Those were the days...

 

Lucille Smith was well known in Enfield in the 50's and 60's. Famous for the best ever fountain drinks at Rheummler's Drug Store, she was always a favorite with the after school crowd.

Lucy passed away on March 15, 2006 at the age of eighty-seven. I sat down with her for the following interview in September of 2005.

 

EDITOR: If you had to have one memory of those years, Lucy, exactly what would it be:

LUCY: That's a really tough question, but I do remember, oddly enough, the noon whistle, and the dogs howling because it hurt their ears.

EDITOR: Enfield had so many interesting characters, tell us about some of your favorites.

LUCY: Oh, there were so many. Marilyn Duckworth was one of best, she was so much fun. She and Freddie James were great friends, and they would come in for ice cream and a coke, and everybody in the store would be laughing, because they were such clowns. Always telling jokes,always in a good mood, they were so much fun to be around.

Marjorie Barlow, who at the time worked in an insurance office, was one of my favorites, too. Her daughter, Ann, had a beauty shop in main street,, I believed she called it Ann's Lavender Salon.

Wilma James was one of my best friends. She had a restaurant on main street, and Belle Hatcher worked for her. Wilma and Belle were wonderful cooks and could make the best chili. I spent many a lunch hour, sitting in her restaurant eating that chili...

Pearl Vaught, Sis Arton and Wave Brandon would come to the drugstore every day. They were the regulars. Pearl raised canaries, and I had a canary that wouldn't sing. I remember her trading me an old iron on a stand for that canary. I still have the iron.

But of all the people I remember, Myrtis Fields was the most special person of all. She was such a good woman, and such a hard worker. I remember when she won a new car for selling the most subscriptions to the Carmi Times. She was a notary public, I remember her charging twenty-five cents to notarize a document for me.

The Jordan Sisters, Elizabeth and Dorothy were two of Enfield's most upstanding citizens. They lived in an apartment over the gas station, and would visit me in the store regularly. I am still friends with Dorothy, even now, and she visits whenever she can.

Coach and Rose Poore would come in. They lived just down the street, and Tammy was a little girl at the time. Even when she was a toddler, she was horse crazy. If she would see a horse on a magazine cover she would go straight to it.

I think that Elmore and Nina Elliot were definitely the most striking couple in Enfield. Elmore owned the lumber company, and Nina loved flowers and working in her yard. She had the prettiest irises....

EDITOR: Tell us about some of the local shopkeepers:

LUCY: Well, there was Mrs. Palmiter from Palmiter's Grocery Store. She raised african violets and they were always blooming in her store window.

Mrs. Hazelip, from Hazelip's Store was a grand old lady. Every morning she would go to her business with a covered basket with her lunch in it. I loved to go over and visit with her. She always talked about health issues, and I've always remembered her telling me that if young people would cut back on their salt consumption, it wouldn't be so difficult when they were older and had to give it up.

Stanley and Bernita Orr owned the jewelry store on main street. I remember them taking long walks daily, at a time when it wasn't fashionable to walk. I offered Bernita some homemade sugar cookies, once, but she declined, as she didn't eat fat or sugar. That was rare in those days, people didn't monitor sugar and fat intake like they do today.

Vivian Mossberger owned the Beauty Box and the laundromat, Chris Wageneck owned the local hardware store, and the old post office was on the same side of the street as the hardware store.

EDITOR: Tell us about some of the kids from school that came to the drugstores:

LUCY: Lloyd Carter and J. R. Fields were always two of my favorite boys. I remember J. R. coming in to the store when he was about thirteen, telling me that I had a flat tire. He took my keys, fixed my flat, and I made him a thick milkshake. Lloyd fixed my car, too when it had problems... I really liked those boys.

Jerry Brockett would come in and read car magazines. He was crazy about Indy cars and his dream was to go to the Indianapolis 500.

I remember making phone calls, and Brad Miller would be operating the switchboard. In those days, you had to dial the operator to place the call, and he would fill in occasionally for his Mother, Madge.

Steve Martin raised cattle. He was crazy about his cattle and talked to me about them often.

Jannie Ruemmler worked in the store during highschool. We had such good times together, I always enjoyed being with her.

Phyllis Tyner was in the store a lot, too. She was such a sweet girl, and I remember she loved Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

Probably Jeanette Smythe was my favorite of all. I enjoyed her so much. She was so pretty, and so smart. She would visit on the weekends and we would take her to my Mother's house. She loved my Mom's blackberry cobbler, and she always called Janice, cupcake.

EDITOR: And what about colorful characters, every town has them.

LUCY: Oh my, well the Hays Brothers, Andy and Johnny were certainly colorful. Two old bachelors, they would come to the store in the late afternoon, go home to supper and come back and sit in a booth until Doc closed the store. I remember once, they didn't come in for a couple of days. The next time Doc saw them he said "it's okay if you don't come in, if you just want to sit out there in the country and live in ignorance, it's all right with me." And, of course, Dobbs Hosick and Hoot Gowdy were extremely colorful characters...

EDITOR: Thanks so much for sharing your memories with us.

LUCY: You're welcome, it was so much fun remembering the "good old days."

 

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