1, 2008
All of the grandchildren loved to visit Papa at the hardware store. I can still see Papa holding Catherine, when she was about 3, in front of the store on Broad Street. When Papa moved out to Davis St., he planted a field of zinnias next to the store. He painted the store a beautiful red and had a refrigerator in the back for watermelons. Papa could frequently be found on a stool at the front of the store, reading his newspaper, with his glasses halfway down his nose. When niece Lara was just a little girl, her Mom had dressed her in a blue and white striped outfit with an apple on it, and a worm coming out of the apple. Lara remembers running into the store and throwing her little arms up and saying "Papa! Papa!" He always called her 'Sweet Apple' after that.
When Papa had the store on Broad St., W.R. Weaver rented a small space in the front. W.R. would do watch and jewelry repair, and sometimes wait on customers, when Dad needed a little extra help. I think W.R. was there probably for 25. until Dad moved to Davis St.. Julius Adcock worked for Dad for forty years. When I would go into the store to get a hammer, or nails, I would say to Julius, "put it on my account, please!" and, he would say "that NO account!" In the fifties, everyone in town closed on Wednesday afternoons. Saturdays downtown were very busy. People could hardly walk down the sidewalk. It was only a few years after we moved to Monroe that there was a terrible fire down the street from the hardware store. Aycock Brothers caught on fire and burned to the ground. At the time, it seemed like a like a huge department store, wooden floors that were oiled, men's, women's, and children's clothing, and various sundries. Aycock rebuilt, and was a very fine place to shop. When I was in high school, they were still charging to hem girl's jeans, but not men's. Puss Arnold still had his barn on the block behind Broad St. until the 60's, I think. When we were little and would walk by, we could see the animals in there. Mrs. Arnold was a wonderful lady, and sang in the choir. Mr. and Mrs. Arnold had a beautiful antebellum home, just off of Walton Street.