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Kentucky Color: Grissom's Rolling Store

By Billy Joe Fudge

Recently, while visiting with my friend Mike Watson, I asked if he remembered Grissom's Rolling Store. After his reply of, "no, what was that?", I lit in to telling him about it!

As an only child, I was simultaneously raised by two sets of parents. My Pa Fudge had a stroke when I was about three years old. Although he was not incapacitated, he was not able to do any work of consequence and needed much assistance that Ma could not provide. Since I was starting school and Momma was beginning public work in Columbia, Dad and Pa sold the farm between England Branch and Leatherwood Creek and Dad bought a farm on Harvey's Ridge. The move cut the time and distance to Columbia in half for Momma's commute and got this new Breeding School student off the end of a, depending upon the weather, dirt or mud road.

This new farm had a big house instead of two little houses and Pa and Ma moved in with us, which was the plan going in. Therefore, that is how this poor, only child ended up being raised by two sets of parents. I was a young'un with his Dad farming in the summer trying to pay for the farm and his Mom working at the Circle R and Lyon Uniform during the week and often at Coomer's Cafe on Saturdays to buy the things we needed that the farm would not provide. Therefore, in those formative years of 5, 6, 7 and 8, I spent a lot of time "helping my Ma and Pa" which leads me to Grissom's Rolling Store.

At some point a Mr. Grissom had a country store at the intersection of Weed Ridge Road and Highway 80. I am not familiar with when that ownership began but he did have the traveling store for some period of time between the middle 50's and early 60's.

The traveling store was an old 1 ton truck, the way I remember it. It had a homemade wooden box built on the wooden bed with a door in the rear. When the door was opened out, there was a set of wooden steps on hinges that flipped out, touching the ground. The ceiling was about 6 feet high the way I remember it. There were shelves on the sides, on the front wall and on each side of the rear door.

My Ma Fudge would almost seem giddy when Mr. Grissom would pull in the driveway. She didn't go to town very much and for her it was quite a shopping experience. She would look at canned goods like salmon, bags of dried beans, chewing gum, baking soda, tell me to pick out a candy bar, asked if he had Mammoth Cave twists of tobacco, told him that my Pa Ab wouldn't chew the Moore's Red Leaf if he gave it to him and looked at pots and pans hanging from the ceiling. Often she would ask about something that he didn't have and he'd write it down to bring the next trip.

These shopping experiences would be repeated every month or so from mid-spring to October and I was just wondering if anyone else remembers similar shopping experiences when Grissom's Rolling Store came rolling into your driveway?

If you have memories of Grissom's Rolling Store, use the CM Comment Form to share.

This story was posted on 2023-09-14 10:02:46
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