Friday, March 3, 2017

To Travel By Shanks' Mare

The older I get, the more I have trouble remembering things. Like this morning I have been trying to remember if the five and dime store was on the east side of main street (not capitalized because the real name of the street where most businesses were located was Davis Avenue - we just called it main street) north of the Candy Kitchen before it moved to the west side and a block south.
I have a distinct memory of going into the store and buying a sleeveless, melon colored, cotton blouse for $l.00. Yes, one dollar. I remember a yellow one, two, but the melon/coral one was my favorite.
I also remember a fabric store on the west side of the street across from the five and dime which I remember as being "Rittel's". I recall it being operated by a husband and wife team and her name was Audrey. The 1957 Corning Centurama book helps me out on this one - the store was the C.R. Anthony store with W.W. Rittel its manager. It also lists the P.M. Place Store under 'Department and 5cents to $1.00 Stores'. Unfortunately, it doesn't give the address for either.
And a Google search tells me that the Anthony stores were headquartered in Oklahoma with 300 stores in 20 states. Also that they were department stores selling clothing and shoes, too, not just fabric.

I found this photo online of one of their fabric departments (not the one in my hometown). It looks like fabric might have had a big share of the floor space, maybe that's why I thought they were a fabric store.

None of this has anything to do with shanks' mares - that was just another memory that popped into my head this morning - something I hadn't thought of for years but heard often as a child, usually in relation to walking to school.

Most days we were out of the house and on the road about the time our neighbor came along taking her boys to school and she would stop and pick us up. But once in awhile we missed that ride. Which is when we tried to get Mom to take us to school. Rarely did she do so, telling us instead to go by shanks' mare - which means we had to walk that mile to the one-room school. Or, as I thought of it, trudge my way up the road.

Thinking about walking to school made me remember the time my older brother went by shanks' mare and walked all the way to town - a distance of five miles! I don't remember why he did that. I wonder if he does? Maybe he did it just to be doing something.

I wonder if he remembers Place's being on the East side of main street when they first came to town?

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