Dad bought a small sack of candy for us kids and a candy bar for Mom, which he took home for her. We carried the groceries out to the car. Dad turned the car around and parked it on the opposite side of the street. Then we went into Johnson’s Store.
Bob Johnson, a tall, affable man, bought the store in 1937, building a feed mill across the street a few years later. Johnson’s catered to farmers and their needs, and later he opened a grocery, hardware and feed mill combination and billed it as Johnson’s One Stop Shopping Service. The feeling was that “if they don’t have it, you don’t need it.”
Bob Johnson was quite a promoter. He was the dealer in the Seneca area for Doboy Feed, a company headquartered in New Richmond, Wisconsin. As part of his promotions he sponsored a country-western band and comedy group to come to the Seneca gym, and our whole family attended. Some of the jokes must have been a tad on the risqué side, as my mother commented on the way home, “There was no need for all the dirty talk.”
Dad filled up with gas at either of two filling stations, McCullicks Sinclair in the middle of town or Jule Lamore’s Mobil Station. Max McCullick, owner of the Sinclair station, was well liked by teenagers, and many teens hung out there. He had a one-car bay for servicing vehicles. We enjoyed watching cars being raised by a hydraulic lift. The serviceman could change oil and work on tires. Kids could buy soft drinks, candy and ice cream cones.
Dad didn’t buy gas for the farm, though. We had plenty of gas on the farm for the tractor. Turns out the gas used on farm was taxed differently than gas bought at a filling station. Any farmer might have to prove he bought gas for the car at a commercial gas station. So Dad kept all his receipts.