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…
I think he gave me that one on purpose.