Smith Bros Dairy Milk Truck
"SHOPPING AND THE MILKMAN"
Shopping was an adventure for our family. Many grocery stores were closed on Sunday, and they also didn't stay open late at night. Even if they were open, the meat was covered up with butcher paper and not for sale on Sunday.
Most families went grocery shopping just once a week and ours was no exception. We usually went shopping on Friday afternoon after Daddy got home from work. He got home at 4:10 pm every day and Mom always had dinner ready and waiting.
On our weekly shopping trips, the first stop was always the bank. We banked at Guarantee National Bank in White Center. At First it was located in an Old wooden building on the "main drag" of town. Later, they built a new building One block over. Then we did our other errands next. Rexall Drug store for prescriptions and/or toiletries. Then there was the Five and Dime, Chubby and Tubby, Wigwam and later the 88 cents store.
The last stop was the grocery store: Oren's Food Mart. Originally Oren's store was next door to the bank in another old wooden building. It was quite a rickety old building with a wooden plank floor that wasn't level. Pushing the shopping cart around in there was a real challenge. Eventually most of the old buildings were torn down and replaced with new onces a block over
We always shopped at Oren's Food Mart. There was a special reason for that. Daddy and Mom had a special camaraderie with Oren and his wife since discovering they were a Christian family and also they had FIVE GIRLS. The oldest two girls were twins: Karen and Sharon. Oren knew that Daddy and Mom also had five girls. He also knew that we didn't really have very much money. He would occasionally set aside fruits and vegetables that were staring to spoil. He would either give them to us or sell them at greatly reduced prices. We got lots of bananas that way. Daddy used to say that when you peeled a banana and found a dark spot, you should touch it with your tongue and if it "stung" it was rotten and not fit to eat, if it didn't sting it wasn't yet rotten and would be okay to eat.
Since grocery shopping was done only once a week, it was quite common in those days to have home-delivery of dairy products and eggs. For many years, our parents had dairy products and eggs delivered to our house by Smith Brothers Dairy.
The milkman would deliver his "goods" to our enclosed back porch where we kept our milk box. It was a silvery-grey box that opened on the top. The box was insulated to keep the fresh dairy products cool. Mom would put a note in there for him to deliver what she needed that day. The milk was cheaper if you got it un-homogenized. (That meant that the cream wasn't mixed in and floated on the top.)
Our milkman drove a little white van and wore striped coveralls. His name was Bill. It seems like he came to our house two or three times a week He was very friendly and loved to tease us. We knew his name, so we would say hello to him: "Hi Bill" we would say. He would answer, "I'm not Bill, I'm 'Alice'" and we would giggle with merriment. Sometimes, we would say "Hi Alice" and he would answer "Who are you talking to? Alice is a girls name?" and he would set us to giggling again. We looked forward to his arrival because he was so much fun.
Eventually Mom discovered powdered milk. It was so much cheaper that we didn't have our dairy products delivered any more.
Sharon Page 6