Monday, September 1, 2008

Need a gift, call Popeye, any time, day or night!

Back in the 50's, I dare say there was not one single young lady in Baldwyn who had not stopped by Popeye's Jewelry Store at one time or another and tried on that special diamond ring she dreamed would someday be permanently placed on the third finger of her left hand. Gentry's was "THE" place to shop for diamonds, gold, crystal, china and silver and of course the 'perfect gift'. Popeye helped many a young lad out by selling him that perfect ring on credit and thus creating a customer base that would last throughout both their lifetimes.

Having worked there for Popeye some 17 years off and on afforded me a wealth of stories told by none other than the great storyteller himself. My all time favorite however, is one about a young man who called him at 2:00am one Christmas morning and begged him to meet him at the store. He asked Popeye to just come open up and and sell him something, anything or he'd suffer the fate of a dumb stupid husband who'd forgotten to buy his wife a Christmas present. Popeye, of course came to the rescue wearing his pajamas and an overcoat. It seems the young man had finally gotten his excited children into bed around 1:00 am and had set the alarm for 2:00 to do his "Santa thing" when he overheard one of his little boys ask the other, "I wonder what Daddy got Mama for Christmas."

I don't remember what it was that Popeye told me the man ended up buying but I bet you it was very nice.

Photos from BHS Bearcat Annual and From J. M. Duke


  1. I bought 3 rings from him in 1959 - that was the start of my troubles! Don't tell her I said that...!

  2. 'Popeye' was the most jolly, jocular person in Baldwyn when we were growing up. He could quote the Ole Miss football stats for 20 previous years, and was what we now know as 'one cool dude'.
    I bought several watches and things there.

  3. Popeye was a hoot! Clarene, you need to tell the story about how he met his wife. I bet he told you all about it. Good job on this post, as usual, I like your writings.

  4. Who did Popeye marry? I never heard. A local girl? He had a dozen in Tupelo!