Thursday, February 11, 2016

Throw Back Thursday

This is a photo of Zipp's Pharmacy located in the "new" shopping center of Allena Village in San Antonio in the 1950's.  This shopping center, built in around 1953 was in the "suburbs" but still not far from our house so we started shopping there.

The shopping center was also home to HEB grocery store, Kelly's Barber and Beauty shop, The Juvenile -- a children's clothing store, a ladies clothing store, a shoe store and, of course, Winn's -- the best 5 and 10 cent store ever.

Saturday was our shopping day for the most part and we would hit this shopping center early.  My mom would get her hair done, we would shop the clothing stores and Winn's, have lunch at the lunch counter at this very drug store and then grocery shop before going home.

We used this pharmacy until it closed -- I remember getting my pre-natal vitamins there because we lived in the neighborhood attached to this shopping center.  I also remember buying many bottles of Presco Nose Drops which I used to combat the perpetual stuffiness from perpetual allergies!

I remember the mobile library coming to this shopping center and my husband remembers a truck that would park in the parking lot and you could have your feather pillows cleaned, fluffed and restuffed.  I don't remember that.

The HEB Grocery Store was not a huge store but it was a great store -- it had a bakery, it sold records (remember records?), cosmetics and perfume -- it was one stop shopping and, sometimes, you could even get a date! That is where I met my husband way back in 1965.  Saturdays were so cool then!

So, anyway, I have fond memories of this drug store and this shopping center and this entire side of San Antonio.  It was a really nice place to grow up.

Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam by M C Beaton

Yesterday I finished reading "Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam" by M C Beaton.  I have to say that one of my favorite things is a series of books to read -- I like the continuity and the Agatha Raisin books don't disappoint -- may I say the omnipresent James Lacey?  I have to say, though, that I have been disappointed in a couple of the "episodes" if you will but not this one.  I thoroughly enjoyed the "fairies".

This episode takes Agatha to Norfolk to run away -- again -- from James.  It seems she is always running away from or toward James and I am not sure why except he seems to be a challenge for her in one way or another. Personally, I don't see it -- but to each his own.

In any event, she winds up in the village of Fryfam and smack in the middle of another mystery -- and she has fairies in the back garden of her rental.  Or does she?  She may never really know.

This book follows much the formula of all the others -- Conflict (usually James) causes Agatha to depart her cottage in Carsley.  She finds herself in the middle of some local drama -- murder seems to be a common thing in small English villages -- and she, of course, out does the local police in finding the killer and solving the mystery but not without coming quite close to finding herself pushing up daisies as well.  There is always a sub-drama as well -- in this case -- the fairies.

At the end of these books she is always suffering from some amount of regret, shame, or embarrassment and this book was no different.  She always has a moment that she chastises herself for her flight from home and swears to never leave again but, of course, she does.

These books are very formulaic but still quite enjoyable.  They are "cozy" and easy to read and nice to curl up with by the fire for a long evening of reading. However, this title ended a bit differently -- a cliff hanger in a way and....what about those fairies?

I would recommend this series to anybody who is just reading for pure pleasure.