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The Old Country Store

by Ed Blair

Oh, the old country store with the candy jars in it,
And the bag of green coffee that sat by the door;
The barrel of sorghum with plug driven in it,
That leaked every hour a few drops on the floor.
The barrel of crackers with cover beside it,
The cheese, where a patron could pilfer a bite.
The jugs and the jars with the straw in between them,
When I was a boy 'twas a source of delight.

Piled up on the counter, the "hickory shirting"—
A stripe and a plaid for the patrons to choose.
Some featherproof ticking, some ducking for "breeches,"
Some calicos, ginghams, a few pairs of shoes,
A barrel of kraut never spoiled in the making,
How good it did taste when I tiptoed a wee,
And the "gingersnap cookies" that came in the boxes,
What a treat to have one of them given to me.

The old country store, what a charm to the youngster
The hogshead of sugar (sometimes mixed with sand),
And if I was there when the "store man" was opening,
A lump of its sweetness was placed in my hand.
The coffee pots stood in a row on the shelving,
The old iron boilers and tubs down below,
A can of gunpowder and shot for the hunters
And the "waterproof" caps that ofttimes wouldn't go.

Oh, the old country store, what a joy there to visit
With postoffice boxes, 'mong cobwebs galore,
That gave us the letters and papers on Monday,
That rode in the mails for a fortnight or more.
Oh, never a city with street cars and bridges
And viaducts, factories—yea, all of these,
Can e'er beat the store at the cross roads on Cow creek
Where first I bought candy and crackers and cheese.

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