The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 10:54 am Thursday, July 18, 2019

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  • “Mocksville in the 1950s”

    By Linda H. Barnette

    One of my favorite things to do when I was growing up was to go to the Saturday afternoon matinees at the Princess Theater uptown. My cousin and I walked from our homes on Church Street to the theater on Main Street close to what is now Scoops. Mr. and Mrs. Fowler, who lived on Wilkesboro Street beside of the Hicks family, were the owners of the theater and were very nice folks.  I think the tickets were $.25.  They always showed news clips, keeping us all aware of world events, before the main feature.  In those innocent times, the movies were often cowboy movies like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, the Lone Ranger, and also the Tarzan series. Going to see those movies was the highlight of my week!

    As for shopping, we went to Mr. Phil Johnson’s market, also uptown on Main Street. Mr. Johnson was short and had white hair and wore glasses.  I recall that he walked very slowly.  My cousin Larry Smith was the butcher during his teenage years.  Because Mr. Johnson did not have all of the things that we needed, so sometimes we went to Salisbury to the A and P store. I remember that we got coffee there.  When we went, Mother and I enjoyed lunch at the counter at Woolworth’s as a special treat.  Later, Hefner’s opened a grocery store on the corner of Court Square.  After a few years, B. C. Moore’s store opened in that spot, and Hefner’s built a new store where the Family Life Center of the First United Methodist Church is now.  Hefner’s gave Green Stamps, and mother and my grandmother glued those stamps into little books until they got enough to buy something they wanted, so we went to Winston to redeem them.

    As I grew up, my friends and I would get off the bus after school in the afternoons and gather in the Soda Shoppe on Main Street. We were typical teenagers for that time and enjoyed a little freedom from parental eyes.  My favorite place, however, was Wilkins Drugstore because they had delicious cherry cokes!

    When Mother and I went shopping, we always went to C. C. Sanford’s store.  It had about everything that anyone could want, including a furniture section upstairs. My aunt, Katherine Poole, worked there, but Mrs. Holtshouser was definitely in charge of women’s clothing!  Every year she organized a fashion show, one of Mocksville’s most popular events.  She always asked me to be a model, probably because I was tall and thin.  Even though I was quite shy, I enjoyed the fashion shows, and it was never difficult to persuade Daddy to buy at least one outfit for me!

    When we went out to eat, we usually went to C. Ward’s BBQ.  We went there fairly often after mother started working at public work and did not have a lot of time to cook.  She worked at Christine’s Gift Shop on the square.  Christine’s was a gift shop that primarily sold china, crystal, and silverware.  Each payday Mother would purchase one piece of china or crystal or silver until she had settings for 8 in them all.  I recall the pride that she had in those beautiful possessions.  A very special memory is when Mother asked me to use all her pretty things for Christmas dinner in 1997.  How happy I am that I did because that was her last Christmas at home.

    In the front of her shop, Christine’s husband, Leslie Daniel, had a men’s clothing section.  My uncle Kermit Smith worked there until he was elected Register of Deeds for Davie County.

    One by one, these stores went out of business and were replaced by newer and different ones.  Only those of us who are older remember those times, those places, and those people.

    “Yadkin Memorial Park”

    By N. R. Tucker

    Not too long ago, my hiking partners and I checked out a couple of in-town trails. One can be found at 1142 Crystal Lane, Yadkinville, NC, with access to Lake Hampton. This destination has the amenities I expect at a town park: restrooms, picnic tables, and a playground. It also boasts fishing and kayaks for rent. There is no swimming allowed, and, in total, has a little over three miles of trails. The goal was not a long hike. We simply wanted to stretch our legs someplace new.

    I didn’t have high expectations for this location. It turns out, I was wrong. For me, the big draw of this park was the birds. Herons and other water-loving birds were plentiful on the water and viewable from the trails that followed the curvature of the lake. Dragonflies and butterflies were also easy to find but not so easy to photograph. Are they ever? Next time, I might take my camera out in a kayak and see just how close the herons will let me get. They seemed very accustomed to people in kayaks on the water.

    The trails were easy, well-marked, and had something for everyone. The paved trail was popular with families while natural paths provided the illusion of being away from everyone. As always, I was fond of the rustic, shaded trails. As luck would have it, those were the ones that took me to the best views of the herons.

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    “Midnight Swim”

    By Julie Terry Cartner

    The moon, this night, it cast a golden beam,

    Across still, silent waters, gentle waves,

    Then dark and surf drenched sand. The beach agleam

    With light entices me, my path it paves.

    As if entranced I follow midnight’s lure.

    I slowly walk upon the moonlit trail,

    Then into cool, clear water, oh so pure,

    Surrounded by delight, a fairy tale!

    Sea horses, mermaids, dolphins, silvery fish,

    They come in droves beguiling me to play

    And seem to say they’d grant my every wish

    Not knowing that my dreams were filled that day.

    To frolic with sea creatures real and dreamt

    My heart forever full, I am content.

    “Rintz’s Store”

    By Billy Rintz (Guest Writer)

    Recent mention of Rintz’s 5 Cents to $5.00 Store on Facebook and by a member of the Renegade Writers Guild has brought back good memories for others and for me.  It was my parents’ store and where I learned how to treat people, count back change, arrange window displays, create Easter baskets, and much, much more!

    What became known as “Mrs. Rintz’s store” didn’t begin that way. My father, Frank, came to NC looking for a dime store to buy. He found it in Mocksville, opened the store in April, 1958, and moved our family there from Baltimore the following June. Shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent the next 18 months at the sanatorium in Black Mountain, NC. Hence, it fell to my mother, Hilda, to manage the store.

    One might say the dime store was a forerunner of Walmart.  In a way, it was because within that small space one could find everything from candy to coloring books, model cars to make-up, paint to plastic flowers, Old Spice to oilcloth, and cowboy gloves to girdles.

    The biblical book of Ecclesiastes declares that everything has a season.  Rintz’s store did, and what a season it was!  With her health no longer allowing her to work full-time and a small family store not able to compete with big box stores, my mom closed Rintz’s at the end of 1988.  But during that nearly 30 years, the store enabled my parents to build a home, put their son through school, and create some retirement income.  Even more, it left hearts full of memories and friends!

    “What Means Most”

    By Stephanie Williams Dean

    It’s the little things that say so much whether it be a smile, a card in the mail, a phone call, a handwritten letter, a thank you note, an invitation for lunch, or a token gift. Acts of kindness often mean the most. I want to take this time to thank our readers for the thoughtful messages and letters you’ve written, the positive comments you’ve made, and the encouraging support you’ve shown members of the Renegade Writers Guild.

    For more information on Renegade Writers Guild, please go to

    Renegade Writers Guild requests your memories: Please submit a favorite memory of life in Davie County. Submission is to be typed and no more than 250 words.  Include your name, address, and phone number. Any entry published will receive $10, and we retain reprint rights. Email to

    A trip to the beach with the family was a wonderful distraction last week. Relaxing. Fun. Bonding.

Growing up in the 60s, I remember we would take a trip to Kure Beach every couple of years. We always stayed in a cottage, right on the sand.

Not so any more. Nowadays, and for good reason, the houses are built well above ground, on stilts if you will. The houses aren’t right on the sand, but in most cases, behind or on the sand dunes. It’s the right thing to do if you don’t want Mother Nature taking your vacation home out into the sea.

The houses now are spacious and well appointed. All have air conditioning. Back in the 60s, air conditioning was an open window. You hoped it included screens to keep out the “no see ‘ums,” those little flies or bugs that love to bite into human flesh. Last week, I don’t remember seeing – or feeling – even one no see ‘um. After a hot day on the beach, it feels good to relax in air-conditioned comfort; although I suspect we stayed outdoors more back then because of the lack of air conditioning.

Going to the beach last week wasn’t hard, but it was a chore. It’s amazing how much stuff four adults and a child take to the beach. A tent to provide shade. Chairs for all. Beach toys for the little one. A cooler full of cold beverages and ice. Sandwiches. Snacks. Hats. Towels. Music. It took one overloaded pull cart and a golf cart to get the job done.

As a child, you went to the beach with a towel. That’s right. A towel. Nothing else. If you got wet, you had a towel to dry off. If you wanted to lay down, you spread your towel on the sand and parked your butt right there. If your towel became sandy and wet, well, you had a sandy and wet towel. Back at the cottage, the towels would hang on a clothes line across the front porch every evening – waiting for the next day at the beach.

Thirsty? No reaching into the cooler then. You went back to the cottage for a drink. Luckily, those cottages were on the sand, right at the beach, and not too far of a walk.

I like the modern ways of going to the beach much better, especially as I age.

Once, I craved the sun. I played and worked outside wearing as few clothes as possible. The sun was my friend.

Not any more. Now, most of us avoid the sun – or in the least, wear sunblock. We hadn’t heard of sunblock back in the day. We had suntan lotions, coconut smelling concoctions that helped the sun seep into our skin. We were pretty much basting ourselves like a turkey at Thanksgiving.

On that front too, the modern ways are better.

Even getting to the beach has changed. It’s four lanes of interstate highways most of the way to beaches now. Back then, it was two lanes and a visit through every small downtown along the way, complete with their stoplights and small town police officers. Now is much quicker, but you don’t get to see as much of America. I’m not sure which of those are better.

Anyway, it’s summer. The kids are home from school. And it’s beach time for many families.

Enjoy. But stay cool, stay hydrated, stay away from the no see ‘ums, and keep that sunblock handy.

– Mike Barnhardt