A Cowboy’s Faith: Free delivery twice daily

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.A grocery store delivery boy knows every house and every street in the rural town to get there.

Oh, don’t ever ask what the name of the street is, that’s really insignificant. But, those back alleys with the gravel are usually the best and easiest to get to most homes.

Front doors are visitor’s entrance, but the back door generally leads onto the porch right into the kitchen. That’s the best route to deliver groceries.

When parents run a grocery store, the son is expected to do everything there is to be done. From the time could walk would always go with Dad delivering groceries.

Morning delivery was at 10:30, so customers had what they needed for dinner. Afternoon delivery, at 5 o’clock, arrived before supper.

At least three deliveries were made on Saturday, because the store was always closed Sunday. Another run was often made during holiday weekends, or just if somebody called and wanted groceries.

Most days the delivery wagon was packed full with orders. Sometimes there just wasn’t enough room for everything with several filled boxes going to one home.

So those on the west side of town went first, and then back for deliveries east of the Neosho River bridge. Wednesday deliveries sometimes only had half dozen orders twice a day.

First delivery wagon remembered was a cream-colored Kaiser. It was replaced by a specially ordered 1957 Chevrolet panel wagon complete with rear wings. Turquoise in color, broad side panels had big bright red lettering advertising: “Buchman’s Grocery, Free Delivery Twice Daily, Call 410.”

After that, every few years a new station wagon was brought into service. A rack on top displayed the store advertising and provided more room for groceries to be delivered. Be careful though, they can blow off sometimes.

When new employees were hired for delivering, the bosses’ dependable carryout boy who knew where everybody lived was the trainer.

After getting a learners permit, yet not old enough to drive alone, store workers would ride along at delivery time. One lady never could understand why the back route was always taken on the evening delivery to see the horses.

A great day getting a driver’s license and putting to official use lifetime of practice.

Reminded of Isaiah 60:14: “Doors will be open receiving deliveries from the delivery boy.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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