August 01, 2013

Super Market

Super Market 
By John R. Greenwood

"A supermarket tale"

It was a good run. I remember the 1960’s when I flourished across America. I provided neighborhoods with strong paper bags full of nourishment for a fraction what you pay today. You could walk in the door and know everyone who worked here by name. They would know yours too. They would greet you with a smile and ask you how your mother was feeling. I had names like the A&P and Central Market. My aisles were wide and welcoming. I smelled fresh because there was real food inside-not boxes of imitation, pretend food. I was a gathering place for mothers carrying newborn babies and father’s stopping by after work to pick up real bread and fresh milk in real milk bottles. Children loved me too. They tugged on mom and dads legs begging for a ride on the fiberglass horse or helicopter out front. My cashiers wore uniforms and spent lifetimes working for me. They had names like Betty, Viola, and Minnie. My managers took pride in my appearance. You could find them in aisle #9 mopping up broken jars of dill pickles. They wore ties and white shirts and asked you if they could help you. My open face vegetable coolers were packed with fresh produce from the farms in the nearby county. My coffee aisle smelled like heaven and my doors were closed on Sundays. Yes, todays supermarkets are super. They will change your oil while you shop. You can buy eyeglasses in the front, and get an 8x10 of little Timmy in the back. They sell televisions and phone contracts, gallons of shampoo and diamond earrings. I am all for change and I’m even wearing a pair of Big Blue eye glasses but I have to be honest--this sight made me sad. It evoked desolation and helplessness. As with most things they complete a cycle. Maybe some of the things we once took for granted will comeback around. For now I will work on my optimism, there is always room for improvement. 

NOTE: I came across this Red & White Super Market in the western part of New York State. I am always in search of that "thing" that grabs my attention. This small town market seemed to reach out to me as I passed and say,"Hey mister, throw me a bone, take a photo for memory's sake. Keep my history alive, even if it's just a picture. In a year or two you won't recognize me at all. I'm tired of waiting to be brought back to life. I enjoyed it while I was here. Take care and thank you." I acknowledged his request and took a couple photos. 


  1. Thanks for the memories, John. Did the grocery stores of your youth have big glass jars of bulk cookies on the counter, or huge wheels of cheese under a glass bell on top of the butcher counter?

    1. Since I'm am addicted to cookies I would remember big glass jars of them but I have to say that I can't.

  2. Memories indeed! Behind my house growing up in Midland, Michigan stood a small market, called the "Mart Moderne". My Mom would send us there for the occasional loaf of bread or jar of mayonnaise. It was dark inside and smelled of beer to my child senses, and indeed they sold beer and long salamis hung from a hook by the counter. On top also stood a large glass jar of pretzels. The "Mart Man" as we kids called him, would never fail to offer us a free pretzel and even once allowed us to step into the giant refrigerated cooler in the back where the beer was stored. It always felt like a special treat to go and visit the Mart Man.

  3. I love this. Brings back a lot of memories of a Red & White store in my Grandma's town where I would spend the summers.