Corner stores, the 7 Elevens of my childhood, were owned by real people. My people. My grandfather started the little market after he retired from banking and happily turned it over to my father and uncle when they returned from the war. As kids we helped out on slow days,sweeping, stocking shelves, taking out the bottles, filling the cooler and cleaning up the produce. On busy days we mostly ate popcicles and stayed out of the way. My grandfather could slice cheese from the big wheel to the ounce. My dad could charm any customer into buying bananas, mustard, and white bread. My uncle made a mean sliced meat and cheese sandwich and he effortlessly handpainted news of the week's specials on the windows every Monday. Neighbors had good credit at our store, and just about everyone in town ran a bill. People came just to hang out and share stories. June, July and August were BUSY when the tourists were in town. Summer Sundays were banner days and the place filled up after each of the Catholic church services. The store was the center of the universe, an endless supply of double bubble gum, and malted balls two for a penny. A perfect place for two wartorn soldiers to do something they never dreamed for their lives. After a few years the men got their real dream jobs in the city, and my mom reluctantly took over the store. The Oneida Market up the street became a SUPER Market. The days of the handpainted windows were over. Mom tended store, but mostly read books and waited for us to come home from school.