A Cowboy’s Faith: Home deliveries nothing new – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Home deliveries nothing new

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Call ‘Four One Oh’ for free delivery twice daily.”

Advertised heavily, seemingly proudly promoted, was that service of Buchman’s Grocery, long gone family business in Council Grove.

Now many years later, grocery stores and other businesses are offering home deliveries. It is as if the service is new and completely unique, but that’s definitely not true.

However, not having checked out delivery service highly publicized by numerous companies, most likely it is far from “free.”

More than 60 years ago, there were nine grocery stores in the hometown, and only one promoted delivery services. However, there were a couple others who likely did deliver groceries to shut-ins and like, whether charging or not unknown.

Of course, that was a much different time as far as what it cost to offer any kind of services. New cars were about $2,700. Gasoline was a quarter a gallon or less. Employees worked for a dollar an hour. Of interest perhaps, stamps were six cents, and grocery store milk was a dollar a gallon.

Morning grocery deliveries were at 10:30, and must be completed before customer’s dinnertime. Afternoon deliveries started at 5 o’clock.

Sometimes three deliveries would be made on Saturday, since the store was closed Sunday. Before holidays, especially weekends when the store would be closed two days, generally four deliveries were made the prior day.

Through the years, several different vehicles were used for delivering groceries. Earliest memory is of a tan Keiser coupe. “Bigtime” was the turquoise ’57 Chevrolet panel wagon with the store’s name and phone number painted brightly on both sides. After that, various station wagons with storage racks on top were driven for grocery deliveries.

There was no limit on the size of purchase. Many times, a customer only wanted milk or bread. One lady, “This is me,” would call for delivery of a 25-cents package of cigarettes. Yet other customers ordered several large boxes of groceries to be delivered.

The delivery boy, wannabe cowboy going with Dad, without knocking would tromp in homes and set groceries on the counter. Items were sometimes put right in the customer’s refrigerator.

“Thank you. Call again.”

“There’s nothing new under the sun,” always higher costs, with very little done for “free.”

Reminded of Isaiah 60:12: “Doors will always be open for receiving deliveries from grocery boys.”


Frank 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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