Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony Adams County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards The emotions of a senior year Market Hog Clinic scheduled for March 4 Venture Hawks fall to Scioto County Senior Profile : Colton Thornburg Lady Dragons’ season ends with sectional loss to Lynchburg Devils advance in tourney with convincing win over West Union, will face Portsmouth for sectional title Wenstrup selected as Vice Chairman of House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Adams County 4-H Shooting Sports to hold fund raiser Linda M Howland Nellie B Hayslip Russell E Bailey Gladys M Perdue Commissioners meet in Columbus with DP&L CEO Tom Raga Missing the Dirtrollers The farms that aren’t forgotten Flora Hilderbran Commissioners to meet with DP&L officials New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’ Catching up with Keller Senior Profile: Justin Knechtly Piketon size is too much for Lady Indians, Peebles falls in sectional finals Greyhounds grab Senior Night win Indians finish regular season riding six-game winning streak

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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2016 People's Defender