This evening I stopped by the "little store" to get a few things. As I was pulling in I saw a girl from the neighborhood that I grew up with, and politely waved at her. (She was still as snobby as ever and did not return the greeting). I got out of the car to go in and noticed that the car next to me was still running with no one inside. I entered the store and there was a young mother and a little boy sitting at the counter having a snack. Connie was at the register.
I tell you all of this to give you an idea of what the little store is like. You run into people you've known forever, there is still some community trust, and you know the people that work there on a first name basis.
When I was a kid, it was the first place I was allowed to go to on my bike without an adult. Well, school was the first place, but the store was next to the school and this time I didn't have to keep up with the "big kids" like on weekday mornings. Anyway, they still had penny candy! You could get a whole bag of sweets for a quarter! I used to pretend it was the store on "Little House on the Prairie" with the glass candy jars. (There really weren't any glass jars, just card board boxes of Bazooka Joe's and tootsie rolls, but it was fun to imagine). Mom would send us to go get milk or bread and then ask for the change AND the receipt. No sneaking candy with her money! Man was she a mean mom;) Aunt P would send us there for cigarettes. No secret stashes with her money either. She knew how much a pack was and counted her change.
There was lady that worked there who was British. We loved that she would call us "love". "Fifty cents, Love" Connie (the lady in the picture) has worked there since I was a kid. She is a very nice, hardworking woman. She's from the neighborhood and raised her kids here, too. She knows the ins and outs of the community, but isn't the town gossip.
When I turned eighteen, I went to the little store to buy a lotto ticket and a pack of smokes for Aunt P (by then they stopped selling them to kids for the parents). Now I go there for my own cigarettes and milk, to talk to Connie, and sometimes I give in and buy a candy bar, for old times sake of course ;)