~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

Art and Creativity as Mediums for Empowerment , Connection and Change…

Death of the corner deli. Once the center of story telling and Community..

Posted by carolom on May 7, 2008

This afternoon I was driving through some of the older suburbs near where I live, about 4 kilometres out of the city, and noticed one of the old Rosella Sauce signs on the side of what was once the local store …that also been a ‘High Class Shoe Repair” store…(see second image).

Across the road was another old store, now closed that may have been the fruit and vegie store or the local butchers….perhaps even the post office back in the days when telegram changed lives and parcels from over seas took months to arrive.. Milk was delivered daily, leaving milk money out overnight was the norm and the fruit and vegies often came in the back of a truck that strolled through the streets once or twice a week…

Except for a rare visit to the city the corner store was the only ‘shopping centre’ around and was also the centre of the story telling, gossip and information sharing hub in the ‘village’ of the surrounding streets.

These two stores that once supplied the groceries, meat, fruit and vegetables of hundreds of families are now old fashioned relics to an era that has all but gone…

Remember “Northern Exposure’ that huge hit tv show of the 90’s that was set in Alaska?
Ruth Ann’s store was a relic of the past, brown paper bags, tins on low shelves and an assortment of grains and goodies near the counter – stories and news exchanged over that heavy wooden counter.
It was personal and the word ‘service’ really meant ‘service’… not a corporate marketing theme.

What a time of rapid changes and extinction we are living in as mass marketing’ gobbles up the slow and familiar ways of not-so-long-ago-times.

2 Responses to “Death of the corner deli. Once the center of story telling and Community..”

  1. M Ingrid Poore said

    When I grew up in the ’50s in Baltimore, Maryland, there was a store like that on every corner. There was the bar, of course, the grocery store, the shoe repair, the bakery, the drycleaner, the drugstore, a church in every community, and I could go on and on. My Mother kept me busy going from store to store doing errands.
    At the front door was the Fuller Brush Man, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Man collecting penny policy premiums every month, and Baltimore Sun Man collecting. The newspaper man fascinated me because he had fingerless gloves. I later learned that made it easier to count money.
    In the back alley a huckster sold produce and the ice cream truck came twice a day.
    The city was alive with women hanging wash, scubbing marble front steps, and catching up on neighborhood chit-chat. That’s all gone. A lot for the better but it was a slower time when everyone knew each other and kids played safely.
    Thanks for bringing back childhood memories. As a child it was the best.

  2. Annie from Fremantle said

    I know Yam…. I wish these days could come back. It gave so much of a community feeling. In the country I’m thrilled to walk into one of these types of stores.. such a lovely relaxed atmosphere..like being taken back in time.

    Thanks for posting them..

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