I’ve got to admit that I have the bug too. A good tin advertising sign can double as wall art and will hold its value a heck of lot better than a print from Crate N Barrel. And there’s something about old country store antiques that can remind you of your roots. Just a couple of generations ago, the majority of Americans lived in the country on farms. Our ancestors only traveled out of state a few times in their lives. The country store down the road was a hub – not just for food and gas but for social activity too. Boring, but true.
I remember when I was a kid playing little league football in my home town. Back then, coaches thought that depriving kids of water ‘made them game tough.’ –I guess the same concept applied to the turf because it was a hot, dry dust bowl during practice. On the drive home, we passed by Hill’s Store. It was a classic country store with one of those old water cooled chest coolers with the ice water circulating around the glistening, ice-cold bottles of soda. Grape Nehi. Orange Crush. Royal Crown Cola. Mountain Dew. Popping that cap on the side opener and chugging the contents was, without a doubt, the most lascivious experience that an eleven year old boy could ever hope to have.
Occasionally, my brothers and I would bike miles down country roads to Hills Store. Our mission? Those bottles of soda at the end of the journey. Think about the sensory experience of chugging a Squirt soda in the spring sunshine while careening down a country road, all the while inhaling Honeysuckle perfume welling up from the roadside. –Yearning for that old Coke sign yet?