Thursday, July 9, 2009

General Store

This picture was taken in 1910, in Detroit, Michigan. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I think there was a more positive shopping experience in these old proprietor owned stores. Before World War II, my dad had a store not unlike this one in Fort Davis, Texas. Fort Davis is a small community in the Davis Mountains in West Texas. He also had the Limpia Hotel there. People used to go to Fort Davis in the Summer to escape the Texas heat. I went through there some time ago, and the hotel is still operating, and the general store building is there, but it is now a community center.

DOMESTIC UPDATE: Project Peacock Palace achieved a breakthrough yesterday, as the cement men showed up and poured the foundation for said palace.

If you look back in the trees, you can see the men building the forms for the foundation. The pickup and trailer has all their equipment.

This picture shows the cement truck pouring the cement into the forms. It was 107 yesterday, so a pretty hot day to be working in the sun. Once the men got the forms built, it was going to be about an hour before the cement truck arrived, so they all ran over to the river and went for a swim. I bet that was a refreshing break. They got the project all done, and now we should be ready for the next phase of construction. Mrs. PJM was at work, so she missed the excitement. When she got home, she did not notice the foundation had been done, and I did not tell her. Hopefully she will come home soon and be surprised to see the whole job done. Yep, that would get me a tractor next Birthday for sure.

For those of you who might be thinking of getting peacocks, I have been experimenting to see what they like to eat. These are my preliminary results.

What Peacocks Like to Eat: (In order of their preferences)

1) Boiled Eggs

2) That slimy seed pouch in the middle of a cantaloupe

3) Ripe tomatoes

4) Bing Cherries

5) Lettuce (not the normal lettuce, but the fancy kind)

6) Peacock food (the kind from the feed store)

What Peacocks do not Like to Eat:

1) Wolf canned chili

2) Bush's baked beans

3) Spam

4) Onions

5) Garlic

So, I think I am homing in on a good diet for them. I still think we should not provide their food, but let them forage, but Mrs. PJM still insists that we feed them.


  1. As "General Stores" go, this is a mighty big one. Interesting.

  2. Wolf chili and baked beans? Are you trying to make the peacocks explode???? lol! Your property is gorgeous, and yes, if my husband gave me a flock of adorable peacocks, he would definitely have a tractor, any color he wanted. The birds are still THE coolest gift, ever. Mrs. PJM is very lucky.

  3. Visiting my grandparents in Bozeman, Montana, as a wee lad, I would love to go around the corner to "Cullen's Corner Grocery" for the odd potato or loaf of bread, because there was always the chance to pick up a cinnamon bear or two with the change. Real grocery shopping was done at Heeb's downtown. They would deliver the groceries wrapped in brown paper and tied with cotton string. My grandmother made a 2X4 shag rug out of the string, which I still have.

    Went back in 2000 to show my Texas bride where I grew up and, to my surprise, they were both still there. I wouldn't swear that Cullen's was still in operation, memory being what it is, but Heeb's was still going strong. I think. But the spools of string overhead and the rolls of brown paper are long gone.

  4. Back in the early 40's, when I was a kid,you could get socks, shoes, groceries, and any thing else, at the same store (much like Wal-Mart today). My dad had a running tab during the winter months and would pay it off in the spring and summer. I loved the smell of those old stores.

  5. Beautiful property-thanks for the visuals. Your birds have champagne tastes!

  6. In Norwich, Vt., there is a store on Main St, called Dan & Whits.

    Now, there are numerous general stores in the state, but a lot of them are named and decorated to attract the tourist trade.

    D&W's, however, is the real deal, I'm here to tell ya!It was originally opened in the 1800's, I believe. I'm certain there is a lot of information on the Net.

    Some of you may have heard of The Vermont Country Store.It's catalog is very popular, but it's not REAL, if you please. Now it used to be, into the very early 90's, but not any more I'm sad to say.

  7. We would go over the Davis Mountains on our way to Oklahoma City airport. We lived near Sherman. We would always stop to see the waterfall. The last time was about three years ago and the area was beginning to look really bad.

    You have made me realize that I never want peacocks. I am also curious due to both of us living close to the same enviromental area. What do you do about the predators? At night we can hear the coyotes stalking and sometimes getting the cattle. It is awful.

  8. Why can't you build this peacock thing yourself for much cheaper? I thought you liked DIY projects. Doesn't your wife trust you on outdoor projects?

  9. Sheila,
    The predators are a problem at night, but the peacocks should know to go into the Peacock Palace at night, and the door is closed, so they should be safe at night from the racoons. Also the main fence around our property should be coon proof, so the pretadors should not be on the property. We will see.

  10. Anon,
    The metal roof is a hard thing for DIY, as it requires equipment to cut the metal panels to correct size. Basically, I dont have the tools needed, or expertise to do it right. I will stick with plumbing.

  11. I realize the weather can get awfully hot there, but don't you grow any veggies at all?

  12. PJM:

    We have several Whole Foods stores here in Rhode Island, too!!!

    (I didn't know they were a national chain.)

    You're right, the store is great, but "insanely expensive" is an understatement. You need to take out a second mortgage on your house to do any regular shopping there.

    I only go there for "specialty" items, like fancy cheeses, when I'm entertaining. But my daughter goes there all the time for boxes of Bigelows "Plantation Mint" Tea.

    It's the only place around here that carries it. (Uh-oh, there's that "offensive" word again - Plantation!!)

    They have great prepared foods, too, but it's actually cheaper to eat in a restaurant and be waited on while you're at it.

    What amazes me is that despite the poor economy, the Whole Foods is jammed all the time.

  13. Itooks like the peacocks are going to be very cozy!!

    I think your tractor is a shoe-in!!

    We have a family-owned hardware store here in my city that's been in business since 1929, Durfee Hardware. Ray Durfee, the son of the founder, still runs it. He's in his 80s.

    It still has the look, feel, and smell of an old-time store, with the oil-blackened wood floors, cluttered aisles, bins of nails, tin ceilings, and skylights.

    If Ray Durfee doesn't have what you're looking for, then no-one around here does.

    We used to live on the street behind the store, so I still love to go there - it reminds me of my childhood.

  14. Fort Davis bringd back memories of the terrible drouth of the 50's. I was a teenager working on my uncle's ranch in Sierra Blanca (near El Paso) and we actually took a short holiday to go to Fort Davis to enjoy the cool nightd and the relatively lush Grass and the observatory.

    My Grandfather once drove the farm's cattle from Eldorado to the Davis Mountains in about 1918 so they could find some grass to graze. This left my Dad (8 or 9 years old) and my Grandmother his 4 sisters to run the farm. They got the crop in and his dad saved most of the cows. Tough times called for tough measures.

    In the "olden" days, Texas was a tough place to live, especially if you did't have much money. These facts made the Davis Mountains a wonder to behold for adults and kids alike.

    Thanks for the chance to recall some historic incidents in my life. Seems that when we get older, these things become more important to us that to those who listen to them.


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