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Memories Of The Past

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2˘ Deposit

Kenny Stallard

     Young boys were always looking for a source of money back in the late 1940’s.  We needed bubble gum, candy, soft drinks and ice cream.  We knew that if we ask our parents, we would come up empty handed and get a lecture on how these things were not good for us and would ruin our appetites at meal time.

     We had not quite reached the age where neighbors would hire us to mow lawns or cut weeds.  We only got to do this at home and were not paid.

     One day, someone came up with the idea that we would look in the ditches along the local roads for drink bottles that had been thrown out of cars.  There was a 2˘ deposit on all drink bottles taken out of a store during this time.  When the bottle was returned, the grocer would pay you the deposit or if you bought more drinks, the deposit was credited against your bill.

     After walking the ditch lines on several roads, we came to the conclusion that not many people were throwing 2˘ away during this period.  We decided we needed another way to make money.

     We were setting in the woods across from Lynn Garden Elementary School at the top of a bank cut into the lot that faced on Gate City Highway.  To the left of the lot was the back of Leeper’s Cash and Carry, one of the many neighborhood groceries of the time.  It just happened that Tom Leeper, proprietor of the store came out and stacked some empty drink bottles.  We saw a large collection of empty bottles, waiting for the various drink suppliers to pick them up when making deliveries.  A source of money!!!

     Using restraint, we never took more than 2 cartons at any time and never the same brand.  We never went back two days in a row.  We would take one carton to another neighborhood store and then take the other carton to a different neighborhood store.  Twenty-four cents total.  What a haul.

     Some times we would take the deposit money in trade, getting six pieces of bubble gum or six penny candies.  Our choices depended on how many boys were present.  We soon determined which stores used outside storage for their empties and would vary our visits.  We spent the summer months, trading empty soda pop bottles between the many neighborhood groceries.

       Now these stores are closed.  Neighborhood markets have been replaced by combined convenience store/gas stations, placed to serve several neighborhoods.  These stores just do not have the neighborly feel of the old stores, not only could you purchase needed commodities on credit but you could catch up on the latest gossip, free of charge. 

 

Home ] Troy ] Train Station Memories ] Watermelons ] Popeye Club ] Ridin' The Bus ] Buddy Club ] The Kiss ] Wash Day ] [ 2 Cent Deposit ] Tarzan's Woods ] Biscuits and Gravy ] The Mud Puddle ] Garden Theater ] Neighborhood Stores ] Hot Dogs ] Record Shop ] Snow ] L. G. Elementary School ] The Carnival ] Moving To Kingsport ] Turn Your Radio On ] Cloakrooms ] The Movies ] Baseball and Bill ] Cowboys ] Parade ] Preacher Cy ] Lunch Counters ] Papaw's Haunted House ] Zesto ] Sweet & Pungent ] Skunkin' DB ] Legion Pool ] New Pants ] Grits ]