Junior Fair BBQ again a big success Beulah B James Senior Profile: Josie Myers Lady Indians place second at Ohio Classic in Hillsboro MVCA dominates Greyhounds in 45-0 triumph For Lady Devils, SHAC streak goes to 55 matches 9/11: Sixteen years later Gertrude Gibson Defender Bowl coming Sept. 16 Joyce A Walker Virginia R Young Senior Profile: Abby Campton West Union hosts 2017 Dragon Run New gridiron history begins for Peebles Trout, fire, and blueberry fields forever Senior Profile: Baylee Justice Lady Devils win SHAC thriller at Eastern Brown From Blue Creek to the Beaneaters Tough loss for Greyhounds in season opener Turning tragedy into hope What we learn from failure Absolutely had to get the wrinkles out Frances S Kidder Leo Trotter 41st Bentonville Festival set to begin Sept. 8 Winchester celebrates its history during three-day street fair Cruisefest returning to streets of Peebles Blue Creek- a community in transition honors its history and heritage Cuteness Galore – Winchester Homecoming Festival Baby Show Ronnie L Day Cast your vote for the Adams County Fairgrounds Nelson E Atkinson Ryan L Colvin Richard Tackett William L Tadlock Penny Pollard Wendell Beasley West Union soccer drops pair at Mason County Lady Indians go down in straight sets Senior Profile: Michael Gill Senior Profile: Katie Sandlin Royals dominate in big win over North Adams Dragons continue County Cup domination Archaeology Day returns to Serpent Mound Hourglass Quilt Square is back up again Manchester family hosts International Guests History, farming, and family- the bedrock of Cherry Fork’s community Bus drivers, emergency responders prepare for coming school year Working up a real good sweat What’s behind the motive? Rondal R Bailey Jr Thelma J Yates She’s all grown up now Scott A Yeager Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins Volleyball, soccer previews coming this weekend Michael A Cheek

Ross Grocery closes in Manchester

There’s something magical about a small neighborhood store that leads to nostalgic musings about childhood, nickel Cokes, and penny bubble gum. Every town had one, or even two, of these little shops that offered a variety of necessary items forgotten on the weekly trip to the grocery store. Neighborhood kids came and went, trading pop bottles for dimes and dimes for soda pops. Moms and Dads dropped in to pick up a loaf of bread, a carton of milk, or a pound of bologna. These little shops with wooden floors, dinging doors, and tall metal registers were as American as apple pie and baseball, and seemed just as permanent, but they were not.

When Jerry and Beverly Ross locked up their small neighborhood store on Jan. 26, they closed the door on a piece of Manchester history. Their family had maintained a business at 309 West 4th Street since 1964, when Wilson Ross bought the property and set up a TV repair business.

“Dad decided to start selling snacks and pop to his customers,” Jerry explained, “People would come in to have their TV’s fixed, and they’d buy food. He kept adding more grocery items, and then, after a while, went strictly with groceries.”

The two story clapboard building that housed the Ross family business was built in the early 20th century. It began as a grocery store, but over the years it also served as a furniture store, and a private residence.

Growing up, Jerry Ross and his sister Elaine worked in the store along side their parents. “Dad started the business when I was 10 years old. One of us always had to be there when he went out on a call, we’d watch the store and answer the phone,” Jerry recalled.

When the elder Ross passed away in 1984, Jerry continued to operate the landmark establishment that became famous for its flavored slushies.

“I’ve lived less than two blocks away from the grocery for most of my life and since I was a kid I have been making the short trip during warm weather for the watermelon slushies,” said Sierra Farley, of Manchester, “I’m 20 now and any time I am home or babysitting, it was still a must to walk down the street for the watermelon slushie. When I found out the store was closing, it was definitely bittersweet. I am thankful for the childhood memories but home will be a little different knowing that those 25 cent slushies aren’t just a short walk away any more.”

Ross, like so many other small businesses, is bowing out to corporate mega stores and 24- hour convenience quick-shops. “People like the bigger, fancier stores, it’s hard for a little store to keep up with them,” he says. “I don’t blame people for going other places and getting it cheaper, I’d do the same thing.”

Despite his fair-minded outlook, Ross admits,”What I will miss the most is the people that I have grown to know over the years. All the generations of families have been a blessing to me and my family and I hope God blesses all of them. But, I have decided to retire and take a part time job to be able to spend more time with my family.”

For many of their former customers the closing of Ross Grocery marked the end of an era that harbors their childhood memories.

Samara Estes posted on Facebook, “Some of my fondest memories are from when I was little and would come down the hill with Mamaw Norma’s pop bottles to cash in and get her more, and a pound of bologna, of course, and the pickles, who could forget the pickles and penny candy? I’m so glad that my daughter also had the pleasure of a Ross Grocery experience and a 25 cent slushie.”

Enjoying their slushies from Ross Grocery are, from left, Rylie Young, Bryce Young, Kloey Carter, Kameyl Carter, and Brayden Young.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_RossGrocery1.jpgEnjoying their slushies from Ross Grocery are, from left, Rylie Young, Bryce Young, Kloey Carter, Kameyl Carter, and Brayden Young. Photo by Michelle Carter

The original Ross Grocery building, sometime in the 1930’s
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_RossGrocery2.jpgThe original Ross Grocery building, sometime in the 1930’s Photo courtesy of Beverly Holsinger Ross

Ross Grocery in Manchester, circa 1983
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_RossGrocery3.jpgRoss Grocery in Manchester, circa 1983 Photo courtesy of Beverly Holsinger Ross
Local landmark was in business 52 years

By Patricia Beech

pbeech@civitasmedia.com

Reach Patricia Beech at 937-544-2391 or a pbeech@civitasmedia.com

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