Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sharing Memories: (Week 21) The Corner Store

Directly behind our duplex home in Westwego was a small store owned by our old dear friend, Mr. Freddy. We kids thought it was pretty cool to be within a few steps from an assortment of goodies... candy, cookies, drinks. Our parents were not so thrilled about it. They kept a fairly tight reign on our budget but would occasionally give us a dime or a quarter to spend. Wow... we could buy a lot for a quarter back in those days! There were candy bars for a nickle or a dime, giant cookies for a nickle, and sodas for a dime. There was a variety of penny candy such as bubble gum, peppermints, stick candy and taffy. Sometimes I could get a small brown paper bag full of penny candy for a quarter. I remember the gingerbread cookies that came in the twin pack for a dime. Oh, and the candy cigarettes... we thought those were so cool! How many times did my brother and I sit on the steps of our porch "puffing" on our candy cigarettes? Yep, that's what started my bad habit... the candy cigarettes are to blame! Some of my favorites back then were the jujubees, the Nesco wafers, the candy necklaces, and those little wax bottles filled with the sweet colored juice that looked like miniature coke bottles.

Mr. Freddy was a kind elderly man who always took the time to ask us how we were doing, how was school, and so forth. Since he had owned and operated that little store for many years, he knew everyone in the neighborhood. Everyone knew Mr. Freddy as well. He offered more than just goodies.. he had a meat case and dairy case as well. I can remember seeing him at the meat counter in his white apron, slicing luncheon meat while talking about the local events or weather. He always had a warm smile and jolly attitude. I have often wondered about Mr. Freddy and his store... how much longer did he keep the store open after we moved away? How much longer did he live? I wrote to a couple of historians in the area to see if they knew anything about him or had any old photos to share but as of yet I have received no answers.

Remember the Pixy Stix?
We couldn't convince our parents
to put candy in our lunches daily...

Cracker Jack was popular
with my siblings and I

It all started with the candy cigarettes...

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