Robert's Memoirs Page 3 (1936)
I remember the Lucas General Store on Wilkinson
Blvd. It was only a couple of blocks from Donald Ross Road where Mr. Puckett and family
lived. Allen, Maynard and Robert Strawn will remember this store well. It sold just about
any item needed if you could find it. The store sold groceries, hardware, feed, meat and
even tack (horse stuff). If the did not have what you wanted, Mr. Lucas would order it for
you. Just about all the local families charged their goods and would pay when they had the
money. Some families took advantage of him after his death. He was killed when his car was
struck by a train on south Tryon St.. There was several thousand dollars owed that I don't
think Mrs. Lucas ever collected.
The store was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There was no cash register, only a drawer with the charge books. The clerk on duty or Mr.
Lucas carried the cash in their pockets. The gas pump was out front and you pumped your
gas then went inside to pay them for how much gas you said you had pumped. Sometimes Mr.
Lucas had some of the local boys helping with the gas and oil. I remember Robert Strawn
and M.H. King working there when they were going to Berryhill School.
Mr. Lucas kept a pair of boxing gloves for the
boys that wanted to try their skill. I remember several pretty good fights. Usually there
were only a few punches thrown until one would deliver a blow that hurt and the fight
One of the men who worked for Mr. Lucas was Mr.
Gurley. He lived several blocks from the store and you could buy a bottle of moonshine
from him. I don't think that Mr. Lucas knew that he was selling it. Mr. Gurley had a pet
crow that would fly with him from home to the store and sometimes the crow would sit on
Mr. Gurley also always had the best, the largest
or the smallest of whatever was being talked about. I heard several men talking about how
tall their tomato plants were. Mr. Gurley responded that his tomatoes had grown above the
roof and he had to get a ladder to gather the them.
I remember another man, named Dwight Collins, that
worked for Mr. Lucas and was quite a character. He had a growth taken off his left ear.
When the doctor removed the growth it only left the top part of his ear. When waiting on a
woman that was also known to be quite a character and lived in Belmont across the river,
Dwight said something she took offense to and told him she would take out her razor and
crop off his other ear.
All of our family traded with Mr. Lucas because he
had good meat and good prices on all the products. Mr. Lucas Liked Dr. Pepper and would
always match you for a soft drink or he would match you double or nothing for your grocery
bill. I matched for a long time and I'm sure it came out even over time. Mr. Strawn owned
the building and lived in a house in back of the store. After my first date in the summer
of 1936, the store became a regular hang out for me after work, hoping to see Lettie; and
While Robert Strawn and M.H. King were working at
the store, I had a flat tire on my 1929 Model A Ford. I had Robert and M.H. patch the tube
and and fill the tire with air. When they finished I drove the car about half way home and
it blew again. When I examined the tire I found a screwdriver they had left inside the
tire. At that time a 21" cylinder tire was about $6.00 or $7.00 and the tube was
75¢, so the experience would have cost nearly half a weeks wages had I not gone to the
junk yard and purchased tire and tube for around $2.00. The store has been added onto
several times and is now a True Value Hardware Store.
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