Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stores of Brevard

The stores in Brevard were the places where we bought everything we needed to live. My family went to Hendersonville or Asheville only occasionally. This post is about the places our families shopped, the store owners and managers and employees, what we bought or wished we could buy, and where the stores were located. Some earlier comments have touched on this topic but we have a lot more to cover.

Two major unfortunate events I remember were when the A&P and Houston's Furniture Store caught fire. Different incidents, of course. It was, also, a big deal when stores moved from one location to another. When I was in Brevard in May, I noticed that many storefronts have been remodeled, making it harder to pinpoint where the older stores used to be.

One of my favorite places when I was a kid was Rose's Dime Store. Cosmetics were near the front so the welcome was the fragrance of cheap perfume which I thought smelled wonderful. My mother had a saying about a woman "smelling like a dime store" but I didn't realize that wasn't a good thing. I loved buying tiny bottles of perfume with my allowance and hoped I "smelled like a dime store." I later learned my mother's saying was actually a criticism of a woman who wore too much perfume or cheap perfume. I was guilty of both and proud of it!

If you've noticed, over 2,500 people have visited this blog. Thanks for getting out the word. I welcome anyone, whether you lived in Brevard or not, who has a memory of town to visit the blog and leave comments.

Go Blue Devils!

24 comments:

  1. I do remember all the wonderful stores in Brevard. My mother always bought her clothes at Patterson's. That place was the "love of her closet." I remember a Winter's Store that was on Main Street for awhile. I always like Plummer's Store too, and as a child, the toy department personified "Twas The Night Before Christmas." I can remember waiting excitedly in line to see all the toys that were displayed. It was wonderful! Yes, the shopping in Brevard was great, and also, was our "television shows" before television. Every weekend people would sit in their cars (diagonal parking) to watch everyone move from place to place. That was indeed a great social event, as most people would stop to chat and share the week's activities. (This probably occurred more often in the late '40s and early '50's.)

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  2. Every year before school started my brother and I would go to Ikey Ayers Clothing Store and buy our school clothes. Wrangler Jeans $3.98 a pair, 30x32. The Price and the size has changed some since then. B&B Feed and Seed Store. We hauled an untold number of truck loads of corn there to be turned into cattle feed. Mims Radio and TV store. Bought my first record player there and many years later bought one of the first color T.V.'s from them at a different location. Jones News Stand was the place for every teen to check out the car mags., while enjoying a candy bar and coke. Mr. Jones was a very special person and never fussed. Belks was a very good place to get a deal sometimes and the manager (can't remember his name) was a super nice person. Really liked Patterson's clothes, but they were a little upscale for a country boy. Brevard was really a good place to shop. The stores had anything you wanted or needed.

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  3. Probably my family's most frequented store was Harold's Supermarket on the old Hendersonville Highway. It was owned and operated by the Saltz family, who had their home next to the store. Both the store building and the home are still there.

    The most memorable employee, to me, was Bill Barton, Produce Manager. Bill was the first BHS Lance Trophy winner in football in 1949. Bill worked in groceries and produce throughout his working life. Always friendly; always expert at his job, Bill was a prized citizen of Brevard until his death a short time ago.

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  4. Bill Barton was one of my idols and was always giving me tips on how to play end on the football team...as well as how to behave! If I remember correctly, Harold (Mr. Saltz) made Bill a partner later on...He sure deserved it. Didn't Bill remain single so he could take care of his aging mother? My parents also did most of their grocery shopping at Harold's and even had a 'charge account' for when they would send me to the store for some neccessities...guess they didn't trust me with cash. My brother Buddy, Robert McCall and Clarence Goodson worked for several years at Harold's. My favorite store on that end of town was Ray Burgin's Pine Ridge Grocery across from Bob Boyd's Esso (later Phillips 66) station. Mr. Burgin always sponsored our Little League baseball team, The Ridge Runners. One summer weekend when we were 13 or 14, Ronnie Honeycuitt and I helped Mr. Burgin apply hot tar to the roof of the store...talk about a HOT, nasty and physically demanding job! Even now every time I buy a watermelon, I think of Mr. Burgin who would always let Dad "plug" the melon to see if it was a "goodun" before buying it. Ron, thanks for remembering Bill Barton for us.

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  5. Bill Barton married Robbie G. Sledge after her husband passed. They were married for a number of years. Bill worked for Paul Patterson before he retired in Paul's store on Caldwell St. (Paul's Produce - Best Produce in Town!) Paul was Anita Rose's father. Robbie passed before Bill. They lived on Becky Mountain near Rich Mt. They had a very happy marriage.

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  6. I remember going to Hendersonville on infrequently just so Mama could visit the Farmer's Market there. I love going with her because there were wonderful homemade items to purchase (dolls, etc.). I also, like Becky, loved Roses Dime Store & even dreamed about that store years later as an adult. Patterson's was the place for clothes!!
    I also loved going to Mull's Grocery after school & getting candy--until my mother put a FIRM stop to that!
    When I had to go to the dentist, Mama would always treat me to a milkshake or something special like that at Varner's.
    As a teen, I loved Chatterbox. My Daddy caught me smoking there one afternoon after band practice. He looked away & never said a word, but I knew it was going to be bad later!

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  7. Brevard had three drugstores back then. Varner's was operated by the Varner family. Long's was owned and operated by Gene Morris. MacFie's was owned by Mose MacFie. I frequented all three and they were all three kid-friendly. All had soda shops. And all had sandwiches for lunch. I liked visiting all three.

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  8. In the days long before "direct deposit" my dad stopped at Harold's every Thursday to cash his Ecusta payroll check and buy cube steak for our supper. His routine never varied. I still associate cube steak with Harold's and Thursdays! The Western Auto was another important store in my life - my bike and sled both came from there. And then - one day my dad stopped at Western Auto to get something practical and came home with a TV and antenna. He loved gadgets and we were one of the first families on our street to have a TV.

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  9. Speaking of TV, how many times did we gather to watch TV through the show window of Houston Furniture before the Teen Center and before our parents bought TVs? Our first TV was a Philco from Houston's, as was our refrigerator. And speaking of furniture stores, wasn't there a Reid Furniture on West Main Street owned by the husband of our 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Reid? A few other small business stores that come to mind are Joe's Little Store, Dwight Moffits store on the Rosman Highway, The Company General Store in Rosman, Patton's General Store anad Carr Lumber Company Store in Pisgah Forest, Hendrick's Store down the street from Pisgah Forest Baptist Church (remember that one Michael?) and Orr's Grocery on the Asheville Highway. There was also a grocery store at the intersection of Wilson Bridge Road and the Hendersonville Highway across from Sid Barnett's Machine Shop...does anyone remember its name? We got all our "Western Flyer" bikes bats, balls and gloves from the Western Auto...I still have a very useable Wizaard socket wrench set from there that my Dad bought in the early 50s...Dad even bought a Wizard outboard motor at the Western Auto that I think my brother still has...$1 down and $1 a week probably! What was the name of Charlie Discher's store next to Plummer's? By the way, Michael the manager of Belk's was JE (Jim) Smith (Smitty), a neighbor of ours on Green Acres...the owner of Trantham's and Huston's also lived on Green Acres...they paid well to have their grass cut and leaves raked. What was on East Main Stree across from Trantham's, Belk's, Houston's and the Cash and Carry in the 50s?

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  10. Jim: The store at Wilson Br.Rd. & Old 64 was Sittons Grocery. Peg Sitton owned and ran it. He only had one leg, but had a world of personality. Also was the store near Pisgah Forest Baptist not Hedricks. Thanks for the info on the Belks Manager. I have racked my brain for a month and could not remember his name. He was always very friendly and took his time with everyone. Its funny how kids remember friendly people. Worleys Store was on the Asheville Hwy. after you crossed Little Mtn. I remember Mr. Pattons Store in Pisgah Forest very well, because I bought BB's and 22 Rifle Shells from him every time had the money. Loved Western Auto Store and keep a ragged old bike going on parts from there. Hugh and Hattie Bradburn got the first T.V. around our neighborhood and everyone showed up to watch Wrestling. I think Charlie Discher's store was Discher's Hardware. I remember when he closed. All the the other stores had started selling irons, cooking utensils, light bulbs and hardware and he could no longer compete. I really believe that Translvania County had anything you were looking for except legal alcohol. Of course everyone knew who the bootleggers were.

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  11. When you discuss stores you have to include all of the full services gas stations that all the men and boys would hang around in those days. Ray Johnson's Texaco across from Ecusta, Pisgah Forest Amoco, Bank's Shell near the Amoco, Boyds Phillips 66 near Burgins Store, Owenby's Amoco downtown and Dent Hardins Esso across from Owenby's. In those days you really needed a place where you could keep up you vehicle, buy tires and visit you friends. You could always find some friends hanging around their favorite station and in many cases working there. I worked at Pisgah Forest Amoco and Boyd's 66 as a teenager. All the teens would hang out, wash and compare cars. All those 55,56 & 57 Chevs. and many other makes and models that would sell for big bucks today. Not many of those full services places left and none that compare with those of the 50's,60's and even early 70's.

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  12. Bootleggers? In Traysylvania County? Surely you jest. Kitchens and Fishers...do those names ring a bell? That's another topic that shoud be explored at another time.

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  13. Jim: I don't know, but I've been told that one of those you mentioned was located on Old 64 across from from Hunters Motel and had a drive up window around back. I was also told that 50 cents would get you a tall, cold one. Probably the most interesting one was an older lady called, Aunt Lunar who lived in Rosman. Four dollars for a pint of corn and 50 cents for a cold one. These people risked jail to meet a need and today almost all the grocery stores carry the stuff. Go figure. Before someone gets the wrong idea I'm not a alcohol consumer.

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  14. BUDDY KILPATRICK 57August 31, 2010 at 7:17 AM

    HOW CAN WE FORGET PLUMMER'S DEPT STORE WHERE THE BASEMENT BECAME A WINTER WONDERLAND AT CHRISTMAS. REMEMBER THE SHOE MACHINE WHERE WE COULD X-RAY OUR FOOT? ANOTHER BLAST FROM THE PAST WAS MULL'S GROCERY WHERE YOU TOLD THE OLD MAN WHAT YOU WANTED AT THE COUNTER.

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  15. Remember those air hoses at the gas stations that rang a bell to alert the attendant when you pulled up for gas? I once "heard through the grape vine" that the place across from Hunter's Motel had one of those hoses...modern technology! I have often told my friends that our "bootlegger" had the very first drive-up window ever.

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  16. The mentioned on old 64 across from Hunter's motel was once a legal tavern, owned ans operated by the Hunter family. My memory of the tavern was: a neighbor of ours would send his son and me with our western flyer red wagon and a note and money, the note said something like this: Fred (Mr. Hunter) put a case of beer in the wagon, Thanks. We would then pull the wagon home.

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  17. Larry 60
    How about Wards News Stand and the Wards sisters. They never got more than two feet away from you when you were in the store. Always had good candy and candy cigarettes for us hotshot boys.

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  18. Does anyone remember the names of the two Pool Halls in Brevard. One was across the street from Ikey Ayers Store on N.Main St. And one was on W.Main in the next block down from Varner's Drug Store and near the Bakery. I spent some time in both, but never did get that good at pool. My time in Pool Halls came to an end when someone told my Mom that I was seen coming out of there. Never did see the big deal. In those days hanging around Pool Halls was not considered to be decent. Living away from Brevard for nearly forty years puts my memory to the test. Especially when it comes to remembering the changes in business locations and names.

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  19. When I frequented the pool hall in high school, I went to Mark Flynn's place on South Broad Street just down from Varners. It was next door to the bakery. You could get 3 day-old donuts for a nickel at the bakery, buy an RC at Flynns for a nickel and that left me 10 cents. Guess what a game of pool cost? 10 cents! I got 20 cents per day to eat lunch in the school cafeteria. Boy, I did eat a lot of donuts while I was in high school.

    I don't think I was ever in a pool hall on West Main across from Ikey's.

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  20. Ron It seemed that the pool tables near the doors were always open and thats the ones that us amateurs used.The back tables were the ones that the serious players used. I don't know, but I would say that some bets were made toward the back. I remember the Bakery and the the old donuts, but they were still good. Thinking back its hard to believe the way prices have changed. The other pool hall across from Ikeys charged ten cents per game or three games for a quarter. We would try to get in a couple of games before movie time. Can you believe where all that HS students ate lunch. If you remember we had to go up to the grammar school cafeteria for lunch. Kids ate anywhere and everywhere. I don't remember any rules concerning where you had to eat.

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  21. I don't think there were any rules about where we went for lunch - wasn't that a great system? We could go to the Chatterbox or walk up town to one of the drug stores. People with cars went to the drive-ins. Wherever I ate, I always stopped by the bakery for a chocolate-covered do-nut. They were something else! I think they were a nickel - slightly more pricey than the day-old ones!

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  22. The poolhall across from Ikey's was owned and operated by T. Loftis.

    Speaking of Mark Flynn, about 1985 I operated a business in Laurel Park just outside of Hendersonville. One evening about 6PM a customer walked in, I didn't see him from the front because he was walking away from me. From the back I could see the empty sleeve of his coat and the cocky walk of Mark Flynn, before he even turned around I said hello Mark, you would have thought someone shot him from his reaction. He had not been back in this area for some 25 yrs. but he remembered me and we had a long talk.

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  23. I was thinking about the no rules lunch time and I remembered that you would get back to the High School before the bell rang and everyone would be standing around the long cement water fountain. Some would be smoking others just talking and some trading knives. Can you imagine what our Grandchildren would think if they could see that. Smoking, Knives on school grounds? Every guy had a knife. Today tobacco or knives will get you out of school suspension. Maybe we were different in many ways.

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  24. Does anyone remember the Sinclair station on South Main Street. I think Mr. Batson ran it. He had a really nice Chevrolet Nomad Wagon. I noticed the other day when I was by there that you can't even tell where it was. He was a very nice person and ran a very clean station.

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