Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Remembering Piggly Wiggly

Juanita Agan-1I remember Piggly Wiggly being on Gleason Street. Minden Press-Herald is now in the old Piggly Wiggly building that was completely renovated for their offices.
There were previous locations but I never shopped there.

And the manager of my memories is Cary Adams. There were several nice ladies who were checkers, one was Minnie Harris and another was Johnnie Sloan. Some of the same people who had worked for A & P worked there too.

I enjoyed shopping there and several things happened during those years that are still funny. I sent my husband by from work to get a couple of items.

He went through Johnnie's checkout aisle. He made out his check and handed it to her and she said: "Sorry, sir, I cannot accept that check." He was stunned and flustered, too. He asked why? She replied: "Because this is Piggly Wiggly not Jitney Jungle." It really embarrassed him.

Another was at Christmas when a woman checked out with the largest apples, the biggest oranges, and the loveliest of fresh fruits. I was next in the checkout line. I had small apples, oranges and bananas.

Minnie was livid, and said: "I am so tired, I work all day and cannot afford the largest of fruits, just like you, Mrs. Agan, but this woman buys them with food stamps, and she is my soul sister."

One day as I attempted to drive off the parking lot, a small puppy ran under my car. Mr. Adams had just put my groceries in my car and I called to him to get the puppy out from under the car.

He said: "No." I said did you say no, and with a giggle he nodded. He said: "If I pick up that puppy you will leave me holding it and I don't need a puppy." I thought he was kidding but he meant it.

There was nothing to do but get out of the car and pick him up.

He wiggled, he kissed me, he squirmed and did a few other things that people do when they get excited. When I set him down to dry my hand he followed me back to the car, and under it he went. And so, I acquired a puppy that I promptly named "Troubles." He tried to live up to his name and did a good job of it. I will write a Cameo on the life and escapades of that little dog, who only asked to be loved.

One day as I got in line to check out behind two ladies, Johnnie slammed the register and locked it and went on the intercom calling in a loud voice for Mr. Adams to come to her register. She said for no one to move.

She scared me half to death. It seems that two well-known shoplifters were ahead of me with their big old purses with the wooden handles. They had each stolen a carton of cigarettes.

He had told the checkers if they came in again to call him. They summoned the police; they searched the bags and pulled out the cigarettes.

I believe that Betty Thompson worked in the meat market there. I confuse those who worked at A & P and those at Piggly Wiggly.

The checkers there were so accurate that it was a joy to go through their checkout line.

They tried to please the customers especially in the meat market. They would cut your meat to order and be so nice about it.

Mr. Adams was so nice to deal with, too.

I have been told that Piggly Wiggly was in other locations here in Minden, but my old memory fails me there.

We had never been accustomed to our meat being pre-packaged and placed in the meat trays back in the meat market.

We normally stood and waited for the butcher to cut our order in the old family neighborhood grocery stores.

Piggly Wiggly handled all the name brand canned vegetables, as well as a few "generic" brands, so it was easy to shop there.

Not only did they cut you extra special cuts of meat, they also shared recipes for cooking meat. Betty Thompson shared her recipe of cooking pork chops with a bottle of Italian Dressing poured over the chops before baking them. It was a change from just "breading" them or frying them.

It was a much smaller store than the A & P on back street as we called it, but it had everything we needed.

The Wal-Mart Super centers are big, but they lack the personal touch of the first self-service grocery stores and certainly lack the personal touch of local hometown stores such as Wise's Grocery.

Only in memory can we go back to that time in our lives and relive those precious memories and visit with Betty Thompson and Buddy Moreland who have gone on to be with Jesus.

Do you remember, too?

Juanita Agan submitted a weekly column to the Press-Herald for more than 15 years before her death in 2008. She was a resident of Minden since 1935. The Press-Herald is republishing selected articles from Mrs. Agan's Cameos column every Wednesday.­­






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