Stories of the South - Mantee, MS Part III George's Market and Farm Supply
Saturdays growing up was the day we went to town. Mom and Dad both worked in Starkville but we did very little shopping in Starkville. I’ve grown to understand this as an adult. I work in Columbus during the week and the last thing I want to do on the weekends is drive back! Mom grew up in Houston so she would rather shop there, and still does. Dad grew up spending his summers in Woodland while my grandfather was in the Air Force so Chickasaw County is home to both of them and we like to support our friends and family. So Saturdays were spent going to the BANK and buying groceries. Mantee was where we could do all of that for a long time. We also usually needed to get some feed or fencing or something for the farm from George’s Market and Farm Supply which was fine with me. I loved going there as a kid. It was the definitive meeting spot for all the farmers in the county and the area around the big long counter usually had two or three farmers shooting the breeze, talking cattle and crops, and how Cumberland or Houston were going to do that year in football. I also knew if I went with Daddy we were going to split a Snickers bar and a coke in a real glass bottle. I’d watch the traffic and what was going on at Springer’s Service Station and Daddy would talk to Mr. John Harold and Mr. Johnny George. Mr. John Harold George Sr. and Mr. John (Johnny) Harold George Jr. owned and ran the store. Mr. Johnny George ran the store himself for 23 years until it closed around 1999. As his obituary stated he was a true gentleman and a Vietnam Vet who earned a Bronze Star for his service. To this day I can still see him behind the counter patiently listening to my spill about what I was selling for school that day and smiling as he pulled out a couple of dollars or five to buy some candy or donate to St. Jude’s. He passed away much too young in 2003 at 56. The store is empty now but how I wish I could go in just one more time.