by Louise Knapper
Remembering the days when we lived in the rural area of Louisiana brings back many memories. My grandpa would leave out walking early in the morning, hoping to catch a ride into town to buy food and staples. You see, we didn't have means of transportation, not even a tractor.
Grandpa literally carried a sack filled with his purchases over his shoulders if he didn't catch a ride back home. Sometimes he didn't return until it was almost dark.
Then one day the Rolling Store showed up. This was an old school bus which had been converted into a store, painted red and white, seats removed, and a counter had been placed across the door.
Now, the Rolling Store came to our area on certain days. We awaited the sound of the horn blowing down Mendenhall Lane as the bus made its way to us. I would gather up my change for Chatty Wheel Cookies, Jawbreakers, Sugar Babies, Butternut candy bars or Big Time candy bars.
I looked forward to the Rolling Store coming to the cotton field at dinner time, especially the days we didn't bring dinner. Back then lunch time was dinner time and dinner time was supper time.
My specialty was a Chatty Wheel cookie with salami and cheese, topped off with a red Nehi Soda.
On days the rolling store didn't come, the foreman wrote our orders and went down to the plantation store to pick up our lunch. While everyone waited for his return, I scouted around for a shade tree and waited for my Chatty Wheel Cookie, salami and cheese, and a cold Red Nehi Soda
Louise writes: "I am a native of Waterproof, Louisiana, a rural village in Northeast Louisiana, but I've lived in Los Angeles, California, for the past 40 years. I have always loved to write, but since retiring from LAUSD I find myself writing as a pastime as well as for the love of it. The Rolling Store and Chatty Wheel Cookies is an excerpt from my first book project (BACK WHEN) which is near completion. I have also completed my family geneaolgy. I am a self-taught folk artist and have created original prints, postcards and photos depicting life in Louisiana as Dotsie's Creations."
Read more of Louise's stories here at USADEEPSOUTH.com.
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