A Fountain Coke at Stam’s
April 16, 2010
I can see it all clearly in my mind’s eye: the men standing around the pot-bellied stove towards the back of the Locust Grove store, my sister and I in our “champagne dresses” (named after Norma Zimmer on the Lawrence Welk show), and the rows of candy in the wooden case with the slanted glass front to the right of the store. It was one of those mom and pop stores so common in little villages in the 50’s (although I can’t ever remember seeing a “mom;” only a “pop”). And I loved it. We got to go there with Daddy after Sunday School and it was just the three of us. That was the first reason I loved it. Plus it smelled good–like the stove and the men and the promise of candy. And I guess it smelled a little like dirt, since they did have some, and I liked that, too, because we didn’t have that in our house.
My sister and I were princesses at that store on Sunday mornings. And we were royalty whose wishes came true on one particular Sunday morning when we were asked by one older man, (and I wish I could remember the man’s name but I can’t), “Do you want some candy?” I lowered my eyes and answered quietly, “Oh, no thank you,” since that was what polite little girls said. But my knight in shining armor-daddy said to me and my sister, “It’s all right, girls.” And so we each got a whole Hershey’s chocolate bar that we didn’t have to share. I don’t know what our Sunday School lesson that day was, but there was heaven in that store!
We have a store in Chestertown that has heavenly Hersheys, too. It’s called Stam’s. It’s actually a drug store, but they also have an old-fashioned soda fountain that is the real deal. Vanilla Cokes, lemon blends, ice cream sodas–you name it; they can make it. (And my husband actually did used to make all of those things, since he was their soda jerk while he was in high school.)
So heavens to Betsy! Why are you still sitting in front of that computer? Get up; get the phone and call Simply Bed & Bread! You’ve got to get to Chestertown before Stam’s closes! For heaven’s sake, hurry!