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The one thing about walking down Main Street is that you don’t have to stick to one sidewalk.Sure, there’s a courthouse (west) side, but there’s another side, too. But it can get kind of dicey dodging traffic and crossing back and forth.I sorta figured it would be hard crossing back and forth on Main with all the traffic on today’s hike, I’m gonna walk and wave my way down the other side of the tracks from South Main to North Main.Just across from Porter-Belk Lumber and Porter Oil and Coal is the wooden Southern Railroad Station.I never get tired of watching passenger trains pull in and out, but some have a different opinion of the depot. I guess it can be a pretty lonesome place, considering how many of our local boys board troop trains there, and unfortunately, not all of them return. Their last glimpse of Lancaster comes from a train window.On the corner (just above the railroad tracks) is a small grocery store that’s now a shoe repair shop. And with new shoes hard to get, it can be a pretty busy place.A furniture store (Willis Ballard’s Home Furnishings) faces the tracks. I wonder where my good friend, Will Ballard, is. I don’t see him, so it’s a sure sign that he’s probably rambling through the kitchen tables and bedroom suites.Next door is the Lancaster Farm and Implement Co., owned and operated by Mr. Burnie Hinson.Right now, things are kinda slow for new tractors with the war going on.All of us know Mr. Hinson. He lives right across the street from Lancaster High School.Very soon, knowing him will come in handy. Maybe he’ll let me park my bicycle beside his front steps when I’m “too grown up” to ride it to high school.There’s Gene Plyler’s Barber Shop (In future years it will change hands when Fred Adams takes over after coming home from the war).Speaking of coming home, next door is an automobile repair shop owned by Yancey Bowers. Mr. Yancey really keep up with the war news from the Pacific. I reckon I would, too, if I was in his situation. Right now, his boy, Sonny, is in the Marines fixing fighter planes instead of automobiles.There’s a couple of empty buildings along here, too. That’s not unusual; businesses here seem to come and go a good bit.That little red wooden church nestled over on the low lying lot near the corner is the Episcopal Church. I gotta tell you, these Episcopalians sure do throw a first-rate Halloween party at the old Armory on White Street every year. I can’t wait.Right here on the corner of Main and Chesterfield Avenue is Walter Evans’ Pure Oil filling station. Rumor is that this Kelly fella is interested in buying it.Right behind it is an empty lot that folks are talking about turning into a city park for us youngsters.I hope they do it soon. (They did, too; I was playing in the park on Aug. 14, 1945, when car horns and sirens started blaring all over town to signify the war was finally over.) That big old, two-story Victorian house? That’s the “Ghost House” owned by T.Y. Williams, who lives across the street at the corner of White and Chesterfield Avenue now. I stay away from there because of all the boogers.So much for venturing off Main Street. I gotta get back on track.Right here on the crest of this small hill is the home of Mr. C.D. Gregory Sr., who runs the Builder’s Supply. There’s also a florist shop operated by Mrs. Jean Plyler Bell, who has a newborn son named Bobby. Some say he’s as pretty as a picture. The talk is that the wholesale flower man who stops by there is kinda sweet on Mrs. Jean, too.There used to a wrought-iron fence around the property, but it’s now part of the war effort and was taken down during a scrap metal drive.Who knows? It might be part of one of those fighter planes Sonny works on.Next is Cooper Furniture Co., along with a two-story house that sits back from the street and the Witherspoon place.The building with the flag in front is the post office. Sometimes, we march there from school in mass to buy Savings Stamps (mostly the 10-cent variety). When a book of stamps ($18.75) gets full, you can convert it into a $25 savings bond and then redeem it in 10 years.Just behind the post office is Craig Motor Company. They’re supposed to be selling Chrysler, DeSoto and Plymouth automobiles and Dodge and Plymouth trucks right now. But with the war going on, they’re recapping old tires instead.Across from the post office is B.C. Moore and Son’s Department Store, followed by Jimmy Williams’ City Drug Store where Drs. R. L. Crawford and R.E. Barber fix up sick folks.Now it’s really time to smile. Here are my two favorite hang-outs, Mack’s and Bucklelew’s dime stores. Why, there’s little Bunny Cooper and her daddy, Ralph, standing near the candy cases.I don’t know how he does it, but Mr. Bucklelew manages to get the first boxes of chocolate-covered cherries in town every Christmas.You know, Main Street is a pretty busy block.Why here’s the Tenderfoot’s best friend – the Robinson-Cloud Clothing Store, home of the official Boy Scout equipment.D.L. Robinson Jewelry Store has some snazzy stuff, but it’s no where near as snazzy as those Whitman’s candy cigarettes covered in real cigarette paper that Vic Davis sells next door at Lancaster Drug Store.There’s the Sanitary Barber Shop with Mr. Clyde Funderburk who can measure you up in style for a tailor-made suit in no time.Here comes Mr. Tom Myers of McConnell-Myers. I think I’ll speak to him. Every year, Mr. Tom buys the first bale of cotton ginned in Lancaster.He’d probably been a good Boy Scout in his day, considering the supply of rain wear he has. Somehow, he managed to get some genuine surplus U.S. Army canvas leggings. They served me well during the Battle of the Red Hills and I kinda wished I had them on right now to show off.Mr. Stewman runs a grocery store that’s right beside two hardware stores – Harper’s and Giles’ – that meet the needs of most folks. Millard Parrish, who manages Harper’s, is a local sports hero of sorts, seeing how he used to play baseball for the Detroit Tigers. Mr. Giles is pretty well-known too, being a school teacher.Across the street on the corner of Main and Gay streets is none other than Cox’s Variety Store. That place has a little bit of everything. I don’t know how they can cram so much stuff into such a small place. I like it almost as much as the dime stores, but for a different reason. That’s where I bought a genuine pearl pin with the word “Mother” spelled out in pure gold for Mama. I spent my own money, too.For now, Mr. Henry Beckham runs this grocery store on the corner with lawyer D. Glenn Yarborough and Dr. J.E. Hinson working upstairs. Mr. J.C. Edwards has a hardware store on Main Street, too.I’m good friends with his red-headed son, Jack, and every once and a while some of us boys ramble through stuff there and find some real good things. Somewhere in the midst of this block is Collins-Dunn Department Store operated by Mr. John Dunn. We call it the “Three Cent Counter Store” because of the counter where Mr. Dunn hawks nickel candy bars and such for two cents less. Harry Hirsch operates this dry goods store next to The Lancaster News.On Mondays and Thursdays, you can hear the clatter of the presses and smell the ink from a block away.But all that hubbub doesn’t deter folks from stopping into the liquor store next door run by Mr. Francis.Next comes another one of my favorite stores run by one of my favorite people, Mr. A. Dewey Parr. I guess while I’m here, I need to go out back to see if there’s any good refrigerator cartons. There’s not much use in stopping by the Lancaster Cafe; I don’t have a cent.I kinda wish I had my wagon. There’s no telling what kind of good stuff is in back of the Davis Building. I guess I’ll walk on down to the Chevrolet place owned by Mr. Claude Burns at the corner of Main and Dunlap streets to see if anything is going on there. Before the war started, the new cars came to town via rail car. Workers would unload cars just after dusk so folks couldn’t catch a peek of the new models before Mr. Burns got ‘em on his showroom floor.Right now, the only thing in this empty building between Burns’ place and Duke Power is a car that’s sitting up on wooden blocks.The building on the corner with the silver dome that looks like a giant Mason jar lid?Why that’s the First Presbyterian Church where my Aunt Bessie goes. But these days, it’s more than a church. With the war going on, they hold a “canteen” in the basement for servicemen in the area.That’s about it for this side of the road, except for the “old show,” or the Imperial Theater, at the corner of Main and Meeting.Supposedly, some of those picture show programs that Mr. Parr pays a fella to hand out to folks along Main Street keep getting stuffed in the crawl space of a house on Chesterfield Avenue.Hey, I can only go by what I’m told.You know, I wonder where Mr. Parr is right now. After this long walk, I could use a little cherry Coca-Cola money.