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Carol Perkins: Life's Chapters, Two - In Town

Previous Column: Life's Chapters

By Carol Perkins

Chapter Two of my "chapters" edition (see last week for Chapter One) begins with my desire to live in town. I was only half a mile from Edmonton, but I might as well have lived in Summer Shade. Going to town didn't happen every day because my mother couldn't drive then and people, in general, only went to town when necessary. Connie Wilson and Judy Wallace were lucky to live in town, and I envied them. They could watch what went on from their upstairs windows, day, and night.

To my young eyes, Edmonton was as bright and exciting as New York City is today. Around the square were thriving businesses: four or five grocery stores, department stores, dress shops, shoe stores, drugstores, two doctors, two pool rooms, several restaurants, a couple of hardware stores, a jewelry store, gas stations, three car dealerships, and a movie theater. That didn't include insurance offices and our lawyers. Wednesdays and Saturdays, customers had to circle the square to find a place to park. (We had parking meters.)

Wednesday was stock day at the stockyard and cattlemen came from across the state to buy and trade. Trucks with fruits and vegetables lined the edges of the stockyard with their freshest apples, peaches, and oranges. Saturday was also for stocking up on groceries and buying new shoes, shirts, having medicines refilled, and whatever couldn't wait until the next "passing." Travel was limited.

When Edmonton was at its busiest, young people came to town with their parents and lingered all day in the courthouse yard playing baseball, sneaking into the poolroom (hoping not to find their dads leaning over a table), browsing the counter at the Dime Store, or having a soda at Metcalfe Drugs. Some families stayed to go to the "picture show" or sit around the square in their cars while their children went to see "Tarzan" or "Beach Party Bingo." The Corner Restaurant stayed open late, and the smoke circled the patrons.

My grandparents lived toward Cedar Flat, so when we were on our way home from a visit, I often leaned into my daddy's ear, "Can we drive around the square?" I wanted the feeling that the town gave; the same sensation created by a Hallmark movie. Connie and Judy took it for granted, but they didn't know how good town life was.

Coming next week: Chapter Three - Christmas in town.

You can contact Carol at

This story was posted on 2021-11-19 14:07:06
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