The rolling store

Posted January 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm


by Janet Brown

Recently, while shopping for groceries the discussion came up about the rising cost of groceries and fuel for our automobiles. Someone made the comment, “It looks like we are going to have to decide which we are going to have the money to purchase, groceries or fuel.” We began to wonder how we would manage to get our groceries if we couldn’t drive our automobiles. My mind goes back to my childhood when for a time we had the service of a “Rolling Store”.

James and Nora Honeycutt operated a small store in our community. It was located where Tom Groce Road came out on Hwy 738. James decided to convert a bus to a store. He installed shelves for groceries and goodies, and would load the bus to make rounds in our community. Some of the goodies were candy, baloney and crackers, and roasted peanuts. The peanut box could have a surprise, and that could be a dime. I remember shaking a box to see if the sound was different, hoping I could find the one with a dime. That was a lot of money at that time.

The houses James would visit from our house to the end of Speck Road were Schuyler and Jewell Honeycutt, Rob and Gertie Groce, and Elvin and Dovie Byrd at the end. I’m not sure where all the route was, but since family owned automobiles were not plentiful, it was convenient to purchase from James.

Even though each family had a garden to raise vegetables, picked berries and other fruits to preserve for the winter, and raised chickens for eggs and meat, cattle for milk and meat, and hogs for meat, there was always sugar, coffee, and lamp oil they would need from the store. This was before we had electricity in our area, and we had to use oil lamps.

Chickens and eggs were as good as money to James. When farmers had extra produce and needed something from the store, James would trade with them.

James and Nora closed their business in the ‘50s and moved to Glasgow, Kentucky.

Janet Brown

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