01. June 2012 · Comments Off on Old Time General Store · Categories: Domestic, Old West · Tags: , ,

Visiting the Bergheim General Store and Post Office is a bit like going back in time to what a general mercantile over a hundred years ago. The Bergheim General Store is itself 109 years old; it stocks a a little bit of everything, and everything in it’s place on densely-packed on the shelves. The aisles are narrow, much of the place is erratically lit — in places with neon beer signs. No where is there any shred of conventional 20th century marketing wisdom … nor does there need to be, as there doesn’t seem to be any other retail outlet for ten or fifteen miles in any direction save for the gas station quickie-mart about a block away. So it is the best source for catfish bait, a couple of potatoes, soft drinks, jeans, work cloves, odd bits of hardware, cured sausage, vegetable seeds, a quart of milk and a pair of pliers for all those people who don’t want to drive to Boerne or Bulverde for it. Four generations of the same family have been running the place since 1903, so it’s pretty safe to say that they know what they are doing. Aside from having electricity and air conditioning introduced sometime in the last 109 years, the inside is pretty much as it was when built: plain narrow-board floors, plain whitewashed/painted stone walls. It’s a trip back in time – and I found it very useful in visualing the various general stores that the Becker and Richter families started at the end of the Civil War. And there will be more in the next book, too – about Magda and Hansi’s commercial ventures. I don’t know when I’ll have The Quivera Trail done, but it’s up to eight chapters this week.