Granddaddy’s Store

The heavy glass door swinging open,
and the ding-linging bell overhead;
I can’t remember the name that was
out on the sign; it was always just
Granddaddy Beck’s Sporting Goods Store.

The smell of the polished wood floor,
paint on brand-new outboard motors,
the box under that roll-top desk
with wood shavings and tobacco spit,
a faint aroma of sweetness hovering
around the rack of empty bottles
by the old lever-cranked Coke machine,
and of course, the earthy odors from
the nightcrawler case in the very back,
all mixed with many more into a scent
that always said “Granddaddy’s store” to me.

On the shelves lining the walls
and in the glassed display cases
were so many things, of so many kinds,
that never seemed to change very much.
I don’t know when I finally realized,
when Granddaddy sold some of them,
he replaced them from the back storeroom.

I remember the day he outfitted me –
just like one of his best customers –
with a brand-new rod-and-reel
straight out of his window display,
a new tackle box right off the shelf,
and an array of hooks and bobbers
and sinkers and lures – including the one,
long, arched, and shiny-silver,
that Mom didn’t like because of its name…
…Hellbender.

I think he gave me that one on purpose.

4 comments

  1. Hi Michael

    This is so finely done — with vivid imagery, sensory detail, and of course, the character of that place and of your grandfather. I really enjoyed my journey through this store and your childhood. What makes this come alive is also the tone, I feel the sense of subtle humor and nostalgia! That last strophe

    remember the day he outfitted me –
    just like one of his best customers –
    with a brand-new rod-and-reel
    straight out of his window display,
    a new tackle box right off the shelf,
    and an array of hooks and bobbers
    and sinkers and lures – including the one,
    long, arched, and shiny-silver,
    that Mom didn’t like because of its name…
    …Hellbender.

    I think he gave me that one on purpose.

    ends this poem perfectly, with wit and wisdom on the part of your granddad. Thanks so much for sharing.

    My Best,
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Wendy. It was a great place for a child to visit and explore. Of course, I had more access than a regular customer would have. I have many fond memories of Granddaddy Beck and that last line is a nod to his particular sense of mischievous humor. I wrote this a number of years ago and reposted it in response to Jan’s poem about her father. I have another which I may repost as well.

    Like

  3. Thank you Sarah. Although I tried that lure many times, I never actually caught a fish with it; not even a nibble. I am grateful for, and humbled by, your high praise.

    Like

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