Rural Delight: Enjoy Fresh Groceries at the General Store!
by guest blogger, Elmer Prather
My latest puzzle is a 1000-piece titled General Store by Greg and Company. Before I spend the time putting a puzzle together, I must have a connection to it. My connection to this puzzle is my love for old trucks and chickens. Pictures tell stories and I try to determine what the puzzle picture is telling me as I put it together and see it come to fruition.
The picture in this puzzle has a little of everything in it. The old general store has a large sign stating it was established in 1933. It also has signage indicating some of the items for sale inside the store.
There are several chickens, roosters and baby chicks walking around the parking lot looking for food. The eggs the hens laid would be sold to customers inside the General Store. When I was eleven, my mother put me in charge of our brood of chickens. They were free range chickens meaning they were not kept in cages. I would gather the eggs the hens laid each day. I would set the hens when they started brooding and take care of the baby chicks when they hatched about twenty-one days later. Many of the eggs I gathered were used by my family and the rest I would put in egg cartons the owner of a small grocery store near our farm gave me. I would put the eggs my family did not use in these egg cartons, put them in the basket of my bicycle, take them to the store to sell them to the store owner. I was a young entrepreneur.
There is a beautiful, shiny 1930’s green pickup truck loaded with fruits, vegetables and flowers parked in front of the general store. I imagine that the truck belongs to the older gentleman sitting in a chair in front of the store who has brought his products to the General Store to sell to customers who stop at the store. There is also another truck parked beside the store. It is a heavy duty 1930’s truck. It has dual wheels on the rear of the truck to carry the heavy loads the truck was made to haul. This flatbed truck has wooden stake sides for carrying small livestock, hay, etc.
When I was sixteen, I saw a half ton 1936 Chevrolet truck parked beside an old barn on a farm near where I lived. I stopped and asked if it was for sale and was told that it was so I purchased it for $50.00. I had saved this money while I worked after school for the owner of the same grocery store near our farm where I sold my extra eggs. The truck had the original black paint that had faded over the years but it did not look bad for an old farm truck that was 23 years old. The six cylinder engine had a main bearing that was knocking so I had to replace it. I loved that old truck. I went everywhere in it and wherever I drove it, people noticed it because of its age and condition.
There are two beautiful, well-groomed golden retrievers and five pups in the picture. Three of the pups are sitting in a little red wagon with the words, M Joseph Fruits and Vegetables written on the side. The green truck has the same signage on its doors. This tells me that the older gentleman sitting in the chair in front of the General Store building is Mr. M. Thomas.
There is a boy’s and a girl’s bicycle sitting beside the store. I imagine that they belong to two of the store’s young employees. If they belonged to customers, they would be parked in front of the store.
The setting in the picture is in late Spring or early summer because the fruits, vegetables and flowers are abundant and are ready for market. The two trucks in the picture are 1930 model trucks and the sign on the front of the store indicates they have been in business since 1933. These trucks sitting in the parking lot would cause potential customers to stop at the store and check them out.
Overall, this was an impressive display of ways to attract customers to stop and shop.
General Store 1000 piece puzzle by Greg Giordano.