Remembering small ‘mom-and-pop’ country stores

I don’t remember ever seeing a real pickle barrel. By the time I was old enough to journey forth from the farm; dill pickles were still being sold individually — but from glass gallon-jars and not the older and much larger wooden vessels.  

There were still the wood stoves with pipe leading to either a chimney or straight-up through the roof. Most had the bars along the bottom where guests could take turn resting and warming their feet.

The old pot-bellied stove at Carr’s Grocery comes to mind. Now a canoe venue open mainly through the summer; years ago it anchored the Round Spring community.  

Was joined a bit later by Vaughn’s just a smidgeon to the south. Vaughn’s was where we bought plumbing supplies.  

I learned to sweat copper at the young age of ten, for I was still skinny enough to crawl beneath the house and fix broken pipes that seemed a constant of the Missouri winters.

But it was Carr’s where the local hunters swapped tales of their exploits with hound and gun; rod and gig. Where “young ‘uns” were occasionally smacked on the side of the head to be assured we were paying proper attention.  

Where we would buy a twenty-five-cent bottle of Coke and infuse it with a dime’s worth of salted peanuts.

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