Shim's Grocery!
Old Store building as it is today.
Following story-Circa 1940's.
Rockport, KY.

Please Scroll Down for Message...
As most of you had the chance to read the first part of this two part story, I thought that I would offer you the same option on this second part.  Again, if you do not want to reminisce, please scroll down to the end and check the correct time.  Thanks for looking in and hope to have more to your liking the next time.  If you are still here, thanks.
I did get a few responses to the first part and need to make a correction or two.  Seems as if two of you readers think that Shim's son was named Armond and I will go along with that.  I may have been thinking of Aaron Akins (sp).  So Armond it is.  Also, got another tale concerning Shim's driving ability.  Seems that Shim delivered groceries and at one delivery place, he kept backing into a neighbor's fence.  The neighbor kept placing large rocks to prevent her fence from being damaged, but Shim always managed to miss the rocks and hit the fence.  Also, I was reminded that most of the people called the store Shim Bob's and it may have been spelled Shimbob's.
Guess this part of the tale will be about the store itself.  Again, just writing as I recall from memory and would appreciate any information pertinent to the story or in disagreement to what is being written.  While ShimBob's was similar to Mr. Godsey's in the TV series, The Walton's, it was not quite up to par with it.  The store was very small, by today's standards, and if you try to imagine entering a 50'x12' mobile home to buy your groceries, you will be close.  It may have been 14 feet wide.  As mentioned in the first part, the wooden floor and  walls were dark and the store was never well lighted.  Four or five lights hung down from the tall ceiling and they were in line with where the shopper would walk.  Each light hung from  an electric cord and they were operated by a wall switch.  Remember now, electricity had not been in use in this part of the country for long.  Towns like Echols, Martwick and Nelson were still without this new-found energy source. 
On the left, as you entered the store, was a long counter.  It was nearly the length of the store.  On top of this counter was the cash register, a holder for the racks that held the bills, some displays that held pocket knives, watches, and other select type items.  I am sure there was a candy jar or two, but just don't remember seeing any.  On the wall behind the counter was where the "Groceries" were located.  Here were the shelves that contained the main items that was to be sold.  I don't remember as much "Food Stuff" as I do the other items like baking soda, lard, etc. and other items to cook and work with.  I don't remember many cans of food, but am sure that beans, peas, some soups and other canned foods were on these shelves.  I think that there was a cold drink box, near the window, as you entered.  Am not sure if it was operated by electricity or if ice was just placed in the box daily.  On the right was a few displays, larger items,  and think there was a display case on the far end.  The store clerk stayed behind the counter.
The customer would enter the store and, after exchanging greetings with the clerk, would hand the clerk a grocery list.  In some cases, and for shorter list, the customer would just call out the item that they wanted.  Now the clerk got busy and would go from one end of the counter to the other picking out the items that was on the grocery list.  These items were placed on the counter and when the list was complete, it was time to settle.  In most cases, the grocer went to his "Rack of Credit Booklets", pull out the individual booklet for the customer that he was waiting on and start writing down each item.  It was hard to read or to make out the items on the "Credit Book", but it was not hard to read the cost.  After all of the grocery items were logged in the credit book, the grocer would place the previous amount owed on the top of this list and then total the new credit amount.  Now, this is one area where the fun started.  People that were not that good with math and figuring could add this list up faster than most people could add it with a calculator.  I can remember Jamie Reid and my father taking  this list and just about place a total at the bottom faster than most people could read the numbers off.  After the new additions to the credit book were added, the grocer would sack the groceries and then give the customer a copy of the new addition to their individual credit book.  It was desirable for the customers to pay off their bills when they got paid and in particular every two weeks and sometimes monthly.  When paid, the grocer would give the customer the original bill with "Paid In Full" stamped or marked on it.  Sad to say though, that there were many of these credit books thrown away and never paid after the grocer had passed on, but that is another story.
Look out Shim-There was a new grocer in town and things were changing.  As Shim Bob's advanced into the fifties, changes were being made and a person could purchase some fresh meat, some fresh vegetables, more canned goods, candies, peanuts, cracker-jacks and many more items than were not offered just a few years earlier.  Most households now had replaced their "Ice Boxes" with electric refrigerators and some planning on what to have for dinner was an option.  Before this, and even into the fifties, "What's for dinner" would depend on what the grocer had ordered and what was stocked.  
Although "Soldiers Never Die, They Just Fade Away", Grocers and/or Grocery Store Owners and Clerks, sooner or later, call it quits and retire from the business.  Some even have a few years of retirement life before they are put to rest.  Shim's store was later converted into an apartment, but was never used for a grocery after Shim left.  It is probably vacant now and slowly becoming a vacant lot.  When a store closes, depending on the demand, another will open.  As long as people have to eat, there will be some place to purchase the need.   
In summation, I think that Shim started his grocery in the late thirties, but am in the unknown here.  He operated it until the late fifties and again, am not aware of the correct years.  Will give him credit for about twenty years.  Any help here would be so noted.  Thus, this concludes the series of Shim's or Shim Bob's and am considering coming up with a stat on Jamie Reid's General Merchandise.  Would appreciate any input, anti or pro, and if enough "Anti" comments are received, will shut down this keyboard.  Thanks for looking and a pre-thanks for any comments from you......

Hope you Enjoyed!!
See you.......

Return to Main Groceries Page.



Mouse over to see time.

Mouse over Picture for Message.

Shim's Grocery-Riverside View.

Click The Button  To Reply