The sight of stocked shelves at the Ole Country Store, located at 1007 S. Sprigg St. in Cape Girardeau, is bringing back a lot of memories for a lot of people.
For years, people knew the place as Ratliff's, which opened in Smelterville in 1950. It relocated to the building at 1007 S. Sprigg in 1973 after being flooded by the Mississippi River twice in one month.
That building has been a south-side grocery institution for more than 75 years, operating under various names -- Ravenstein Grocery, Hawn Grocery, Vincent's Grocery, Henson's Grocery, Schaaf Grocer and Ratliff's Store. Carl and Juanita Ratliff, now deceased, obtained the building from the Schaafs.
The building now houses the dream of Walter White, a man who not only had the gumption to run for mayor of Cape Girardeau last year, but now has the fortitude to open a business in an area virtually devoid of them.
Not only that, but White dreams of someday turning his Ole Country Store into a chain across the country, where good customers enjoy a little credit and neighborhood kids can pop in for penny candy.
It's the American Dream, pure and simple, and it's uplifting to see it being exercised on South Sprigg Street in Cape Girardeau.