“You never get away from that thing in your hometown that it has over you. You don’t outgrow where you come from.”

Sun and a blue sky have finally crowded the clouds away. It will stay sunny with a high in the low 40’s, but the wind makes it feel colder. I have two errands: Agway and the dump, but I might add a stop for me. I’m thinking chocolate. It has already been an I need chocolate day.

My hometown is much bigger now than when I was a kid. The square has changed most of all. The best stores are gone, replaced mostly by restaurants. The movie theater, my Saturday matinee spot, was saved and renovated. It now has live theater. If I could conjure up a return of a few of the stores, I’d bring back the Stoneham Spa, O’Grady’s Diner, Middlesex Drugs, the cobbler and that little restaurant that was long and narrow. I especially miss the cobbler. His shop was also long and narrow. It had a table the length of the room, and it was always covered in shoes, pairs tied together. The cobbler used to sit at the end of the table. He always wore a white apron. I remember bringing a pair of shoes for new soles. He gave me a numbered ticket and threw the shoes on the pile.

O’Grady’s was a wonderful old diner. It had red stools and lots of silver around the counter. The tables had red cushioned seats. On each table was a connection to the juke box. The songs were a quarter, and I would turn the pages until I found what I wanted. Mostly I had breakfast there with my father.

Middlesex Drugs was the best with its marble soda fountain counter and its gift counters. I could always find Christmas gifts for my parents. The perfume counter was in the middle sort of aisle a bit beyond the soda fountain. The perfume I bought my mother was never expensive. I doubt it even smelled good, but my mother always loved it. I bought my father his Christmas handkerchiefs there. I bought vanilla cokes.

The restaurant was next to the men’s store, also long gone. I never ate inside, but my mother would get me a sandwich for lunch from there when I had to go to the dentist in Boston. I remember the sandwich was always toasted and was wrapped in white paper sort of like a present.

I’m back to being a news junkie. The closer we get to the inauguration the more I watch. I’m hoping I see nothing but pomp and tradition on Wednesday.

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5 Comments on ““You never get away from that thing in your hometown that it has over you. You don’t outgrow where you come from.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today the weather was the same as it was yesterday only warmer. The high today was in the middle 60s. So far, our Covid side trips have taken us to the towns and counties in every direction around the Dallas Ft. Worth area except southeast. Today, we went southeast to Corsicana Texas. It’s the home of the world famous Collin St. bakery where they make, sell and ship their world famous pecan fruit cakes everywhere at Christmas time. BTW it’s not pronounced PEE’can. It’s Pecaan. I know the joke that there is only one fruitcake in the world and people regift it every year to someone else. :-). However, I didn’t think I would like it but the sample I tasted was good. We bought some pecan chocolate chip cookies. Our cookie supply was getting low.


    You might want to order one for next Christmas.

    Now that we’ve covered all eight points of the compass, we’re going to have to widen our circle of travel. Of course, there are still areas of Ft. Worth we haven’t explored.

    Sadly, many of these small towns have historic downtown business districts which are now lined with rows and rows of closed stores and restaurants. It’s very sad indeed to drive down the streets on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and see the desolation from this virus.

    Hopefully, the inauguration will be peaceful without Trump, but with thousands of national guardsmen surrounding the Capital building. Trump can brag that his inauguration audience was bigger because no one will be allowed on the National Mall. Both the right wing, idiot Trumpster insurgents and the virus have ruined one of the hallmarks of our country, a peaceful transfer of power by the electorate. The “Big” lie still sells. 🙁

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I have always said Pecaan, but I am not a fan of pecans in pies or elsewhere. They are usually too sweet.

      Unlike you, I seldom travel out of the house, If I get sick of being inside, I do take a ride, but that hasn’t happened often. There is always the shore route which is so pretty. Some trips I’ll stop at a small store to do a pick me up sort of shopping.

      My small-town has a strip sort of mall with a Stop&Shop, a CVS and a Marshall’s as anchor stores. There is a cinema and a Dunkin’ Donuts close by. The next small town has had a resurgence. Most of the stores closed down or left the center, but in the last five or so years new stores and restaurants opened. It is coming alive again.

      He’ll expect all eyes to be on him when he gets his grand send-off with a red carpet and twenty-one guns. He has planned it for before the inauguration as he wants a ride home when it can still be Air Force One.

      • Bob Says:

        I think the out going President gets flown home on Air Force One without the call sign. When Nixon resigned he left in the morning of Ford’s inauguration. At noon, while Nixon was flying to California, the pilot called air traffic and changed the call sign from Air Force One to SAM 2800, which is the call sign is when the President is not on board.

      • katry Says:

        Trump wants to fly home before Biden is sworn in so it would still be Air Force One. The name of Nixon’s plane would have been changed anyway as he had resigned and was no longer president when he left.

      • Bob Says:

        Yes, you are correct. However, I remember the pilot called air traffic control at noon, when Ford took the oath of office, they changed the call sign while enroute. I assume until Ford was sworn in Nixon was still the President.

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