We had a store, or what we called a commissary, on the farm which was quite common in rural communities because they provided the basic necessities that had to be bought by the workers and by our family as well. What happened, usually, was that the purchases were on credit. And payment for the different items were made on payday, or sometimes even at the end of the season when the crops were harvested.
The stores were convenient for three reasons: One, they were close by and most of the transportation was on foot. Secondly, the land owner, the larger ones, owned the store and wanted to make a profit on items sold. And third, the people who lived on the farm or nearby, quite often had no credit rating in town. Whereas a land owner, that owned the store, would know them and if they wanted to buy a pair of shoes or a shirt or some tobacco they didn’t have to worry about credit because they had ready credit, since the landowner knew them well and since the landowner knew that when he paid them for their work he could collect the bill.
This store was not kept open all the time but it was open all day Saturday, because that was a day for major purchases, that was the day when workers were paid and when they paid off what they owed. The rest of the week the store was closed except when anyone wanted to make any kind of purchase. Both we and they were out of the fields during mealtimes. So almost every time I ever sat down at a meal, someone knocked on the back door and wanted to make a purchase from the store, my daddy would throw the keys across the table to me, I would get up and miss part of the meal, walk out to the store, unlock it, sell five cents worth of chewing tobacco or a bottle of castor oil or two pounds of sugar, make a ticket showing that the person had bought something on credit, lock the store back up, then go back to our meal. I hardly ever remember going through an entire meal without having to be interrupted to go to the store and open it to make a sale.