CLOSED FOR VACATION, FLORIDA, 1954
The hand-painted sign reads: “OUR STORE WILL BE CLOSED FOR A MUCH NEEDED VACATION AT 12PM SHARP SUNDAY JULY 1st – WILL REOPEN MONDAY JULY 9th AT 7AM. The small print says “WISHING YOU A PLEASANT INDEPENDENCE DAY AND WE THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR KIND PATRONAGE AND FRIENDSHIP” signed “MARGIE AND HENRY.” This has to be Henry. Margie must be taking the picture.
A big, tasty Cuban cigar points up pursed between Henry’s lips. He sports a smart, but slouchy shirt and slacks. Right above that unexpected bleached blond hairdo of his delicious Country Club brand strawberry ice cream is pictured in a yellow bowl which goes so well with the spectacular mismatched shades of yellow Formica that finish the wall and countertop. Ribbed stainless steel-trimmed, barely padded, green Vinyl counter stools provide seating.
Hot Pastrami is 50 cents. Pictured piping hot on the “Ready-to-Serve” wall menu on the left are savory taste-treat sensations, Beef Stew, Chicken Stew, Spanish Rice, Macaroni Creole and Lamb something. I don’t know how the lamb is served, it got partly cut off by the Coke machine which sits center stage, steals the show and serves up what may well be the most famous product in history, the sparkling liquid version of caramel candy with a kick!
The sugar is half empty, the salt and pepper shakers and the ketchup bottle need refilling. But there is no need to do it right now; they’re taking the 4th of July week off.
Here’s to 4th of July, Henry and Margie, and what they had written on their sign: “WISHING YOU A PLEASANT INDEPENDENCE DAY AND WE THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR KIND PATRONAGE AND FRIENDSHIP” – I don’t know how to say it any better!