Years ago people didn't get to go town much for the things they needed like staples, chicken and hog feed etc. That's why the old Rolling Store came in so handy. It ran all over the county mostly in rural areas. It came through once a week in our area on Tuesdays and we looked forward to walking out the little dirt road that led to the main road where it made its stop. Me or my older brother went with mama the most to help her carry back her merchandise or feed. Sometimes we both went when she needed a sack of flour, hog and chicken feed.
As young'uns it tickled us to death to walk upon that big, old store truck (as we called it) and look up at those big, high shelves filled with just about anything we needed.
One good thing about the Rolling Store is they'd buy eggs from mama and other people as well. When mama's hens were laying good she'd gather up a couple dozen of eggs and sell them to have a little extra money. Sometimes she'd take that money and buy us some candy. I remember they had three pieces of gum for a penny and something called B B bats. Those little things were made out of caramel and hard as a rock but they sure were delicious. Since we didn't have much sweets back then and when we did get something like a sucker we'd make it last long as there was a lick left.
Then there was the rock candy and orange slices along chocolate drops and so many other kinds and it made our eyes pop out on a stem. They also had those big cookies sitting in a cookie jar and looked so tasty. In other words, plenty of sweets to make a young'un wild as a buck, as mama used to say. That's what they called it back then when young'uns climbed the walls from eating so much sweets.
After Mama got all of her necessities up and if she had any change left she'd always go towards that candy. We'd watch her really close cause we looked forward to it but the times she didn't have any change left for candy we knew not to complain cause she always told us not to be disappointed. Now days young'uns would probably cry their eyes out if they didn't get what they wanted but mama always said, “ ye wants won't hurt ye.” Sometimes it took every penny she had including the egg money to get what she needed.
Every two weeks mama bought the hog feed and they sold it in fifty pound bags. It was called Shorts. She'd get two fifty pound bags at a time. When it came time for the hog feed my oldest brother next to me (I'm the oldest) would push the little wooden wheelbarrow along . That was his job and he could only push one fifty pound bag at a time back home. He'd unload it and go back and get the other one. My grandpa built the little wheelbarrow and it was all wooden except for the steal wheel he'd put on it and it had a flat bed. My brother always knew he couldn't cross the foot log that we had to walk across to get to the other side of the creek . He'd push that wheelbarrow through the middle of that creek. The creek was shallow where he had to cross and it only came up to his ankles. He did the same thing with the chicken feed and sometimes the twenty five pound bags of flour that mama bought. She tried to space it all out so she could afford it all. She'd get the hog feed every two weeks and then the chicken feed the next time. The basics like flour, meal, sugar, lard, coffee, etc.
Those hogs surely did get fed good too. They not only eat the hog feed but they were fed corn and of course plenty of slop from the slop buckets. It's no wonders they were so fat come hog killin day. And those chickens sure did like that scratch feed and crushed corn also. Those young fryers tasted so good come Sunday Dinner.
And the preacher thought so as well.
We all eat good and no one went hungry a day in our lives. We grew our own gardens and mama canned everything she could get her hands on but like she always said, “ye gotta have a little bread and some grease to put in it along with a dab of snuff and a good cup of coffee to wake ye up and clear ye head in the mornings.”
I'm happy to say that old Rolling Store helped to provide all the necessities families needed and then some. And my mouth still waters when I think of that penny candy and how good it tasted.. As my daddy used to say when he was eating milk and bread, “it'll make ye tongue slap ye brains out.” I'm so glad I got to live through such good times and thankful for my childhood and the old Rolling Store.
© Susie Swanson, 2018
Photo courtesy of my good friend Joyce.
Photo courtesy of my good friend Joyce.