Court Square Grocery and Pa#039;s suspenders

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 14, 2006

One of the best things I've enjoyed about writing a weekly column is the response that I get from readers about something I had written. I've had people come up to me and ask me if Samson was a real cat, or was he fictitious, and I had to reassure people that he is definitely real. And, yes, he does weigh 21 pounds. Actually, at his last visit with Dr. Bill Watson, he weighed 20 pounds and six ounces. He had been sick, so that was definitely an off week.

People who live in other states have emailed me about how much they agreed with this or that issue, or how much they enjoyed my memories of growing up in Greenville. I can honestly say that I had a very blessed and special childhood.

With the promotion I have received to be managing editor of the Luverne Journal comes mixed feelings of both excitement and sadness. I have loved writing for my hometown, and I hope that you have enjoyed it as well. So, I'll simply allow my last column for the Greenville Advocate to have what I like best: a humorous &#8220ending.”

My grandparents, Jim and Nettie Vee Grayson, owned Court Square Grocery Store right across from the courthouse. I loved going in there. One main reason was because of the wire turning rack that held all the different little packages of toys on it. And, since I was their youngest grandchild, my grandfather always let me choose anything I wanted from it.

Plus, my grandmother made the best homemade doughnuts, and they sold them out of a side window. If you look at the building closely today, you can still see the outline of that window. I can still remember the big whirring fan that never seemed to bring much relief from the summer heat in that little kitchen, and, boy, was it loud.

Now, if any of you remember Jim Grayson, he wore suspenders on his pants that surrounded his protruding stomach. He was also quick with a laugh, and he loved to carry on foolishness.

On this particular day, he had been given the assignment of babysitting me at the store while my parents went to the hospital to visit a friend. Being so little, of course, I couldn't go. I was only about four years old.

As my parents drove off, I began kicking and screaming wildly because I wanted to go with them. Somehow or another, my foot got caught in Pa's suspenders. The more I squirmed to get down, the worse it got. The next thing Pa knew, my foot had unhooked his suspenders, and those pants fell clean to his ankles right there in front of the entire city of Greenville. He had to do a Charlie Chaplin walk from the edge of East Commerce Street all the way inside the store just so he could lock the door, put me down and then get his pants back up.

The next day, Butler County Sheriff Henry Stanford paid my grandfather a visit.

&#8220Jim, I sure hate to do this, but I'm going to have to place you under arrest.”

&#8220What in the devil are you talking about, Henry? Arrested for what?”

&#8220Indecent exposure.”

I hope I've made you laugh a little, think deeply about a few things and maybe even cry a little. I must say it has been my pleasure to write for my hometown.

Regina Grayson is a reporter with the Greenville Advocate.

She can be reached at 334-383-9302, ext. 126 or via e-mail at