By Reno Bailey
In the 1950’s and ’60’s, when you drove out of town toward Boiling Springs, on your right you’d pass Voyd Jenkin’s little store. It was so typical of what was available in those days. They all had an aluminum advertising strip across the screen door (usually for some bakery). A stack of drink bottles sitting out in the weather, waiting for a route man to pick them up. Two gas pumps, and self-service only if you were a friend of the owner.
The building is still there, and below, in this photo by Sherry Harris Phelps, is how it looks today (Dec. 2009). It has gone through several owners since Voyd’s time, the latest being Don and Jackie Padgett Wilson, who bought it from Avero Hicks around 1993. Hicks used the building for restoring old clocks and as a place for his friends and brothers to play pool. Don uses it for his hobby of restoring old cars. There are always a number of old cars in front and friends come to sit in the rocking chairs inside. At the time the new photo was taken, Don was putting on a metal roof to bring back some of the “oldness” of the building. Jackie is the daughter of Oren “Bud” Padgett and Margaret Jolley Padgett.
And in the interior shot below is Voyd, the proud proprietor. A calendar behind him is difficult to read, but it seems to indicate the year is 1956. On the shelves we see a product we’ve sorely missed in the years since: Orange Crush in brown bottles. Voyd was born in 1907 and passed away in 1992 at age 84.
Sherry Phelps, Roy Lee Harris’ daughter, has fond memories of the little store, which was near her home:
I loved walking home from school and stopping by the library to get a new book to read before walking on to Fairview Road…And thanks to all the people for throwing out the pop-bottles back then. I had many a soda and candy bar at Jenk’s grocery, thanks to those bottles. Gladys Ramsey was the cashier. Yes, Orange Crush was in the brown bottle and Fanta Grape and Orange were in clear bottles. RC Cola was the smart choice over the little Cokes if you were a kid and going for volume.
Black and white photos from the Roy Lee Harris collection.