These are my parents, Alice and Bob.
We live at 1 Dearborn Road, behind Town Hall and the fire station.
Dad has a little store on the other side of the common. It’s called Village Grocery. This is the first day, when it opened. Boy was he happy!
Dad bought the store from William Bustead. Here’s William having soda at the front door. This is the old store. It fell apart after Dad bought it. Some of the roof fell on someone’s head. So Dad built a new store on the same spot.
My brothers and sisters and I run the store when Dad is out. We’re just kids, but we can do everything. The store sells sandwiches, so we have to use meat cutters to cut the meat, just like adults do. We don’t get hurt. And we can figure out the change for the customers at the cash register. I think I’m counting it right, because people aren’t complaining or anything. Here’s my brother Bob. He can see over the counter, just a little.
Dad runs the school buses for the town. My brothers and sisters try to get him to cancel school whenever it snows. He talks to the superintendent, so he has some power. Here’s a snow day! I’m a little older now, and I’m standing in front of the store.
The store is kind of a hangout for kids. Everyone respects it. One Sunday, when the store was closed, a kid found the front door open a little. He went into the store and used his one nickel to call my Dad and tell him about the door. My Dad thanked him and explained how to lock the door on the way out.
But things are changing. A bigger store just came to town, not far from us. It’s a supermarket! Will anyone go to Village Grocery anymore?
It would be nice to see young people come to this store even after we’re gone. Maybe high school kids will still have a reason to come here. We’ll see . . .
— By Dorothy (Carpenter) McLeod, 85, of Woburn. Her family ran Village Grocery, at the same location as Amari Prom & Bridal, from 1947 to 1961.
This 1966 Dodge Coronet originally belonged to Barbara Carpenter, Dorothy’s sister. Then it went to another sister, Marian Carpenter, a longtime clerk at the town’s Building Department. Now it belongs to Scott Carpenter, pictured at the Burlington Cops N’ Cars event June 8, 2019. Remember the little boy peeking over the counter in the article? This is his son.