In "The Way It Was", 2-Minnie Anna (Sister) Dodd Garris 1874-1957, 3-Wilhelmina (Bee) Garris King 1918-2007, Bee Stories, FAMILY: BEE & BOB TOGETHER, FAMILY: MATERNAL LINE (BEE), Round O, S.C., STORIES, Walterboro, S.C. on March 17, 2013 at 8:29 am

I have spoken of the store before but I was raised in the store. We sold groceries (Of course there were no fresh vegetables , fruit or frozen foods). However since our customers lived on farms they actually only needed staple things., including fat back meat. We also sold cloth by the yard, lace, buttons, thread, ladies ready made dresses , children’s clothing, underwear, shoes. and hats. She sold candy, penny candy, fresh bakery cakes and breads, toys, You could say it was a small size department store.

Mamma always said that I could eat all the candy I wanted , but I ate very little because I soon tired of it and hardly ate any. I had one drink (Coca-Cola ) per day and I passed the same idea down to my own children. There was a large ice box in the store and you could put a large cake of ice in it from the top. The ice came down from Watlterboro. I Can’t remember if it were a 50 or 100 pounds but it was large.

— “The Way It Was,” Chapter Twelve: “THE STORE,” 1999

  1. I definitely remember the one-Coke-per-day policy – and a bag of peanuts. I remember that I used to drink them down fast, when it was cold and fizzy. Boyd had a different philosophy – she’d nurse it along until it was hot and flat. I never did understand that. She’ll have to explain why that was better.

  2. Looking toward Round O Road, the clothes were on the right side of the store; the food was on the left. Like I said before, the left side was the side that held my interest – ladies’ clothes didn’t hold much interest for me. I don’t remember getting into the candy jar. The Johnny Cake jar and cheese wheel were much more interesting, maybe because we could get either one piece of candy OR one Johnny Cake AND a slice of cheese. The latter seemed like the better deal. šŸ™‚

    I didn’t say enough about the pendulum clock on the back wall. Thinking about it, I really do miss that thing. I remember it had the word “Regulator” on the face. I wasn’t addicted to it, but I do remember sitting there and watching the pendulum swing back and forth and see the hands (at least the minute hand) move. I kept trying to figure out how it worked. Of course I wasn’t allowed to touch it, so I could only imagine the wondrous things inside that connected the pendulum to the hands. We wound up with my Grandma Marion’s and Penny’s Grandma Mamie’s mantle clocks, which are great, but I’d still like to have the Regulator.

    For some reason I don’t remember the icebox. It may have been an antique in the corner by the time I arrived. I think their refrigerator was electric (unless Douglas remembers otherwise), but they still used the wood stove,and of course the hand water pumps.

  3. Daddy, do you remember the Coca-Colas being stored in a regular refrigerator, or did they have their own special Coca-Cola cooler?

  4. Also, Daddy: About this fabled “Johnny Cake!” All the references I can find to it online define is as something you make at home, either a pancake or a flat cornbread cake. I can’t find any examples of it being a cracker that you buy commercially. Can you find what you’re talking about online? I want to see what one of those things looked like!

  5. I also remember the store being in operation. I remember there being a glass jar with a big round metal lid that was full of “Johnny Cakes”. They were big round, thin cookie-like treats. Somehow I remember eating them with sharp cheese slices too. Did someone cut the cheese for us?
    I drank my Coke slowly because I didn’t want it to be gone… I was stretching out the deliciousness!

  6. Carey, I have looked online for info about Johnny Cakes, but yes, all I see are recipes. I am sure they made most of there food, but her store Johnny Cakes were not homemade. They were perfectly uniform and my guess is that they were all white flour (not any corm meal as so many recipes show).

  7. I will go to my grave wondering what these Johnny Cakes were. Were they kind of like those Digestive cookies you can get in Britain?

    • The British “Digestive” biscuits are the closest things to Johnny Cakes that I’ve seen – at least since I had my last Johnny Cake. They were the same color, but unless it was my smaller size, the Johnny Cakes were bigger and slightly “chewier” than the Digestives, which are slightly “crunchier”. Boyd is right – they were definitely not homemade, although I do not remember ever seeing a delivery box. They were cookie-cutter identical, so if Grandma or Aunt Floy had been making them, it would have been a production process we’d remember. They were always in the glass jar with the metal lid. Perhaps there was a secret ceremony done after we went to bed for refilling the Johnny Cake jar. I seem to remember “Johnny Cake” being written on the jar in red script, so it could have been a brand that may have gone away. Just think of a slightly softer, larger Digestive with a huge slice of cheddar cheese from the cheese hoop, and of course, a 6.5 oz very cold Coke. Snacking heaven!

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