The Way Things Used to Be

OLD MUNDAY BUSINESSES I REMEMBER
Published in the Munday (TX) Courier
July 12, 2006

When my grandfather, George Randolph (Dolph) Eiland brought his bride Elsie and his baby daughter Barbara – my mother – to Munday in 1917 his older sister Daisy Blanton and brother David Ansel Eiland and his younger brother Clarence Allen Eiland and sister Cora Hathaway all already lived there.
Uncle Dave was the town barber (and I understand also the town drunk). I don’t know where his shop was, since he was gone by the time of my earliest memories in the mid-1940’s. His older son Chase was the doctor there from before I was born until his death in the 1960’s, whereupon Chase’s son David Chase moved back home and took over his practice. Chase’s mother Aunt Exie – who married Charlie Moorehouse sometime during my childhood – served as nurse both for him and for David.
I don’t know what business Uncle Clarence was in when my grandfather (Gampaws to all of us) moved there, but they founded the Eiland Drug Store soon afterward. Gampaws also co-owned an insurance agency and had some involvement in the bank – in addition to farming full-time.
By the time I was born, they had sold the drug store to Leland Hannah, who ran it until sometime in the 1960’s as I recall, always retaining the Eiland name. I treasure my memories of going into the drug store and visiting with Leland, who always went out of his way to be nice to me – and presumably to everyone who came in. To this day I’ve never had any ice cream as good as the hand-packed ice cream he sold at the drug store.
About a block and a half east of the drug store was Atkinson’s Grocery, which had a huge walk-in meat locker. Since my visits to Munday were mainly in the summer when school was out, and since very few buildings were air-conditioned until the mid- to late- 1950’s, that meat locker was my favorite place in the whole town.
The City Grill was located on the south corner of the block on the east side of the square. My grandmother, whom my older sister dubbed “Mimi,” always took me there for lunch a time or two during my visits, and I always loved the place.
The Roxy Theater and the Sunset Drive-in were regular treats, too. Mimi would sometimes leave me at the Roxy to watch a movie while she did whatever things grandmothers did, and she would always take me to the Sunset at least once during my visit. Being a city boy, I always thought it strange that the Roxy ran advertisements between the features. I’d never seen that in Fort Worth.
Mona Holcomb had a beauty shop in a small building behind her house, where Mimi went for her weekly hair doings. Mona’s son James was my age, and I always played with him while she was getting her hair done.
Another business I remember well was the Snack Shack. My memory is that it was opened sometime in the 1950’s, and it was a favorite stop on the way to the drive-in – or any other time I could talk Mimi into going. I loved the super dogs they served there. I’d had corn dogs in Fort Worth, but never the flour-battered super dogs.
When I’ve been through Munday the last couple of decades or so, I haven’t seen much that was familiar. Charles Baker doesn’t even have his insurance agency any more. Sad.

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