When I was young and living on the East Coast we had a routine every Saturday morning in which my mother, my older brother and I would go grocery shopping at Pegnataro’s Supermarket (regulars simply called it Peg’s). We traveled in our 1975 tan Chevy Impala and I enjoyed every minute of it. Life hadn’t reared it’s sometimes ugly head yet. I remember the market smelled of fresh cheese and meats and fresh baked bread. I didn’t mind going every week due in no small part to me having a wide open calendar (I was 7).
It’s ironic that Peg’s referred to itself as a ‘Super’ market when in comparison to present times it was approximately one-sixteenth the size of today’s super center that sells salami, ham, cheese, car tires and winter gloves all under one roof. There was something special about Peg’s. I think it was that they sold food…fresh food, frozen food, canned food, food, food and nothing other than food. No duct tape, no recliners, no garden hoses or cinder blocks.
Peg’s is something I’d like to revisit but it no longer exists. Times were different, much fewer chain stores made for a more unique shopping experience. ‘Cookie Cutter’ was not in our vocabulary unless we were making cookies.
From my recollection I was content. I was unaffected by the world as I hadn’t experienced life’s occasional and sometimes too often trials & tribulations. In the 1970s we clearly had fewer choices: Imagine driving 6 miles and never seeing a strip mall or a corporate, five-dollar-coffee joint?
The memory is sweet: less traffic, less cars, NICER cars and paper grocery bags. With today’s technology, endless choices and giganty-marts, these times in theory should be better than the seventies. I don’t feel that they are.