Dairy at the door-to-door

September 27, 2019

Julie Traynor Postcards from the Pine Columnist

This week held both the first official day of fall and National Punctuation Day, both most worthy of note. Punctuation Day is a favorite of mine, although I try to make it everyday. If that wasn’t enough Thursday was the 50th anniversary of the debut of the Brady Bunch. My, my, it was a busy week. But, perhaps the highlight of the week has been the continuation and conclusion of Ken Burns’s epic Country Music documentary, on PBS.

I’ve found that country music has left tracks all over the soundtrack of my life. Before this I would have said that no, there was no country music in my past. Boy was I wrong. I reckon I was doomed from the start. A radio sat on our kitchen table and played all day long. There was news, radio soap operas and music. I don’t remember listening to country music per se, but I know now that I did. They tuned in to Renfrew Valley, which played serious, old timey gospel music, every Sunday morning. So did my Grandma Berry. It provided her warm memories from her child- hood. In the early 1960’s, Jim Reeves and Eddy Arnold were regulars on the stereo at our house. My parents also liked Jimmy Dean and Tennessee Ernie Ford. I still have those records and more, a way to play them and a growing desire to do so once again. There really is nothing like old vinyl. Ken Burns Country Music has sparked countless good memories for us, from childhood to the many pop country songs and ballads so very popular in the days when we went out to dance on Saturday night. Good music, good memories Another good memory this week has been that of Marion’s milkmen, the late Bob Payne, owner, and Dean Chamberlain, his employee for a short time and a life-long friend. Dean passed away this week at 90.

One of my earliest memories is that of the milk delivery to our house on Blevins Street. I was very small and watching for the early milk delivery at the front window was one of my earliest chores, especially on very cold mornings. The milk in its glass bottle could not be allowed to freeze. I was to tell mom as soon as I saw the milkman. It was a big deal for a small child.

My milkman recollections are of both Bob and Dean as the Marion Dairy. Each delivered our milk with a smile and a cheery hello, rain, shine or snow, as they did for everyone, and they certainly knew everyone in town.

When we moved from Blevins Street to the Pines, I still saw Marion’s milkmen at work. They delivered bottled milk to my aunt’s IGA and to the basement kitchen and lunchroom at the Gran- don School. We were indeed fortunate kids in that oil rich district. Our free hot lunches included pints of Marion Dairy milk daily. Chocolate milk was served up three days a week.

I was quite surprised that there is not readily available information about the Marion Dairy. After the dairy closed, Payne remod- eled it into the Marion Mini Mall. It was home to the very popular Cockeyed Cow Pen, purveyors of hand-dipped ice cream. Today the Marion Dairy/ Mini Mall is home to Chris Jackson Electric.

Perhaps the Marion Dairy’s greatest legacy is in the memories. We are not likely to see a milkman coming to the door again. The milkman of the future, if there is one, will likely look like a drone and will arrive at your door via air .

If you know where to look, Marion Dairy advertising items and milk bottles are found. And then there is that immortal slogan…You can whip our cream but you can’t beat our milk.

Our condolences to the family of Dean Chamber- lain, Marion’s last milk- man.

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