David Melson

Picturing the Past 120: Another old grocery store

Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at 3:40 PM
View 23 comments
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  • The first person that I remember at the store you have mentioned (parking lot of the rent-to-own firm) would be Donnie Thompson's Father. Sorry but his first name escapes me at the moment. Then later Johnnie Walker ran that store. As a side note, Bobby McGee (present Pastor at Edgemont Baptist Church) worked for him when he was first out of school.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Jul 26, 2011, at 5:42 PM
  • Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the store in the picture (Dennis' IGA Foodliner) was previously known as United Super Market. When Mr. Dennis built the store, his sons worked for him in management. James was the butcher and over the meat department. The other son (Floyd I think) was over the produce department.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Jul 26, 2011, at 5:51 PM
  • leeiii You have a great memory.. I would have to use a cheat sheet :)

    I remember United Super Market but don't remember the store being IGA.

    There use to be a grocery store in Big Springs shopping center that I took my Grandmother to called Cooper and Martin.. I think it was beside a Big k store??

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Jul 26, 2011, at 8:00 PM
  • I remember Cooper & Martin grocery store and the Big K too. My mother took me shopping with her to both stores. I was just a 17 yr old teenager at the time and the parking lot was also the spot where we all met up at night to hangout. Good times!

    -- Posted by gina0922 on Tue, Jul 26, 2011, at 10:01 PM
  • Dianatn and gina0922, I think you are right. I too remember Cooper & Martin being in the Big Springs shopping center, as well as Kroger being there at on time. Oh, by the way, I also remember there being a big box drug store by the name of Super X being there. That parking lot sure was a fun place to go late at night or early in the morning after a big snow.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Jul 27, 2011, at 6:24 AM
  • I am in my thirties and I even remember the Super X being in the Big Springs shopping center, My dad and I use to go there when I was a kid to get his medication and then we would drive on down to Dairy Queen or Burger Chef (I think that is what it was called) to get some ice cream or a drink. Of course I also use to remember Video Corner where my friends and I use to go all the time to rent videos and look at comics where Goodwill is now.

    -- Posted by jaxspike on Wed, Jul 27, 2011, at 8:31 AM
  • My favorite store to go to in Big Springs was Sullivan's Dept. store. When my daughter was a toddler I bought all her frilly dresses there. A good friend of mine worked at Cooper-Martin. He later moved to another town to manage a Pigly Wiggly.

    -- Posted by ILoveRoses on Wed, Jul 27, 2011, at 9:28 AM
  • I remember the store in the picture as being called Game World.... it was an arcade business in the early 1980's but I dont remember it before that for some reason. My mother-in-law rented the entire grass lot surrounding it which was all the way from the old Taco Bell building to the other end of Roses parking lot and she parked cars there during the horse show for several years. I remember Barbara Mandrell parking her tour bus there and so did her sister. It was pretty cool because it was when I was dating my husband and we got to park for free and go walk around the horse show. Across the street was Fun Land which was another arcade buisiness. During the time my husband and I were dating and a few years after we were married we would go there most every Friday and Saturday night and he would shoot pool for money. His paycheck at the time wasnt alot so the money he won shooting pool was the money we used to go out with on the weekends or buy something that we needed for the house. I remember one year my grandmother had made homeade fudge for Christmas and when I took it into Fun Land and offered some to my husbands pool shooting partners they were distracted by the delicious fudge and they started loosing. My husband really made some money that night...lol. By the way...I had the standing high score on the Pacman and Galaga video game machine for atleast 2 to 4 years...and was a very good pool shooter myself to be a female.

    I remember saving the stamps that Cooper & Martin gave out when you bought groceries and I saved them up for a very long time to trade them in on a gift for my parents for Christmas one year when I was about 8 or 9 years old. My aunt worked there for a few years too. I remember Big K, Sullivans, Super X and Kroger being there like it was yesterday. I can visualize the layouts of each of the stores too. A lot has changed since then.

    -- Posted by AmericanWoman on Wed, Jul 27, 2011, at 11:25 AM





    -- Posted by jdem on Wed, Jul 27, 2011, at 2:32 PM
  • ~American Woman,

    I had TOTALLY forgotten about Game World and FunLand!!!

    I also remember the Cooper & Martin and the whole Big Springs shopping center from the early 70's. I remember there being from left to right from Lane Pkwy: Cooper & Martin, Big K, Draper (sp?) & Darwin, and Pizza Villa. I can't remember what was in that very end beside Sullivan's. Then there was Kenwins, Super-X, and Kroger's in the other end. I just LOVED Big K, when I was a kid!

    -- Posted by cherylrichardson on Wed, Jul 27, 2011, at 4:01 PM
  • Back to the photo, I worked for the Dennis Family in 1955-56 at the United Super Market...I have since acquired a 1953 copy of "Look Magazine" which contains a several page picture story about James Dennis when his wife visited him at an Army Base near a small town in Mississippi during WWII....Does anyone know if any of the Dennis Family is still alive and if so where they live???

    -- Posted by FlaDon on Wed, Jul 27, 2011, at 4:15 PM
  • FlaDon, I am not sure if any of them are still alive or not. If I could get you to scan me a copy of that story about James Dennis, I would be willing to pay you for your trouble. Mr. Dennis (James) was a Chief Warrant Officer along with Hillard Gardner in the Tennessee Army National Guard (Shelbyville Unit) when I joined in August of 1956.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Jul 27, 2011, at 5:38 PM
  • leeii, I am in Crossville, TN until Oct 15th...When I get back to Fla I will be glad to send you a " Copy of the Story" (AT NO CHARGE)...

    -- Posted by FlaDon on Wed, Jul 27, 2011, at 8:35 PM
  • I've really got to get my husband Tom (Tommy) to get a login. These are exactly the kind of conversations he has with me (about what USED to be there) as we're driving down the road on any given day ;-)

    -- Posted by tsimmons on Wed, Jul 27, 2011, at 9:45 PM
  • Yes tsimmons please do get him involved. He will be a welcome addition to the blog. I have been trying to get a friend of mine in South Alabama actively involved. He would have a lot to add as well. Also welcome to Cattleman. I can tell that you are going to have a lot to add.

    FlaDon, Thanks, I am looking forward to getting it.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Jul 28, 2011, at 6:31 AM
  • jdem I remember the Milner's store (I think) that was in about that location. They had two sons. Joe was one and I can't remember the other.

    -- Posted by jim8377 on Thu, Jul 28, 2011, at 4:10 PM
  • The Dennis's were my great grandparents.

    Also Pizza Villa was owned by my dad ,Leon Mcclaran when Kroger was there. My step dad, Gerald Harris, owned Andys Texaco across from the super market that belonged to my family.

    -- Posted by Lisa Adams on Thu, Jul 28, 2011, at 4:10 PM
  • Wow! What wonderful recollections by so many. I also remember the Cooper & Martin grocery store. If I remember correctly, they used to give out some kind of horse racing game card with your grocery purchase and then watch the horse races on Friday nights to determine if your card was a winner. I hung out at Pizza Villa as a teen and recall that the Shelbyville record store and Moon's barber shop were also on that end of the building. There was an older black gentleman that shined shoes out in front of Moon's and he could really make that shoe shine rag keep a beat. I may be mistaken, but wasn't the Kroger store where CVS pharmacy is now? I think a KFC was also where the Chevron store is currently located. Anyone remember the Minnie Pearls over by the old Harris Middle School?

    -- Posted by Tim Lokey on Fri, Jul 29, 2011, at 11:56 PM
  • Wow Tim Lokey, you have stirred some more memories for me. I had forgotten about the record store being at that location. I was working with the crew that did the wiring and plumbing on the Minnie Pearl building. As a matter of fact the idea of using milk cans in the building of lamp posts in front of the building was my idea that was accepted by the contractor.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Sat, Jul 30, 2011, at 6:48 AM
  • Speaking of all the stores in the Big K shopping center, does anyone remember before the shopping center was built and there was an old beer joint run by (I believe) Sonny Grooms. This was before the dam and I remember seeing boats in front of the jail and what used to be Potts Motors on North Main Street. I don't remember what year it was but it must have been in the early '60's when we had a real bad flood. Times have changed.

    -- Posted by Poksalad on Sat, Jul 30, 2011, at 1:57 PM
  • Mr. Willard Baker bought the United Super Market

    from the Dennises and I believe that's when it became IGA. He had purchased the Earnhart and Tucker Grocery, where Vance Clays office is, located across from the old High School and later relocated both stores to where the current Piggly-Wiggly store is located on Union Street. I believe that location is where the bowling alley was.

    The eatery where the Chevron station is was a Pat Boone deal the best I recall not a KFC. The first KFC that I recall was where it is currently.

    The old Rebel Maid was torn down and we constructed a new building for Mr. Pete Brent and others for the KFC and Mr. Brent operated it for quite some time until they sold it to a gentleman (can't think of his name right now)who bought the franchise and pulled the building down and built the current building.

    -- Posted by walrite on Sat, Jul 30, 2011, at 2:22 PM
  • The street that ran beside the United Super Market was Jessup Place.

    I think Mr. Dennis lived on that street.

    -- Posted by cordell on Tue, Aug 2, 2011, at 10:07 AM
  • The Milners sons were Joe and Alan. Joe was married to Naomi Brandon who is Boone Brandon's sister. All moved to Tracy City after the store burnt and opened a grocery there. Alan died several years ago and Joe and Naomi had a store in Monteagle, where they resided.

    -- Posted by walrite on Tue, Aug 2, 2011, at 1:27 PM
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