By: Jessica B.

 

"Harper Village, my sweet little hometown in Georgia. I have so many great memories of that place,” I leaned back in my rocking chair. 

“Tell us about it, Granny,” Annabelle said. 

“Yeah, Gran. You always have the best stories,” Baxter put in. I smiled at them. 

“Well, I guess we have a little time before dinner to talk about the good old days. Alright, where do I start?”

“Tell us more about the ice cream place,” Annabelle said. 

“No, about the theater!” objected Baxter. “Did they show any sci-fi pictures?”

I nodded. “Now, hold your horses there, I can only tell you about one place at a time. I’ll start with the ice cream parlor.” Baxter groaned and slouched. “Relax, honey, I’ll get to the theater. Just gotta be patient. Now,” I folded my hands and began down memory lane. “It was owned by the Kellys, which is why it was called Kellys’ Ice Cream. It was a real fine place. They served the best chocolate ice cream this side of New Orleans. Of course, I’m biased, but I tell you, it was fantastic. You had to eat it to believe it and even then you still thought you were dreamin’.” 

 Annabelle’s eyes widened. “Really, Granny?”

“Yessiree,” I nodded. “And it was the place I first met your Grampa. We were about 17 and he was workin’ weekends there. He got a little fresh with me-”

“Did not,” Herb (AKA: Grampa) said from behind his newspaper. 

“Anyway, he flirted a little with me and, see, I was going steady with another boy at the time. So, I didn’t take too kindly to that. I told him to quit it and when he didn’t I-”

“You didn’t tell me to stop, you just threw your shake,” Herb put in.

“Well, I threw my strawberry milkshake at him. It got all over his clothes.”

“It was chocolate. It’s always been chocolate. I can’t remember you having a strawberry milkshake.”

“Darn it, Herb! I’m the one telling the story. Anywho, he was covered in milkshake and I said I was sorry. That’s how I first met him. Pretty neat place, Kellys’. Your mama and papa had one of their dates there.”

“Ooh, how’d they first meet?” asked Annabelle. Annabelle was at that age when they’re all about boys and romance but the boys like Baxter are just about sports and videogames. Come to think of it, boys are kind of always into sports and video games. 

“Well, and you might like this one, Baxter, as I recall, they first met at the Globe Theater. I was taking your mama to see a new animated movie.” I thought for a second. The Hobbit, I believe. You’ve heard of it, haven’t you? It was a book by J. something -or-other Tolkien. Your mama just loved it and the whole Lord Of The Rings series, too.               

We were in line for popcorn and your papa knocked into your mama, literally. Spilled all his popcorn on the floor. He should have looked where he was going.” I looked at Annabelle and Baxter. “So, what do you want to hear about now?”

“Did the Harper Village have any cool candy places?” asked Baxter. 

“Why, yessir, they did. A real fine fine candy shop; The Candy Corner. They also had a grand little section of sweets at Rafferty’s General Store. The Candy Corner was

mostly chocolate, not that I’m complaining. Best chocolate this side of Atlanta, I swear. Creamy milk chocolate, rich dark chocolate, smooth white chocolate, that funky semi-sweet junk and those wired filled chocolates with cream or nuts; all kinds.” 

“Did you have any big stores like Target or Walmart and stuff?” Baxter asked.

“Oh, honey, this was a little bitty town. We would drive miles to places like that in our neighboring cities, sure, but we liked our things locally made. Though, some of the chocolates The Candy Corner sold were from Alabama.” 

“Mama, Papa,” Scarlett called. “Annabelle and Baxter, wash up for dinner.”

“Okay, Mom,” called back Baxter, as he and his twin sister stood up. 

“Thanks for telling us those stories, Granny,” Annabelle said.

  I smiled. “Anytime, sweetheart, Just ask. Maybe sometime we’ll all take a little trip down and see grand old Harper Village.”

  Annabelle and Baxter smiled, then headed off to wash up. 

 I looked at Herb. “They’re so sweet.”


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