December 27, 2018

Max’s Musings

By Max Molleston

Do we carry over things into the new year? Of course! Holiday bills plus good memories. This column might (may) carry over the year 2018 on checks and other documents. So it is with us. Do you recall those cute poems in the December column? The one by Dorothy Aldis that began “I am the sister of him And he is my little brother.” Cutest I’ve run across in this work, probably there or heading to 15 years.

So Dorothy Aldis is back. The poem comes from a collection published in 1958 (weren’t we younger then?). These are poems chosen by young boys and girls. Ones they liked. My confession: I had never opened On City Streets, edited by Nancy Larrick, in years of “inspecting” my collection. Shame on me. Recall or imagine a local store in a county seat town you knew, on Main Street.

EMMA’S STORE

The store we like best is Emma’s store,

it hasn’t any revolving door.

It hasn’t a floorman, neat and polite:

“Third floor, Modom*, and turn to your right.”

No elevators go up and down it.

Nothing’s the way it is downtown.

It hasn’t a special place for dresses;

Everything’s jumbled in cozy messes—

Washcloths and lampshades, paper dolls, slippers,

Candy and shoestrings, umbrellas and zippers;

No matter what’s needed or how great the hurry

As long as there’s Emma’s, you don’t need to worry,

And she never minds how long you stay,” Why sure,

take your time, dear,” Emma will say.

*(Modom is how she gave the floorman’s words)

It is a likeable poem and recall how you would have liked it because you understood it, and so did your mom and grandma. They shopped in stores exactly (well maybe not quite) like Emma’s. In my dads folks town, Lineville, Iowa, grampa owned and ran a hardware store and a brother-in-law had a clothing store, undoubtedly the two largest businesses in town, and maybe more organized. State line: Iowa on the north and Missouri on the south of the square. A grocery just over the line in Missouri. Service stations and a tavern, too. We have launched ourselves into a new year of adventure. Tag along with our effort. We’d like that.

Filed Under: Personal Growth