Friday, October 26, 2007

Free Nostalgia (t-shirt extra)

While drinking my coffee this morning, I came across a reference to the Piggly Wiggly grocery store chain. There was a Piggly Wiggly store in my neighborhood when I was young. I can almost remember the funny smell of clean, old, wooden grocery shelves. The checker had a little card she had to consult as she finished ringing up our purchases on the old cash register. (The joys of growing up before computers, in a state with a sales tax.) The Safeway store had some kind of guarantee that you'd always get the sale price or your money back, but I don't think Piggly advertised such a promise. My mom's favorite checker was Bonnie Birch. And it was in that checkout line at Piggly Wiggly, in my monochrome community, that I first noticed people with different colored skin. I couldn't help but stare at them... because they were wearing terrycloth robes... in broad daylight... in the grocery store... Wow, that was so weird. This might have been one of the few times I embarrassed my mother.

If you grew up in a Piggly Wiggly store, you might enjoy their website. For only $6 you can get a cool Mr. Pig logo t-shirt of your very own! Did you know that Piggly Wiggly stores were hugely innovative? This was the first "self-service" grocery store chain in America! True, it wasn't quite as self-serve as Prairie Market, but it was an amazing new idea for its day, and it changed the way Americans would shop.

Ah, that was a nice little walk down memory lane. Thanks for coming with me.

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