Thursday, March 26, 2015

B111. Grandpa at the Roller Mill

It was 1965 tonight, and I saw my grandpa. Until I was three and a half I stayed with my grandparents while my parents went to work. Mostly I stayed with my grandma, because Grandpa was working the crops, tending the farm, feeding the animals . . ., but once in a while he would take me on his adventures for an afternoon; and since the memories have stayed with me for 50 years, they must have been very special times. Most often he would take me on his afternoon break to Joe Reece’s little country store just across the street from the house. He and Joe, and sometimes some other man or two, would sit in straight wood-back chairs, drink a glass bottle “co-cola,” snack on a Moonpie or a pack of nabs, and talk about whatever men used to talk about on their break times. I would get a Brownie (a chocolate soda) and usually a big chewy cookie from the cookie jar, and a handful of pennies to try my luck for “treasures” from the gumball machine.

But at least twice Grandpa took me downtown with him (as downtown as a one-stoplight town can be) to the feed mill, where we spent a couple of hours in much the same way, but with more men and more wood-back chairs. I don’t know if maybe we took corn to be milled, or if we went to buy flour, but whatever the reason for the trip, the main attraction was sitting, talking, and drinking “co-colas.”

My Rowan History class toured the China Grove Roller Mill this evening, and although I doubt Grandpa ever went to China Grove, I could feel him there as I wandered the four floors of that dusty old mill. I could hear the men talking, and I could see the big red horizontal cooler of ice-cold glass-bottle pop, with the bottle opener on the side. Once again I sat very grown-up with Grandpa and his friends, and he was proud to show me off.

Remembering Thomas Carl Vestal Sr. 1910-1977

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:
 B10-17, 28, 46, 76, 84, 94, 96-98, 100, 102, 109

Above: This photo was taken during that same year. Grandpa
smiles in the background as I jealously jump into the photo of
Grandma holding my new baby cousin Randy.

Top photo: China Grove Roller Mill taken from inside

Below: And this was my favorite soda (photo from Google)


Deborah Lowe Alexander - daloweartist said...

Kathy, this post is so precious!! Thank you!

Deborah Lowe Alexander - daloweartist said...

Kathy, this post is so precious!! Thank you!

Kathy Vestal said...

Thank you, Deborah, for reading and commenting!