When I was a kid, my grandpa Bill owned his own grocery store in Maitland, MO. Bonner's Corner Grocery. My mom and I would drive down from Omaha on the weekends and I would spend a lot of my time in that store, playing with the foot pedal of the cash register conveyor belt with my grandma, pretending to work the register, helping unload the lighter boxes off the semi-truck. It had 6 aisles I think. It smelled like cereal dust. My grandma Beth worked the register in the front and my grandpa was the butcher in the back. I liked it when he made the hamburger. He would cut off pieces of bologna for me--the real kind of bologna. The kind that felt like a heavy pencil eraser.
Anyway, I was in Fred Meyer the other day (which is where I took these pictures) and I started thinking about my grandpa. His store had a personality. It struggled. It was sometimes out of things. He knew all the customers and sometime kept a tab for them so they could just pay at the end of the month. It was an extension of himself. It made me want to run a struggling little grocery store somewhere. Maybe a grocery store/poetry bookstore/publishing house with a great produce section. Maybe someday.