by Linda C Butler
My parents had a store in Snow Lake MB in the 1950s, before there was a road to the outside. Few people owned cars and people walked where they needed to go.
Customers came to the store to select their groceries, or they phoned in their order and a clerk picked the items out. Every customer had a bill book and the order would be hand-written and then totalled on the hand-crank adding machine.
Groceries were packed into cardboard boxes and the customer’s name written on one of the flaps. The boxes were then lined up at the front of the store.
About five o’clock, we would load the boxes into the Model A Ford, which Dad used for deliveries. The Model A had a hand crank in the front that Dad turned to start the vehicle, and once it was running, we were off to the homes. Dad never turned the engine off until we were finished. Brian, who was younger, opened the doors and carried light packages. We called out “groceries” as we entered the houses and carried the boxes into the kitchens. I carried light boxes and Dad followed with the heavy ones.
It was especially fun to delivery groceries at Christmas time as many of the women offered us homemade Christmas cookies when we arrived. If their home was decorated, they would show us their tree and holiday decorations. It was a special time of year and we enjoyed making deliveries.