Continuing the Going To Town story from Seneca Seasons: A Farm Boy Remembers. We loaded up some pigs and took them to the livestock market at the edge of Seneca. Dad and the stock buyer, Bill Bernier, haggled over price for 20 minutes, the hogs were unloaded and we drove to downtown Seneca.
Dad banked at Prairie City Bank, run by Clarence Paulson, which was located right next door to Kane’s IGA. Seems he was the only man in town that wore a suit on a weekday. The store was started by J.H. Finley and W.D. Kane, and later Kane’s son-in-law Harold Trehey came on board. He is the grocer I remember. He stood behind the counter and filled the order that Dad had on his list. Boxes of cereal were on shelves stacked up near the ceiling. Mr. Trehey used a long pole to tip a box of cereal over and catch it in his arms. He then put it with the other items on the counter. In those days, shoppers did not go up and down the aisles picking up items.
Entering the store, we were met with the distinct aroma of cheese, pickles, kerosene, vegetables, cattle feed supplements, dog and cat food, cured meats, leather, and tobacco smoke.
Dry goods were displayed on open wooden tables with a railing around each table. Shoes, clothing of all types, belts, gifts, knickknacks, household appliances of every description, salt blocks, tools and feed stocks for livestock.
Phillip, Bob and I wondered around the tables while Dad got the order filled. “Don’t touch stuff,” Dad would caution. Yet we did, especially the toys. Why put out toys if kids are not to touch them? was our thinking.