Snapshot of History
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This week’s picture has a great deal of detail and I’ll touch on that soon. I have been collecting photos for 19 years and I love interior pictures of commercial enterprises with an employee or a customer in it.
Jennifer Campbell emailed me this picture in a high-resolution format so I could enlarge it on my computer and pick out small details. The woman in the photo is Lavon Thomas, Jennifer’s grandmother.
Narcissus “Lavon” Burchett was born in 1913 and graduated from Kellerton High School in 1931. She married Donald Thomas in 1936 and they had three daughters: Judy, Jinny, and Jill. Donald passed away in 1980 and Lavon left us in 2013 at the age of 100.
Lavon is seen here at the counter in the Shamrock Cafe around 1970. Johnny Warin bought Rogers Oil Company in 1963 and started Shamrock Cafe. The cafe would last until at least 1987, but Mr. Warin passed away on March 8, 1986 and Shamrock would soon be gone. Former Shamrock Cafe cook, Richard Pence, told me Lavon loved to sing at work and her favorite song to sing was, “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
Behind Lavon is the pie menu. A slice of pie was 25 cents, a roll was 15 cents, and a donut was 10 cents. There are nine pies on the menu including, chocolate supreme, burnt sugar, and apricot. Some of the pie bakers from this time period were Crystal Campbell, Velvadean Davenport, and Hazel Schlapia.
Looking at all the items for sale behind Lavon and in the case reminds me of the way things were before convenience stores came along. The back wall is full of Guy’s snack foods. Potato Chips, candy, and nuts were big sellers for Guy’s. I can see Tums, Alka-Seltzer, and Bromo Seltzer. To the left are the tobacco products like Prince Albert, Velvet, Swisher Sweet cigars, and Riz-La cigarette papers for the roll-your-own artist.
In the case I see Clorets, Certs, Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum, Luden’s Cough Drops, and below that looks like candy bars. On the counter is Sugar, salt, pepper, ketchup, napkins, a toothpick dispenser, and, yes, an ashtray. There is also a cardboard display asking patrons to help stop birth defects and contributors were asked to slide a dime into a slot on the display. I remember those.
I remember when men smoked pipes and rolled their own cigarettes, and people took breath mints after a meal. I remember Guy’s Potato Chips very well. I remember businesses sold flints and lighter fluid before butane lighters were used.
Thanks to Jennifer for the high-quality photo. I was delighted to enlarge the picture and see all the old-time goodies.