10 September 2011

The Real Nicknames of Guernsey County, #3

not the real Byesville, but like that...
street not so wide and well paved, shorter buildings
At Byesville Elementary, they let the 5th and 6th graders go downtown for lunch. Downtown was a block away, turn left and that one block there in front of you was downtown. Both sides of the street.

There is no longer a downtown Byesville. The buildings are still there but they're boarded up or window-waxed. Back in the day, my dad's grocery store was there in the middle of things. I still look at the building when I go past. I worked for my dad from age 8 to age 14. I was a kick-ass cashier at 10, and that was back when you had to make change.

In the 60s and 70s, downtown was booming in our little village of a thousand. All us kids went to the "Cue Stick." I can't remember if there was a pool table there. It has only just occurred to me that there must have been. I probably didn't notice because I classify pool as a sport and block it out.

The Cue Stick offered pool (assumed, see above), pinball machines, probably some other stuff, and a lunch counter. Behind the counter were Pops and Mom Daniels. I know Pops' real name was Vince, Vince Daniels. I never heard Mom called anything but Mom, even by Pops. Mom was nearly blind and had glasses so thick that her eyes were like fish swimming in there. Mom really deserved her nickname. She bustled about and mom'd us all a lot. And she always had Pops' back at the counter.

Pops and Mom mostly sold candy at the counter, which I felt obliged to buy in copious amounts because, hey, they had to make a living. They also offered hot dogs and some other food things I can't remember.

The best thing they had to eat, besides candy, was when they would take one of those small Fritos bags and slit it down the side and ladle a dollop of chili into it and sell it for 25 cents. Oh, man. To this day, I go get Fritos if I'm going to eat chili.

A lady who needs no introduction...
Miss! Rose! Marie!
So Pops and Mom had quite a little gig going for themselves. And when Pops was feeling particularly exuberant, he would play piano while we all milled around. (Oh, yeah. There was a piano. I block out pianos, too.) Pops told us he used to play in dance sessions for Rose Marie. We were impressed. He had a signed picture of her. (That's the only way we knew who Rose Marie was--Oh, yeah, she's "Sally!" In Dick Van Dyke! We know Buddy and Sally!)

Winding up, I see that this story is not so much about the nicknames, but about the Cue Stick and Pops and Mom and the time of Buddy and Sally. I hope Pops and Mom had a good life right up to the end. They were a helluva lot of fun when I was little.


  1. Man, I love Rose Marie! When I was a kid, I was sure I was going to grow up to be Sally: a single career woman, semi-desperately searching for a husband. Just not as funny as her. . .

  2. PIZZA!!! Vince made pizza. He had a little toaster oven that he did it in. I remember the picture of Rose Marie. He was proud of that picture. I couldn't remember the name of their shop until I read this blog entry. The Cue Stick.
    So your dad owned Ramages Grocery? It was there by Jacks Surplus City. My mom always bought us our high top Converse there.
    And somewhere across the street was The Town Tavern...owned by a Neff, I believe. It is so good to read about my old home town.