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Winston Container Corporation

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Robert's Memoirs
Stories as told by my Father (1) (2)

Stories as told by my Mother

My personal memories
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Lettie's Memoirs

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Robert's Memoirs Page 3 (1936)

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    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.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    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.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    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 would end.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    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 his shoulder.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    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.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    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.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    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 it worked.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    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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