I ran across this photo on Facebook the other day, and my mind immediately took a long, nostalgic walk down memory lane.
Known as "Sandy's" to us, this little old-time convenience store was just down the road from my grandparents' home outside of Mt. Gilead, North Carolina.
My maternal grandparents, Hazel and Andy Britt (pictured here in 1989)...
...lived in this little house at the top of a hill. When my sisters and I were children 0n our annual summer visit to see our Tarheel relatives, we'd sometimes convince Mama and Dad to give us a couple of quarters (as the oldest, I relished the job of carrying the quarters!) and we'd walk down the hill (accompanied by my uncle Jeff, who was/is the same age as me, and sometimes some other visiting cousins) on the long, dusty, red-gravel lane, walk left along the road for a short ways, then cross to the other side to go to Sandy's.
The inside of Sandy's was a huge step back in time, a place like no other we had ever seen. It was a grocery/diner/general store (and probably a gas station at one time) with old creaky wooden floors and merchandise crammed into every nook and cranny inside. The big treat for us was to reach inside the old chest cooler for a cold Nehi (my favorite was grape, but orange is pretty darn good too on a hot North Carolina summer day!) in a glass bottle with ridges all along the side. The bottle-opener was on the side of the refrigerator, and taking off the bottle cap was almost as fun as drinking the Nehi.
We'd dawdle around as long as we thought we could get by with, then slowly walk back down the road and up the long hill to Grandma Britt's, passing the sweating glass pop bottle back and forth between us for our own turn at a swig or two. I've never come across anything in the decades since that is quite as delicious as those Nehis were.
I don't know if Sandy's is still open or not. It's been years and years and years....
But seeing this photo brought back a flood of wonderful memories and a smile to my face!
And for just a few minutes, I was walking down a long, dusty, red-gravel lane with two quarters in my hand...