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Memories From The Museum For 06/01/2016

June 2nd, 2016 by

DrewCountyMuseumA couple of weeks ago, I wrote an essay about my memories of the rolling store of my youth along the Mississippi River levee in Desha County.  I asked for other remembrances and received a reply from Mary Lasiter about her memories of the rolling store in the Green Hill area of Drew County.  Our memories were so similar I thought you might like to read Mary’s story, so it is reprinted here with Mary’s permission.

Enjoy!!

Mr. Olen Hogue’s rolling store was a big box bed truck with shelves on both sides. The inside was stocked with anything and everything you might need except clothes. Inside at the very back or up close to the cab of the truck so it could be stacked on the floor between the shelves, were the big items like 25 or 50 pound sacks of flour or sugar. Under the truck bed was a cage to hold chickens with which some people paid Mr. Olen.  He also had a large container of coal oil because for years everyone used it for lighting lamps.

I think almost all if not all of our flour, sugar, and other “staples” came from Mr. Hogue. He came by our house every Wednesday afternoon. It is amazing how many Wednesdays my sister Carole or I one would be “sick” so we could stay home from school because on top of all the staples he had a big shelf of candy. Most of it sold for a penny. For a nickel Carole and I both could have a week’s worth of candy if we chose the right things. Kits had 5 pieces in each package for a penny. Some other candies had several pieces in them. You could take a nickel worth of Kits and have 25 pieces of candy. Kits came in several flavors, strawberry, banana and peanut butter which was my favorite. That would go a long way. A BB Bat sucker would last a long time because it was a taffy base and there was no way to chew it. So you had to just let it melt in your mouth. After 30 minutes of sucking on it you were ready to wrap it up for the day and save the rest to eat another time.

In those days we raised almost everything we ate except sugar, flour, coffee and a few other things used in baking like spices and vanilla.  There was no running to the store to pick up something if you needed it for two reasons.

One reason was that you didn’t have the time or money and two we only had the one truck and Daddy was usually using it. The only time we went to town was on Saturday – sometimes but not every week. Therefore everyone depended on Mr. Olen Hogue and his rolling store.

When we were young, flour came in cloth sacks and Mother used them to make almost all of our cloths. She would always try to pick out the same pattern on the sack until she had enough to make a shirt or dress. Mr. Olen didn’t mind moving sacks around to get to the pattern you were wanting even if it was on the bottom of the stack. Mother could take 2 or 3 sacks and make the prettiest dress you ever saw!  The plain white sacks were used to make panties and slips.  (I remember the pretty flower prints.)

Sometimes there would be a dish towel attached to the flour sack. Mother always tried to get those because those were the only terry cloth towels we had. The boxes of oats and different things would have pieces of glassware in them. We were always eager to get far enough down into the box to find what it was. I wish I had some of those cups, saucers or glasses now. I do have some glasses that I got out of laundry detergent after we married.

Mr. Olen had one son, Charles, who would sometimes ride with him during the summer. He became a doctor and after retiring he and his wife moved back to Monticello.

I was raised on Old Warren Road on the west side of Green Hill. In 1956 when our house burned Mr. Olin came to where we had moved and of course we didn’t have much money because we lost everything. He kept asking Mother what else she needed because she was keeping it to the bare necessities. When she told him nothing else he

filled a large sack with flour, sugar, etc. and wouldn’t take any payment.  He was a kind, generous man with a big heart!

I remember the lemon pie mix too and wish I could remember the name of it. I would love to be able to buy some and let my kids see what we had rather than just tell them.

 

Mary

 

One Response to “Memories From The Museum For 06/01/2016”

  1. Harry Densmore III says:

    Mrs Mary Lasiter , i would like to have had chance to tasted that wonderful lemon pie mix. It would have been, sure to please all who tried it.
    Thanks for sharing the times gone by.

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