Friday, February 8, 2013

Gentler Times

I grew up in a different times, when
a neighborhood was a community
of folks knew each other and folks
shared their lives together.

Every one seemed to have s way
of helping their neighbors. My mom
pulled out the kid's splinters and
gave them home baked cookies
after she pulled out the splinter.
A neighbor handed me a 
Cocker Spaniel puppy over
our fence and no not a charge.
I called my puppy Taffy and
he was my best friend.

Our neighborhood businesses
were small and they knew all
of their customers by name.
There was a Laundromat, a
beauty salon, a drug store, 
two small grocery stores ,
a barber, a gas station and 
a family tavern where kids
got green rivers, a soda fountain
drink that was popular with kids.

Not far from there was another
group of businesses, a small bowling
alley, a dime store, a book store, a bakery,
and two grocery stores.
I got my black boots at the shoe store
and I wore them to school.
There was also a one screen movie
theater, with a balcony.
Finally there was a bike store that
also sold model kits, cars, boats,
and so on.

Each of the business were owned
by one person who knew us all
by name. There were no chain
stores. Shopping at each of them
was a time with friends. Yes, the 
grocery stores were smaller than
today's Seven Eleven stores.  But
we couldn't see  the need for
bigger stores. We had everything
we needed in our neighborhood.

Then gradually things changed
and chain stores were responsible
for that. You could say, "There goes
the neighborhood." And you would
be right. But we fought hard to
keep our neighborhood together.  
But gradually businesses closed
and good neighbors had to 
leave us. Finally all that I was
left with were memories of
gentler times.      

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