When I was a boy, Bax and Eli Randall had a store on the road in around the harbour in Shoal Harbour. I even remember an old gas pump outside saying something like 35 cents a gallon, though it wasn’t operational that I can recall.
The store had pretty much everything, building supplies (who didn’t have panel board on their living room walls from Randall’s at some point?), groceries, appliances, and many other things, plus, lots and lots of dust! Dad used to say though that Bax and Eli would rather spend hours talking about chain saws and chain saw parts than they would sell a fridge or stove! I remember going there with Dad for plugs and feeler gauges and the like for the old pioneer,and they’d pull out the parts and talk about them and show them off. There was rarely a light on, or if so, very few, always so dark and dingy. Fussels cream and Carnation milk on the shelf covered in dust. It was…. heaven!
I always heard stories about the Randall’s being “frugal” as well, no idea how much truth there was to any of them, but my favorite had to be the story about Bax bought 2 cars in St. John’s, and rather than paying someone to drive the 2nd home, he’d drive one a mile past the other and walk back and do the same over and over till he got them home!
I can still see the store now in my minds eye, not far from the old bridge as well with the double concrete loopy sides. If I remember correctly it was so narrow you used to only be able to have one car on it at a time, but that’s fuzzy now.
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