Monday, January 25, 2010

Star Market

I remember running to the store several times a day when I was a kid. Star Market was about a 100 yards from the house and my dad would send us a couple of times a day for his Lucky Strikes (cigarettes). My mom would send us for whatever it was she needed to keep the house running.

I wasn't running fast enough unless my very long hair was blowing in the wind behind me. I loved the feeling of freedom it gave me and the power I felt in my body as I speeded up even more to make it happen. I was scared to death if I had to go in the evening after dark because there was a spooky, abandoned garage across the road in one spot. That was another reason I would run so fast.

Even greater fun was the nickel we got every time we went to the store. Back then the store was full of wonders for a nickel. Penny candy was a penny so you could get five pieces. Candy cigarettes were a nickel. I used to love the cloud of sugar smoke that came with the first puff off one of those cigarettes. Razzles were a nickel and I bet I composed a 100 jingles for the contest on the back of the pack and never mailed even the first one off. I NEVER considered saving those nickels so I could get a candy bar which was 10 cents or a bottle of pop which was 15 cents.

There was a toy section. We kept it drained of kite string and wiffle balls. You see the same kind of toys at Dollar Tree today. We got jump ropes and jacks. The magnetic man sheets were awesome. I could spend hours moving those magnet shavings around his 1001 faces. The little clicker puzzles where you moved the squares to form a picture were good to pass the time too.

I was a bookworm. I think they kept the books stocked just for me. God knows I bought enough of them. My dad loved the Enquirer. Back then it was full of ghost stories and psychic readings and crazy stories about monkeys shooting off into outer space. He liked the scarey comic books too, so we got to read all of those. He would break down and let us get the Archie comics for ourselves too.

I had the greatest baseball collection on earth. I had the all the Reds baseball team cards from the mid 70's. I had rookie cards for Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Pete Rose and well as most of the rest of the team. I had the team group cards. I HAD THEM ALL. When I got into high school I decided people were crazy about them being worth money someday and I threw them all away. I need to be kicked in the head for that little move.

Life was good.

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