Saturday, June 24, 2017

Western Town inside Nall's Store... Flomaton, Alabama

Hi my friends,
Y'all have heard me mention that I grew up on 120 acres, 6 miles from the Florida/Bama line. It was a quick Jaunt to Century where Daddy worked at Alger Sullivan Company, then you came to Flomaton. One of the first inhabitants of Flomaton was a relative by common law marriage, Hiram Renfroe. He and my Grandpa's sister had 5 children together without the preacher that pronounces you man and wife. It caused a ruckus in my Great Grandma and Grandpa's life, but that is a story for another day.
In Flomaton there were a few churches, Jackson's Theater, a great drugstore on the corner that made the best malt milkshakes and real cherry cokes, the beauty parlor where Mama got my hair chopped off and permed when I was 9, the bank where my 67 Mustang was financed, the jail and my favorite place in the world. Knowles store. It was the place where you could get gas, smokes, a Coke and salted peanuts, a real sized candy bar for a nickel and it had a miniature working cow town.
He had a daughter about my age and they lived in a trailer near the store. I went to spend the night with her a few times. I liked her, but I LOVED that Western town that moved. If you saw it today, you would be as fascinated today as I was then. It took up almost half the room in the store and was fenced off so that you could not touch it, but you could get up nice and close to see all the details. Your eyes feasted on stagecoaches moving on a track pulled by six horses, saloon doors opening and closing, gunshots and gunfights happening in the middle of the town, and saloon girls swirling and dancing to the loud music permeating your senses.
Now these are the measurements of my young mind and I am not sure if it was that big but it sure seemed like it. It was in the middle of the store and the first thing that you saw in that one room store. The cash register was to the right and the sides were flanked by a coke machine, and shelves that held Vienna sausages, salted peanuts, chips, bread, potted meat, mayonnaise and all the fixins for an emergency Sandwich.
I hope that some of you got to experience this when you were little because it was magical, mesmerizing and wonderful in every way. I remember the man that put this together for all of us to enjoy also. He laughed and smiled every time anyone was delighted with his collection. I will always remember how that nourished this little girl that grew up with little laughter in my home.
The music would stay in your head even after you left it and I wish that you all could hear it. It you imagine the saloon scene in Gunsmoke and Miss Kitty welcoming you in that was it, in miniature. Mr Nall's added to his amazing collection sometimes and people would just throw money into the town like a coin fountain to help with the expense of running the electric for his complete Western town.
Sometimes on Sunday if you came at the right time, the church next door was in session and you could hear some of the best Gospel music ever sang. I don't think many Whites ever visited this all AA Church, but I did. It was a sensation for the mind full of people that shouted, danced up and down the aisles and they sang. Lordy they could sing. Women were dressed in beautiful suits with matching hats and pocket books and I thought they were beautiful like right out of a magazine. I had a couple of dresses and I would wear my Sunday best as I attended Church with Mr Nall's daughter.
If I could take a postcard moment of my life, it was Jackson Theater, Nall's store, Swimming at Munson and that church that made me happy.
Hope that y'all have a beautiful day filled with memories of childhood that make you smile. I love you and wish that you could see inside my mind and visit the store with me. Always, Kimmee
Google image of an old general store. I don't have a photo of Nall's. I sure wish I did.

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