The kids enjoyed tagging along because Mom and Pops had plenty of penny candy to purchase in which to fill pockets. Cartee's had models, balsa wood airplanes, bags of little green army men, and comic books...the kind of neat stuff we kids liked. While mom shopped for household necessities we kids were checking out the goods we wanted. I remember countless occasions making the journey to Pearly's or Cartee's on my bike with siblings or with friends. We were always greeted with a genuine smile and a sincere HELLO! They knew us all by our name.
Later, when in my twenties, I'd frequent Cartee's to fill up my tank. The last time I was in there, after paying for my fuel, I looked around briefly. Nothing had changed since my childhood. The candy, the same toys. Several of the old car models were still on the shelf collecting dust.
Those stores, those sweet folks vanished a long time ago. I still miss them. They seemed to disappear about the time convenient stores began popping up on every corner. They offered the same kind of stuff, but more variety. Large grocery franchises came along and captured everyone's attention. Mom and Pops faded away.We didn't seem to notice at the time.
Places I miss on the mountain I grew up are Pearly's and Bens, Cartees, Clayton's, and Moons Grocery Store. Gone but not forgotten.