Little country stores have always been a comfort to me in more ways than one. My siblings and I grew up in a country store, which offered groceries, gas, kerosene, and dry goods. Our store was the only store within fourteen miles. When I say grew up in, that’s what I mean. The store and small restaurant were the central part of the building, and Dad attached our living room and bedrooms to it. So when mom called us to breakfast, all we had to do was walk out of our bedroom, through the dry goods area, and sit down at a long counter. The stools were made from wrought iron and had round swivel seats. It’s funny now when I look back, most of the neighbor children thought we were rich because we lived in the store. It was just our home, where we had a lot of visitors (shoppers).
Once I moved away into the city, I shopped at the big supermarkets. I would make an effort to get to know the managers and their employees, making it feel a bit more like home when I shopped. The older I got, the more educated I became about the stores and the different types of food they carried, and my taste changed to the more classy ones like Publix and Whole Foods. I got more into the organic style of eating and a little pickier about my diet.
When I moved to South Carolina, I found myself living about fourteen miles from town and the closest grocery store. So I learned how to shop in bulk and use a freezer for extra food so I wouldn’t have to drive to town for a cup of sugar. Manning is a quaint little town and has a couple of excellent grocery stores, and, of course, we have a Walmart. I don’t frequent the dollar stores in town because I wouldn’t want to make a full day out of shopping from place to place; it’s just not convenient. My two main stops in town are the grocery store and Walmart.
We reside on Lake Marion’s water’s edge, which is fourteen miles from Manning. On our way to Manning, we have to drive through Davis Station, which is only about five miles from our home. A couple of months ago, some bulldozers and dump trucks moved onto a corner of a field near Davis Station. They went to work tearing up the ground, digging out a large area, then filling it back in with a different kind of dirt. It was not long before the bricks were being laid, and the roof was on. It was beginning to look like a store of some sort. One day I stopped and motioned to one of the workers standing in the driveway, hoping he could tell me what this building would be. He told me they were building a Dollar General store. I cannot tell you how exciting that news was to my ears. A country store near my home! It would be a lot like the one I grew up in except for the living area. I couldn’t wait to get home to share the news with John.
The New Dollar General store opened its doors to the public this week. I do not think it took a full two months from start to finish to build, stock, and open the store for business. John was taking our trash to the dumpsters located near Davis Station and came into the bedroom and asked me if I could think of something we needed so he would have a reason to go in and look around our new community store. It’s something our community can all be proud of, and I’m sure we will all support it. Thank you, Dollar General, for bringing your country store to our rural area.