Looking in my big ole china cabinet with the warped door, my mother's cut glass salad bowl caught my eye. Thinking of Mama always opens doors to so many memories. Looking at that glass bowl reminds me of the Saturdays when my childhood friend, Sarah, and I took the trolley to downtown Shreveport and spent all day "shopping". We knotted our few baby sitting quarters in a handkerschief and tucked them deep in our purses, keeping any small change handy in the inside zipper pocket. We just window shopped the expensive clothing stores, because the well-dressed sales ladies always pounced on you with their standard, "May I help you?"before you got a foot in the door. Their was a corner Walgreen's we always spent a few minutes thumbing through movie magazines until we felt guilty and left. When we got good and hungry enough to spend a little money, we headed for Silver's Dime Store, where they had a little lunch counter. For one quarter we could buy ourselves a barbeque on bun sandwich with cole slaw and a small coke. That would not really fill us up, but it was all we wanted to spend on food. Afterwards, we looked at every counter in the store, just drinking it all in.
There were so many things in a dime store then, and Sarah and I just spent hours and talking about the things we'd like to have. When the afternoon was getting on, we'd make our way downstairs to Silver's basement. There was more wonderful stuff there. We watched the donut machine dump the circles of dough into the grease and turn them over when they were just right. They smelled so good, and if we hadn't spent our limit upstairs, we sometimes bought ourselves a donut. Always, before we left, we'd shop for some little something to take home to our mothers. It could not cost more than 25 cents, or we wouldn't have trolley fare home. I always chose something in the glasswares department; clear glass bowls or small glass candy dishes. Sarah usually spent her last quarter on some candy for her mother, or a little dresser scarf to embroider.
All the way home on the trolley, Sarah and I talked about our day in town, and we still had enough to talk about during the 4 block walk from the trolley stop to our homes. We hoped our Mamas would like our gifts, and they always did. It was a wonderful time of innocence, and Sarah was such a good part of it. Sadly, Sarah developed some "nervous" problems as she grew up, and became so uncomfortable going to a large high school, she dropped out. She remained childlike, and though she had a brief marriage, I think she never really intended to do anything but play house. I married and moved away, but whenever we came back to visit Mama, I'd always go over into our old neighborhood and try to spend some time with Sarah. Her condition grew worse, and eventually she was put in some sort of a institution. She passed away years ago, but I often think of her when we made those carefree trips to town, enjoyed canned barbeque on a bun as though it were T-bone steak, and had such fun picking out our presents for our Mamas. Thank you for those memories, dear Sarah.
Send in your poems - deadline is April 30. - Here is a poetry contest our member poets can enter and possibly win a prize. The North Carolina Literary Review is giving nice prizes to the winners. Che...