What a joy to see photos of Mr. John Yarbrough, owner, Mr. Braziel, meat cutter, and deliverymen Tater and Josh. Mr. Tater drove the truck and Josh rode a bike; both of these men were loved and respected.
My four sisters and I frequented the store where we were treated kindly. When I looked at the photo of the inside of the grocery, I was amazed how small it looked; the store was big in the eyes of a child.
I was blessed to begin first grade at South Rome School with Sammie Howell Peirson, who was the youngest child of Mrs. Pearl Yarbrough Howell and Sam Howell. I enjoyed visiting Sammie and remember her playhouse, paper dolls and treats prepared by “Daisy,” their helper and our friend. She loved us and we loved her and the cinnamon toast and cocoa she prepared for us.
Mrs. Pearl was also my friend. She took Sammie and me to band concerts, church, suppers and movies. Our favorite was “Gone With The Wind.” We left school early, took a lunch and were shocked when Captain Butler used the “D” word.
A very special treat was going to “the country,” which was a second home for the family. Sammie and husband, Sam, still live in this lovely home part-time. Several years ago, they honored our “Class of 52” by having a picnic there.
I always felt that Mrs. Pearl was ahead of her times. She was active in her church, where she held offices usually reserved for men, and supported South Rome School in so many ways. She was a very kind and smart woman.
Since Mr. Sam died too young, I only knew him through reputation and all was good. Mr. Yarbrough, Mrs. Pearl’s brother, not only continued to run the store, but also served as a city commissioner for more than 30 years. Both the Howell and Yarbrough families are part of Rome, and especially South Rome history.
I am happy to hear of plans for South Rome to live again; too much has been lost as our school. I pray that part of the very needed renovation will include saving Howell Grocery in a special way that will bless future generations as it did mine.