One of the wonderful things about this latter era was the corner store. It was a little like the quick-stop stores co-located with gas stations today, except that corner-store clerks were the owners themselves, the cash registers jingled, and the prices were far more reasonable, relatively speaking; a loaf of bread was no more expensive here than it was at the big Red Owl or Piggly Wiggly store a mile or more away, and a busy mom could send her child dashing over there to pick up a pound of sugar or a dozen eggs or anything else she'd run out of in the midst of baking a cake or fixing dinner.
Shown above is the corner store I grew up with, in Green Bay, Wis.; our house was on the other side of the same city block. On the market for $149,900 not too long ago, it has apparently been used to run a catering business in recent years. I don't suppose a little grocery store could make it these days, what with soaring property taxes and unrelenting price-competition from the giants, all just minutes away for today's two-car families.
But the memories of these tiny gems of American free enterprise still remain in the hearts of our elderly and almost-elderly. For a lively peek into the past, ask your favorite senior citizen about the corner stores they remember most fondly.