Enumclaw Courier-Herald


Grocery stores and dill pickles | Enumclaw Centennial

By SALLIE BOX Enumclaw Courier Herald Columnist
June 27, 2013 · 10:28 AM

I remember going to old Rochdale with my grandma helping her carry things home.  The main floor had the groceries. There was a downstairs where there were clothes and a lot more things a person or farmers could buy. I was young but I remember the downstairs and I thought it looked creepy because it wasn’t bright.

We might have gone down there a time or two but I can’t remember it. We would shop at JC Penny’s for our clothes and our shoes we would get from Steve and his wife Kolliopi, at Steve Polenas Shoe Store.  When you walked into the store, on the left would be four or five chairs up on the raised step where men would sit to get their shoes shined and  visit.  There was other chairs to sit when you tried on shoes. They were very nice people and worked very hard.  He also did shoe repair.

My mom and dad, Bill and Doris Rogers, shopped at the Safeway store in Enumclaw. It was located where the Sears store was on Cole Street.  It was a nice store and had a good selection of groceries, but it was a lot smaller than the Safeway Store we have today. We didn’t have the selection of frozen foods nor the fresh foods we have today but at that time we thought it was good.

There was a Hinshaw  Grocery on Cole Street.  It was  on the corner where the restaurant was and now it is an empty building.

The old Rochdale store was torn down and the new grocery store built in its place was called Food  Center.

Food Center was all grocery and they didn’t have the clothing area of the old store. Many of the workers that were in Rochdale worked in Food Center.  Later, they added a meat market to the side of the store. People could enter the store from the sidewalk or from the store, which was handy for the shoppers. One thing that the Rochdale and Food Center had in common was both of them had a barrel of stiff, dried, smelly fish outside their entrance to their business. The male dogs were very happy to have another place to mark that they were there!

There was a number of dogs running around then because there wasn’t a leash law like we have today. The kids laughed saying that was how the fish got their salty flavor when we see another  dog head over to the barrel.

One day my cousin Darlene Nelsen and I were in Food Center with our grandma, Helga Nelsen and so was Richard Davis, a boy that had a big crush on Darlene. Richard, Darlene and I were either in the sixth or seventh grade. Richard was pushing the cart for his mom and was watching Darlene the whole time he was pushing the cart. Someone that worked there  had made a nice display of dill pickles in the large jars. Richard plowed into those jars! Pickles, jars, and broken glass going everywhere along with the essence of dill pickles.

I can’t remember seeing poor Richard after that, he just disappeared… probably very embarrassed.

He sure got Darlene’s attention, though.

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