Sodas. Colas. Pecan sundaes. Comic books. Cigars and cigarettes. That and much more was available to us at Tom's. Also, we bought cheap Brownie cameras and film and had it sent out for processing from there after exposure. Just about anything to tickle our fancy was there for an after-school treat. Or during the summer months, one of the better coolers was a double dip of Ozark Black Walnut ice cream(10 cents). Other thirst quenchers were readily available and served by some people we can remember very fondly.
One of the photos shows the inside of the store about the time Tom Mauldin (R) bought it. To his right is Ira Caldwell, a partner or associate. He was a brother to Dr. R. B. I think I am correct in saying. The third man on the left is unidentified.
Another photo shows some Bearcats sitting around a table sippin'. Wouldn't you like to know what they were discussing at the time?!
Also, Clyde and Jimmy Tapp are shown working in the pharmacy. Clyde bought the store in the early '60s and ran it until health reasons forced him to sell.
There are two photos of our favorite milkshake and ice cream treats preparer. Marie Evans was the dominant figurine at the soda fountain for many years. She fussed at me every time I bought a pack of cigarettes or a cigar, but never refused to let me have them. Milton Nanney (her future son-in-law) and I finally started going to Cunningham's and buying a Blue Ribbon cigar to smoke while riding to Pratts in his little English Ford after school some afternoons. We went fairly regularly - we had some "holdings" out there (LOL).
Clarene, Marie's daughter, sums it up:
"Since a lot of their childhood took place after school at the soda fountain at Tom’s and Mama made their sodas, she was slap dab in the middle of the activities in which her ‘kids’ were involved. I never knew exactly how much involvement there was until I started looking through all their old photos and hearing their memories of her while they were growing up. At the reunion last October Henry Outlaw made me realize just how fondly she was remembered by them and cited her specifically as being an integral part of their childhood years. And here I was all this time thinking Mama only had two children - me and my brother- when in actuality, she had dozens. Oh, the stories she must have heard!"
The color photo is of Marie listening to music on her computer after retirement.
There was another item for sale at Tom's; you could actually get medicine there if you needed it. If you cut a finger or "scruffed" a toe, or had a rash, just stop by and they would attend to you, usually no doctor or prescription was necessary.
Credits: Photos- Clarene Evans, Ellis Christian, Dave Heflin, and book "History of Prentiss County" (1940). Text: Clarene Evans and Carl Houston.