By Frances Lowery Garner
In those days, Greenville had two cafes on Commerce Street.
One was uptown near the courthouse and served short orders, mostly hamburgers for 25 cents.
The other was the Rainbow Café in downtown which served regular meals but going “out to eat” was not a regular Friday night affair, however, it has been said you do not miss something you have never had so we were fine with it.
Daddy always managed to get back home for dinner, as we called the noon day meal.
If my Mom, sister and I went into town, it was usually a Saturday afternoon and she would shop for material for clothes and for quilt lining material at the feed store and Belk Hudson’s.
The town physician was Dr. Bryant who had an office upstairs over the Capps Drugstore, which was the first building on the right going downtown from the courthouse.
If the family had a serious injury or illness that necessitated his services, he was always available.
The stairs led up to his office from the outside of the building so if the drugstore was closed, his office was still accessible.
Dr. Bryant served the county for many years and fees were reasonable.
When I was eleven years old, I slipped on the wet grass one Saturday night while running, and pulled the ligaments in my knee.
Mama got someone to take us to Dr. Bryant on Sunday morning as I was in a lot of pain and the swelling was terrible.
With a huge needle and no deadening medicine, Dr. Bryant drew off a lot of bloody fluid from my knee and ordered bedrest for three weeks.
Because I was so brave through the procedure, my Mama insisted we stop on the way of town at Grayson’s grocery (later to become Raybon’s, famous for his good meats) and get me an ice cream cone.
In later years, Merrimac Hat Corp. located in Greenville and many women, who up until this time had never worked outside the home, became employed.
My Mama was one of those women who got a job specking hats.
She juggled all her normal farm chores as well as working five days each week and carpooling with the other workers.
This was during World War II and we also had a grandmother and on old maid aunt living with us.
My sister, Sue, and I looked forward to Fridays (payday).
The workers would go to town on their lunch hour and do their shopping.
She would bring us special things from Elmore’s five and dime that we would not have had otherwise.
I remember asking for a New Testament, so my very own first Bible came from Elmore’s.
We also got hair brushes, combs, little mirrors, and Noxzema to combat the blackheads.
On Saturday mornings a bus would come from Greenville to pick up people who wished to go to town and returned in the afternoon.
While the city kids could go watch the movies down at the Ritz all day for a dime, Sue and I would be sweeping yards as the bus came by our house.
We were not really exposed to city life until we were old enough to work.
She worked long hours at Lewis’ Grocery uptown six days a week after graduating from high school and I went to work at age 15 on Saturday at the five and ten.
By today’s society, we would be probably classified as underprivileged but we thought we were blessed.
We had a family that stayed together and loved us unconditionally.