Friday, October 1, 2010

National Homemade Cookie Day (October 1st)

Today, October 1st, is National Homemade Cookie Day.  It is also my grandmother's 101st birthday... or it would have been.  She passed away peacefully last Sunday, September 26th.  My grandmother, had a good life... a great life, even.  She loved her family, which included 6 children, 18 grandchildren,  39 great-grandchildren, and 9 great-great-grandchildren.  (I am not counting spouses here, but if I did, the whole family numbers greater than 100!)

Grandmother was always a bit shy and quiet.  When she got married at age 18, she was so embarrassed that she wouldn't even get out of the car and go into the pastor's house.  The preacher had to go out to the Model-T Ford and perform the ceremony while they sat in the car. 

Grandmother and Granddaddy, Barbara Anna (Melton) & Johney Burse Maynard, owned and operated Maynard's Drug in my hometown, Washington, Oklahoma, from 1951 - 1980.  Washington is a small town and they sold everything.  Just before school started each year, they sold school supplies and all of the required school books.  The kids and grandkids pitched in to help during that time.  All of the grandchildren longed for the day when they were deemed old enough to help sell school books.  Big Chief Tablets, Fun with Dick and Jane, elementary workbooks, and number 2 pencils all have that old familiar smell that I love.

One of my favorite things had to be the soda fountain.  Grandmother taught me how to make the perfect Coke.  (Hint:  It's all in the wrist... well, and the correct ratio of syrup to carbonated water.  LOL)   It had the old-fashioned pump-type syrup dispensers, fruit dippers, a double-sink, and water spigots - one for carbonated water and one for plain water.    I loved the glass rinser.  It was a small round hole with a rubber ring around the top and a rubber grid on the bottom.  You inserted a glass upside down and sprayers squirted water all around and inside the glass, rinsing it clean.  There were five or six red-leatherette barstools on the opposite side for customers.  The stools were about 3' or so tall and spun around.  I remember we used to get into trouble for spinning on them too much. 

There was a candy counter with all sorts of delicious goodies - Pixie Sticks, Secret Centers, Hershey's Chocolate Bars,  Jaw Breakers, Tootsie Rolls, gum, crackers,  etc.  Just about everything you could imagine was there to choose from.  Halloween meant the addition of wax lips and Wowee! wax whistles.

Free comic books were also high on that favorite things list.  Once the unsold comics were pulled from the shelf and the covers torn off, we got to take home huge stacks of them.  We poured over Archie, Little Dot, Richie Rich, Hot Stuff, Casper, Superman, Batman, and even the war and love comics.  We kept stacks of them in the house and would read and re-read them until they were falling apart.

Most of the grandchildren loved the malt-flavored ice cream.  It was a special ice cream for making malts, and Granddaddy would rebuff our requests for it, but we could always talk Grandmother into letting us have it on a cone.  Malt ice cream was white, but it wasn't vanilla or chocolate, just malt.  I would love to find some now days, and have looked all over the internet and in stores, but it is nowhere to be found.  (If anyone knows where I can find some, please hook me up!)

Grandmother's specialty dessert was Italian Cream Cake.  It was always so tall and loaded with fluffy coconut.  It was absolutely divine.  In honor of her - and of National Homemade Cookie Day - I think I am going to make Italian Cream Cookies... or some type of cookie, anyway.  I won't be able to get photos posted today, but I will update the post later to show the cookies.


KHazelrigg said...


Shelley Parker Chandler said...

NOTE: The photos of the soda fountain and ice cream freezer are not from Maynard's Drug. (I took these photos at Youth Services of Tulsa in their cafe.)

Shelley Parker Chandler said...

When my grandparents retired, they sold Maynard's Drug lock, stock, and barrel. A couple of years later, those owners went out of business and had an auction company sell off everything that was deemed of any value. My sisters and I bid on a set of four ice cream soda glasses, since there are four of us, and I think we paid $40 for the set. That was $10 each for a small piece of our family history.

At that same auction, people were allowed to roam the store. I found the Charms sucker stand in the trash at the back of the store and rescued it. That sucker stand stood on the candy counter for years. I consider it a great find!

Kellyology said...

100 is pretty amazing and what a great story!

I'm glad I found your blog. Most of the time I don't enjoy cooking, but for some reason I do enjoy baking. Looking forward to getting to know your blog better!

Shelley Parker Chandler said...

I know exactly what you mean. I'm not big on cooking at all, but I love baking. I always thought that was a bit weird, so it's good to know I'm not the only one.

Thanks for following the blog. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and hope you continue to visit. I'm looking forward to spending time reading the RHOK and Kellyology blogs. :)

lifeshighway said...

Great story. We had an old time drug store in my home town Washington, NC. As kids, my friends and I loved to go to the soda fountain and order ice cream floats and get the feel of an older time. They have restored that old drug store because my hometown is now a vacation spot, I hope someone restored your Grandparents old fountain.

Shelley Parker Chandler said...

Sadly, the drug store was sold off bits-and-pieces style at an auction. I have no idea who ended up with the actual fountain. I will have to see if I can find out. The store itself is now a medical supply store. It still has the pressed tin ceiling, but not much else to resemble the original store. While seeing the drug store restored to its former glory would be nice, it would also be a little sad, as those days are long gone and it just wouldn't be the same without my grandparents there to run it. :)