Fingerprints on a Glazed Donut

Start with the grocery stores. Safeway was the only real show in town at first. Reynold’s was a couple of blocks east of Safeway, it was kind of dingy. I enjoyed going there though, because there was a giant swordfish mounted above the exit. The fish was removed when Reynold’s became Olmstead’s.

Star’s was notable for their bakery. We stopped there after church most Sundays. The eight of us would gather in front of the display case and one at a time tell the clerk which donut we wanted. “I’ll have a bear claw. . . Not that one. The big one, in front of it.” The clerk, behind the counter, reached into the case and plucked our choices up with a square of waxed paper. Karen didn’t like donuts, she got an apple turn-over instead.

One Sunday we were surprised to see the bakery section had been moved from the back to a self-service display near the cash register. We stopped short in front of the donuts glowing dully in their glass case. Eventually one of us took the initiative to unfold one of the paper boxes that were stashed in a little shelf next to a box of those waxed tissue squares. The spell was broken and we opened the glass doors reverently to reach inside (some of us leaving fingerprints in our donut’s glaze, others carefully using one of the waxed tissue squares). Star’s changed hands several times and was called alternately, Star Foodland, Steve’s Star Foods, and Star Food City, though the Main Street Star Foodland reader board stayed in place through each name change. My dad called Star’s, “Rock’s” a few times throughout the years. Rock’s was the store’s name at some point before my memory begins.

A few years after opening on the west side of town, Grandview Food Center become a Red Apple Market franchise. It was a big well-lit supermarket like Safeway.

Mary’s Mini-mart was kiddy-corner from Safeway. We stopped at the drive-through window a couple of times a week to pick up milk. The store was sold and renamed Mae’s Mini-mart for a year or two, before Mary bought it back. My parents said that the new owners had always been rude, but they always gave the kids Tootsie-Rolls or Jolly Ranchers when we came in with our parents. It seems like the reader board outside Mary’s said “ICF CREAM CONES” for years.

The full service Mobil gas stations became Texaco stations. When they were full service stations I always watched the attendant clean the windshield with a squeegee and a blue paper towel – perfectly and efficiently each time, like a haircut. I always thought it was odd when the attendant would pull a wiper blade back to clean underneath – it didn’t seem like they should would bend that way.

Patnode’s True-Value Hardware became Rider’s True-Value Hardware. The Riders’ put up a whole new wood panel facade in front; but inside it was the same as it had always been, giant tubs of nails and screws.

The Western Auto franchise started carrying Ace Hardware inventory and changed their name to Valley Western, which doesn’t really roll off the tongue.

Hubby’s Pizza broke from the small regional chain and became Morrie’s Pizza. The round “H” sign outside was painted over so that it was just a big white dot.

There was a little ’50s-style A & W Drive-in across the street from Hubby’s. You could place an order from your car, there was a menu/intercom setup at each parking spot. The food was brought out to the car on a tray that hooked onto the open car window. A & W was renamed Dietrich’s and was eventually torn down. A new Dietrich’s, with indoor seating, was built on the same lot. It was later sold and renamed Eli and Kathy’s.

Across town the tiny L & L drive-through remained vacant for as far back as I can remember. It was reopened when I was in high school. I believe it closed down again shortly before I moved.

The Dime Store is imprinted deep into my memory. I remember buying a single piece of black construction paper there to make a magic wand with. It closed very early in my memory and was replaced with a bakery or a cafe I think – I never went there. The new place closed and I can’t remember what took its place.

I don’t remember exactly what Bonanza 88 sold. It became White Front at some point, and later a 99 cent store.

Chuck’s Classic Barber Shoppe was the only barber shop in town until DK’s was opened. DK’s moved to a storefront around the corner and another barber named Chuck moved into DK’s old spot. DK’s closed, the new Chuck moved his shop to a spot on Main Street, and the barber who took over Classic Chuck’s shop when he retired was named Dennis Miller.

That was Grandview, 1980-94 or so.

5 thoughts on “Fingerprints on a Glazed Donut

  1. Just a note regarding Bonanza 88 cent Store. My mother was the soft goods lady at their store in Caldwell,Idaho during the seventies and eighties. I even worked their on Christmas around 1981. they sold toewls, household items, candy, and lot of the things you find in the dollar stores today. They were owned at them time by Washington wholesalers out of Washington State. You can get ahold of me at my email address. Thank You!
    Dated February 11, 2004

  2. my wife and i owned star foods from 1982 to 1996, we truely enjoyed all are custermers and are workers from that time . the bakery was always a joy to watch the young people come in and comment on the size of the apple friters! we truely was blessed with the good bakers we where able to have. we miss the way the town was in the early 80’s

  3. Another note re Bonanza 88 – – I was working for Washington Wholesalers at the time the Grandview store opened (1981 I believe) and helped with the grand opening. I then was transfered to the Yakima store, then Walla Walla, then back to Grandview as manager. We sold clothing and other softgoods as well as hardware, health and beauty aids, etc. I left Bonanza and went to work for Pinnell Office Equipment and stayed in Grandview for about 8 years, moving back to Spokane in 1989. Bonanza eventually entered bankruptcy and most of the the locations became new homes for Yellow Front stores. I now am a swimming pool contractor in San Felipe Mexico. I loved Grandview and miss it. Anyone who recognizes my name, drop me a line at JoeandSueClark@yahoo.com.

  4. The Riders did not put up the wood on the outside of the hardware store Francis Patnode did just like his brothers store in Benton city I enjoyed the page thanks

  5. Hey, finding this was fun … I grew up in Grandview at just about this very same time. I remember all those same places. Let’s see … Grandview Food Center / Red Apple Market was where I went to buy comic books. Western Auto was where my dad and grandfather would go to get whatever they need to buy to make or fix whatever they were making or fixing and I got the penny gum from the machine by the doors. Hubby’s of course had all the video games. Bonanza 88 had, well … various things. I remember when the new Masters of the Universe or Transformers figures would show up there and all my friends would try to figure out how to get their moms to take them there after school so they could get ‘Trap Jaw’ before it sold out.

    I ended up coming back to Grandview for a while about 6 yrs ago and it was just not the same. Oh well, stuff changes I guess.

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