We’ll hear them soon… The welcoming school bells in the village of Woodstock, Vermont. Our youngsters running, skipping, tossing balls, climbing, and swinging higher and higher on that swing. Remember THAT swing? Perhaps you were fortunate enough to have a “swing set” in your backyard – the one with the striped poles that often came out of the ground when all of you tested it’s strength at the same time? Ah, recess…we all remember it well, fondly. The jungle gym and merry-go-round were magnets for kids sprinting, who will get there first, as the floodgates opened, twice a day, if you were lucky. Sometimes we were left light-headed, but we were assured lunch would take care of that feeling! Skinned knees, dirty hands, disheveled hair, why did Mom spend so much time on our appearance every morning? Did you lay your clothes out the night before? Did you sleep in the next day’s outfit to save time in the morning? We won’t tell. Were you running late, so late that Mom brushed your teeth as you ran ahead on the cement sidewalk (don’t step on the crack or you’ll break your mother’s back), to the bus stop, because you knew you wanted the way-back seat on the bus?
How many of us carried that retro lunchbox, clanking on the school bus door, as we herded onboard? Favorite contents included the ubiquitous bologna (baloney?) sandwich, with mustard, mayo, and orange American cheese on Wonder Bread, a tiny bag of Wise Potato Chips, or Frito’s if they were on sale that week, on cold days, the metal thermos filled with Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, and the pièce de résistance, the velvety, cakey, cream-filled, Hostess Yodel, or on special occasions, the pink, coconut, Snoball – even the boys liked it, despite it’s pink color. At school, we ordered our tiny milk carton for the entire week - a robin’s egg blue tray would make its way around the classroom. It was a ritual, a simple ritual that we miss today.
We remember our favorite books from the library. Today, they are called “classics” – Harold and the Purple Crayon, Henny Penny, and more recently, Goodnight Moon, Clifford, Corduroy, and Madeline. Some of us have the originals on our bookshelves at home. Most of us flock to that bookshelf at our favorite general store. We see you there, and smile, as we walk by on our way to our daily duties. At F.H. Gillingham & Sons we reminisce with you, we find happiness in evoking memories, sharing stories, and taking pride in preserving childhood memories.
By now, you know where to find our penny-candy, tin toys, books, pencils, and snacks. Our Barn area is brimming with sturdy, classic, Carhartt and United by Blue family clothing. We, ourselves, are a family, and look forward to a wonderful school year for our children, and yours.
F.H. Gillingham & Sons is located at 16 Elm Street in Woodstock, Vermont. This year, we are celebrating our 130th anniversary. Stop by for a truly unbelievable Vermont general store experience.