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Lillies Drugstore Car Hop


© Lessie Jeane Earnest Roark

In 1936, my Mother worked at the City Hall, almost a block from Lillies drug store, and knowing Foress Lillie, she decided to talk to him about a job for me in the summer.

I turned 13 in May, and Mother thought that it was time for me to learn to earn money. Foress decided that he would do something very new and different and have a car hop sit outside to wait on customers. I was to go inside for their order and ring it up on the big old cash register that sat at the end of the soda fountain, which was on the left as you entered the store.

This was fun until one day I got a shock from the register, then I always dreaded it and would stand there until I got up the nerve to punch it real fast. Now, this is very funny to me.

I sat on one of the old soda fountain chairs, on the east side of the entry. I found this lots of fun and when not busy, I liked watching people go by. The only time that I wished that I did not work was when my friends would drive up and down and wave and yell at me, all in fun.

I took out cokes, rootbeer floats, sodas and ice cream as well as merchandise, but, as usual, something had to spoil things.

One day a man drove in and motioned for me and I went to his car window and he asked me to get a certain article for him. An article that I had never heard of in my life. But, I remembered the words and when I repeated them to Mr. Lillie, he came running out from where he was putting up medicines in the back, and started questioning me on who the person was and had me point to him.

Mr. Lillie was furious and went outside to the car, bawled the man out and told him to leave. I was so scared but later found out that the man had asked for a very personal thing that men use. Mr Lillie was so patient and kind to me to make sure that I was not upset, or felt in the blame. He was a very nice man.

Then, one day, during the daytime, a driver was getting into their car and had the door wide open, to long. Another driver swept in, caught the door and pushed the first car up and over the curb and into the glass window, doing quite a bit of damage. Mr. Lillie was so upset, but mostly afraid for me, but I was fine as I had just gone into the store. Otherwise, I would have been sitting there.

After these incidents, Mr. Lillie decided that it was a big risk to have a car hop, so my short career ended and as far as I know, they never had another.

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Updated: Friday, 08-Aug-2008 10:21:08 CDT

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