Donut Shop Became A Regular For Coffee Drinkers
By Charles Cooper
Hello everyone, I hope you are having a good week. Fortunately I sent a spare column to the paper and when I was in the hospital last week they ran it. The correct name of the store was McCullar-Suratt and after World War II, when they opened a hardware store, it was Blu-Buck. Since I knew the two partners it was a pleasure for me to feature them.
Today it would be hard to imagine not having a place to have coffee every day, but such was the case until after the war. George Miles, who had been a baker in the Navy, and was married to one of Genie Meggs’ sister, opened a donut shop next door to the Cox shoe shop.
It soon became the gathering place for the early morning coffee drinkers. After Early Dennis closed his bakery and moved to Grenada, there hadn’t been a place where the delicious aromas drifted down Main Street.
George did all the baking and his wife waited on the customers. The only time he had outside help was on holidays when Charlie Lee Gordon would assist him and all night. There would be brown paper over the outside windows and everyone knew that goodies were coming soon. Today the coffee drinkers meet either at Turnage’s or at Piggly Wiggly.
In those days Main Street was busy, and there were few vacant buildings. The business people were a close-knit group and even though some of them were business rivals, they put that aside in the coffee shop.
Today, in the cities, people go in a Starbuck’s and pay five dollars for a cup of coffee which I think is no better than the one I brew at home. Years ago, in El Paso, Luby’s cafeteria had free coffee until ten in the morning.
A friend of mine, Marvin Fulkerson, would take a client there and act as if he was buying him a cup of coffee – but I digress. The soda drinkers still went to Martin Boydston’s or Turnage’s. Turnage had a cola dispenser, but Martin did his the old fashioned way by squirting in the syrup and adding the soda. Some customers would ask for a cherry coke and it was no extra charge. I would fill in for Martin when he would have to leave, and I enjoyed making the drinks. Martin had the marble top tables with the wrought iron legs and I’ve often wondered what happened to them.
In those days we had first a Piggly Wiggly next to the Simmons store and later it became Kroger. I remember one manager, Penny Garrett, who was a tap dancing artist who performed in any of the events in the Valley.
I wonder if any of you remember when there were several scales in front of some of the stores, and it cost a penny to weigh.
My old friend, Winfred McCain, sent me a get-well card after my operation. He also said that he had trouble getting his emails to me. I haven’t changed my address in some time, I hope he’ll try again. I haven’t had anyone else say that they had trouble and I’m getting emails all the time.
I’m wondering if any of you remember when William House had a blacksmith shop and grist mill on Duncan Street just south of where Fred’s is now?
He was Patsy Denham’s grand-father and when he retired due to bad health, Julian Boxx ran the business for several years.
My cousin, Marvin Ford, called to thank me for the profile of his mother and we had a long talk. He and his twin, Melvin, are the last of seven Ford brothers. I’m doing research on several stories I plan to feature in the future, and I still need any input you can send me.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or write me at P. O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tn 38101 and have a great week.