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It is fond memories I have of visiting the local Mercantile on Front Street, long since closed and gone. We would go in with Mom or Dad, and run over to the candy isle while they went shopping to get what ever they needed. The candy isle was fairly long, and full of all kinds of goodies. The store keeper, I can’t remember her name to save my life, would always have some old gum or other candy she would give us for free. My favorite was a black licorice tasting gum, that had a pirate of the package, I think it was called Black Jack. The free gum was always hard, and broke as soon as you started chewing. That did not mater to us, it was free candy.
The Mercantile was one of those stores where you could buy anything. They had it all, a little groceries, a little hardware, some clothing, some toys, and of course the candy. We had two stores in town like this, but it was the Mercantile I loved to go to. There was something about the feel of that small town store that just welcomed you. The smells of all the different products, leather, spice, candies and so on. Of course as soon as you walked in the store keeper would welcome you by name, and ask how you were doing. I often wondered how she kept track of all the kids names.
I also remember running around town picking up soda bottles. We would collect up as many as we could find, and take them to store where we got 5 cents for each. Then we had money to buy what ever candy or soda we wanted. Of course it was best to go to the gas station across the street and buy soda out of the machine for 15 cents, and candy bars were a dime.
Such fond memories, of times long past. I wish there were stores like that still around. The old penny candy stores and things like that are sadly gone forever.