I enjoyed “The Way We Were” photos of the old post office and adjoining businesses. I think the store on the other side of Oliver’s was Tommy Thomas’ meat market and the Fairlawn was on the other side of the post office and was managed by Clarence Jayne. It was later George Miller’s jewelry store and my sister, Donna, worked there for a while.
I have many memories of the old post office being the gathering place for the town folks around 4:30 p.m. when the Black Diamond went through and Fred Huffman picked up the mail and brought it to the post office from the railroad depot where Lena Huffman, Mildred Arey and Russell Rosengrant would sort it and place it in the boxes on the wall. I remember ours was box 73. If Lena knew you were looking for something special, she would call out to my mom: “Vanessa, your mail is here,” and Mom would go up to the window and get it.
There was always a friendly crowd waiting for Fred to arrive. John Reinhart would get the bundle of Wilkes-Barre’s Times Leader, cut it open and commence folding the papers to go in his bag for delivery.
Ivan Simpson was often there working a crossword puzzle and Reed and Wallace “Stem” Gould were regulars.
Since there was no home delivery, you had to walk downtown to get the mail and then pick up groceries for the next day’s meal at Dibble’s or the A&P and later the Acme.
In those days Main Street was exciting, with every building occupied with a thriving business from the Peoples State Bank to Eugene Minier’s Drug Store (later Harold “Puss” Mann’s), which was connected to the movie theatre with a little walk-through across from Mary Jane Tompkins’ popcorn booth. I thought Mary Jane and Marguerite Milne had the best jobs in the world because they got to see the second movie free.
When the stores stayed open until 9 p.m. on Fridays, people came to town early to get a good parking place on the main street to people watch and shop. I recall Smokey Anderson and family being regulars.
Does anyone remember when Neil Latimer and Kirk Dunklee had a hot dog stand in front of Dunklee’s store on Friday nights? Great dogs, too.
My friend, Bud Detrick, Mike Fleming and I packed groceries at the A&P and delivered them to cars parked on the street. It was a big deal when Gerry LaFrance and Ruth Reed trained us on the cash register and we were trusted to be cashiers in their absence. Dick Smales trained us in the art of returning produce every night to the reefers in the back room. High tech prevailed with the produce and when we spread a compound on the wood floors and swept them.
I can still remember certain unique smells (not unpleasant) in the Enterprise and Scovill Allis’ old drug store.
And the wooden horse, handmade by Bill Bendinsky for kids to sit on while getting their hair cut, still used by his son, Lee, the last time I was home.
How about the new cars that came to Taylor McCarty? We rushed from school to see the new Chevys, Pontiacs and Buicks.
Who remembers Wyalusing’s Western Auto on Main Street owned by Stan Kintner and Mr. Wood? Many more pleasant childhood memories come to me, but I’ll save them until another day.
It was a great time and place to grow up.