By Robert E. McCormack
Alex Nagy Senior seemed loved by all and a pleasure to do business with. One time, however, my dad, C.B. McCormack, haggled with Mr. Nagy over how much fat there was on the meat and Mr. Nagy took Dad into the refrigerator and said: “Now you see this, I have to pay for all that fat!.” Every Nagy customer got a free holiday cake at Christmas time. Ann Crawly, from Monaville, put everyone at ease as she totaled up our purchases on the cash register. The ingenious application of grease on the front windows at Halloween made the candle wax (in lieu of soaping the windows) was effective against us Halloween hoodlums. Mr. Nagy had outsmarted us.
Nagy’s Grocery was also our school bus stop. It was a place that gave forum for gossip, flirting, and learning more about the birds and bees. A popular, catchy rhyme was “Dum, de Dum Dum, PREAGNET!” Of course this inspiration came from the popular TV series called” Dragnet.” We were all shocked to learn one morning that the ambulance at the Myrtle Herald residence (-just two doors from the bus stop) was in response to a self-inflicted gun wound. Sometimes I would arrive just in time for the bus in order to avoid a girl who had the fortitude to call me on the phone and ask me to go on a “Dutch date” to the theatre. She was certainly ahead of her time.
Buddy Linville would send me to Nagy’s to get a nickels’ worth of baloney. Using his thumb and index finger, he would show me how thick he wanted it cut. “Ma” Linville with her pipe and “Pa” Linville with his mule and sled bring back reflections of “Dog patch” characters. Kids loved to hang out with “Ma” Linville, if only to play with reoccurring new litters of kittens. Sometimes we would just sit in the porch swing with “Ma.” Another treat was to ride on the mule drawn sled as “Pa” Linville drove his sled to Whites Addition to work on his garden. We thought it was real neat when Buddy Linville hung a sheet on our garage. After it was dark, he showed a movie for the large gathering of kids. I don’t even remember what the move was about or whether it had sound.