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Dollar General Cometh

John W. Pinkerton


Entertainment is some times hard to come by in a small town.     However, if you're worth your salt, you find it; the entertainment might be as ugly as homemade sin, but if you use your imagination and the materials at hand, entertainment can be found.


Being that I've got the best vantage point in Somerville from my front porch, my latest form of entertainment is watching the comings and goings at our new Dollar General.

Now, we've had a Dollar General for years, but it was in a leased building hidden away behind the B&B Grocery Store.  Apparently, they felt the need to move to a better location on Highway 36 because the competition, Family Dollar, moved in with a new building on Highway 36, a busy highway, over a year ago; so they built their own building on Highway 36.

Even the building of the new structure provided me with lots of entertainment.  It began with loads of dirt and then more loads of dirt and then even more loads of dirt until they raised the level above the natural grade by about five feet.  I knew they were serious then.

Then they raised a really nice metal building and paved with concrete a big parking lot running across the front of the building and down one side. 

It was obvious from the beginning that this wasn't the first rodeo for the  construction crews.  The day they poured the concrete parking lot was a day of great admiration by me for the crew.  Those fellows were s-o-m-e efficient.  Hell, I don't think any of them said a word all day.  They just placed rebar, poured concrete, and smoothed it out as easily as sally sliding down a pole.  It was quite a site.  They did a little touchup work the next day and were driving on it the following day.

A few weeks later the Dollar General crew began to move the stuff from the old place to the new place and voila, our new store opened.

Judging by the number of customers making their way to the new location of the Dollar Store told me that a lot of folks didn't even know we had had Dollar Store which had been cleverly hiding behind the B&B for years.

Of course, it was a little hidden and not a good location for folks on foot or on bicycles; now it's in a location a fellow can't miss it if he travels 36 north or south or he's just going to town to have a cup of coffee.

The Dollar General is a microcosm of American capitalism at work.  There is almost always delivery trucks pulling up and unloading their products to be placed in the store and bought by customers so the employees can receive their salaries and the customer uses the products until they them wear out, break them, lose them, or use them up and return to buy replacements.

Folks frequent the store via cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and on foot.  I have plenty of folks to observe.  It's as though the Dollar General folks built this addition just for my entertainment.

What a country!