To the Editor,
Mike, I was just thinking back to the busy profitable town of years ago that was Sikeston. We didn't have electric overhead stop signs, but at the busiest times, especially on Saturday, we had Johnny Taylor directing traffic at intersections downtown. There was parking on both sides of the streets. The block on the corner of Kingshighway and Malone North had the first self service grocery store, Wards, across the South side and on the north we had James Drugstore, Vogue Dress Shop, Chas: Butlers Grocery, later sold to Lay Roberts, and a wonderful little eating place belonging to Mr. Agee who made the best beef stew ever. Across the street, Front Street, we had a barber shop on the corner, Derris Drug Store with an ice cream counter and tall stools.
Mrs. Bowman made the best pie ever. Yanson Jewelers, three Kroger Stores, one on Front Street, one where Sikes Sports is and one where Huff Insurance on Malone is. Buckner-Ragsdale occupied two floors of merchandise, Sikes Hardware also occupied two floors. J.C.Penney covered three floors of shopping. We had a Sterling and Woolworth Dime Store. Along with the other groceries we had an A&P managed by Lawrence Cleek. Then there was Palace Cafe where Collins Music is at this time. There were many young men in the training at the Harvery Parks airport to come into town. And of course, there was the Malone & Rex Theaters. For less than a dollar you could spend all afternoon on Saturday at the Rex and have popcorn and a soda or when you got off work late you could go to the midnight movie at the Malone. We had Mitchell Sharp Car Sales, Lair Furniture Store, Chips Shoe Store, Stovers Bicycle & Hardware, Banks of Sikeston, The Depot and trains running North & South and East & West. We were a busy community. There was so much for us to keep busy with the Cotton Oil Mill, Reiss Dairy, The Shoe Factory, Scott County Milling Co. There was also the daily newspapers Daily Standard (who could forget the Polecat Column) and Herald. We looked forward to the Cotton Carnival in the fall. It was in Malone Park and the Depot lot. Neighbors would visit, window shop and eat the best ever fish sandwiches. We were a farming community so we had John Deere, Allis Chalmer and International Harvester Sales & Service. The original Lambert's must have been on the South side of Main & Malone Intersection. You could go riding with your friends when we all shared in a dollars worth of gas.
Where have the years gone? I think I wish for the simplicity of those lost years.