John Mayer’s Store


When I was twelve I had a paper route. The roll of papers were dropped off at John Mayer’s store, where I picked them up and started my deliveries. Some of my money was spent there on soda’s and candy. We did not buy sodas when I was at home, so getting one here was really a treat. Yesterday, as I was writing this poem I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I had a picture of John Mayer’s store. Since I had no photo from the past, I decided to paint it using my memory and imagination to recall how it looked.  Everything is probably not exactly to scale, but the painting depicts how I remember it.

John Mayers Store    (Childhood Details Collection)
Shotgun store long and narrow
Screen door self-closing hinges squeaking
Like street car wheels sliding on steel
Sitting in the sandy bottom at the edge of town
Whiffs of burning garbage float in
From the town dump beyond the creek
Across the road Albaini’s Beer Garten
Where coal miners stop and tip one
On their way home from work

Levered cash register sits on the plain wood counter
Holding my quarters nickles and dimes
Boxes with chocolate bars all in a row
Bread loaves on a rack stacked inside the door
Best of all a Red Coca Cola water cooler

Filled with Cokes Orange Crush and RC Colas
Green six-ounce bottles up to their necks
Like synchronized swimmers all in position
Bathed in ice cold water only 10 cents
Cold quarts on the other end only 25 cents
Those I could tip and guzzle in five minutes
When I was twelve
I loved the cherry ones
A bottle opener on the side half full of caps
Wooden cases stacked on the floor
Collecting empty bottles turning sweetly sour
Along with coal dust and flies that buzzed around

Refreshed I picked up my roll of seventeen papers
Headed across the road to Albaini’s Beer Garten
Placed a paper on the bar and exited out the back door


Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Coca Cola Water Cooler:

2 thoughts on “John Mayer’s Store

  1. Nice painting. Such a good childhood memories. I found in my hanging folder in the file cabinet, my drawing of the neighborhood in my childhood, and name as many stores with descriptions as I could remember at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

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