Sunday, December 5, 2010

3 Miles Ahead, 50 Years Behind!

By Ruth A. Ringelstetter

You might remember our previous blog entitled “I Think We’re Being Followed” about being followed in Arkansas. Part of our reason for visiting Mountain View, Arkansas, was to visit Mellon’s Country store.

We love the old fashioned country stores. This one was built in 1991 by Don and Suzie Mellon in the style of a 1940’s general store. The slogan of the store is “3 miles ahead, 50 years behind!” And as you pull into the parking lot surrounded by an old split rail fence, you can feel it.

As we walked from the car across the gravel of the parking lot, we glanced down and saw many, many bottle caps worked into the gravel. And on a small walkway up to the store, Joann noticed a heart-shaped stone.

We walked around outside the building taking photos of all of the old memorabilia. There are many old signs on the sides of the building. We love all of the old drink and gas signs and always stop to take photos when we find them, so when we find a place like this with an abundance of signs, we have to take a lot of photos.

When Joann finished taking photos of the outside of the building, we went inside to investigate. It was a quiet evening at the store, and soon we were the only customers. We walked around looking at all of the old time items.

When Joann found the display of old time candy, and it contained candy we had as children, she was very happy about it. As usually happens, I started to pick on her about something, and soon we were laughing over in the corner. Since it was just us in the store, the clerk picked up on what I was doing, and soon she was teasing Joann as badly as I was. It was like she had known us for years.

Joann picked out some old time toys and our new friend demonstrated them for us. We bought some old fashioned hard candy for the road and then we decided that we had to get some of the fresh roasted peanuts from the small roaster in the store.

The front porch of the store had several benches for relaxing and an old barrel topped with a checkerboard. There was a game laid out just waiting for someone to sit down and play. Of course, the checkers were bottle caps as well.

Also on the front porch next to the door was an old wringer washing machine. It was slightly older than the one our mother had and it brought back some not so fond memories of taking our baths in the old washtub out in the porch.

When we finally left, we had some great nostalgic items, and some fond memories of another old general store. We hope to stop back some day when our travels take us back to Arkansas.

On your next vacation or shunpiking adventure, see if you can find an old country store. We think you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.

Happy shunpiking!

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