Only in York County

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Even more A&P shopping memories

Back in 2011 (WOW – that seems long ago!) we talked about memories of shopping at various A&P grocery locations in York County.

More memories of former A&P groceries, plus a location correction was the more recent, and before that, I’d shared memories of grocery-shopping at the A&P.

In the past year, I received a couple more letters with A&P memories that I’d like to share today.

The first comes from Bessie Yoder of Dover Township. She writes, “There was an A&P store where Photo Greetings is now situated on North Beaver Street.) Next door, to the north, there was an Acme store; with apartments overhead. The Acme was right at the alley. I can still see the crates of fruits and vegetables. One Saturday I spent the whole day snapping string beans for 15 cents. My father thought I had been taken advantage of. I was a child, what did I know? (This happened at the Acme.) But the point is, I wanted you to know there was an A&P on the first block of North Beaver Street in the ’30s. In the winter there were crates of oranges outside. The A&P was in color red and the Acme, the color yellow. I didn’t realize all this when I was young, but your columns bring back so many memories for me. I look back now and realize we didn’t need a car. We walked everywhere!”

Bessie also shared some more memories of stores and theaters such as the Strand and Capitol, the Rialto, The Bon-Ton, Bear’s, Wiest’s, the five-and-dime (McCrory’s), Peoples Drug, Economy Meat Market, Central Market House… it was great to hear of all those stores of the past!

She continues, “Now to get back to the A&P store. There was an A&P store on the 1st block of West Philadelphia Street, on the right side going west. I think the manager’s (last) name was Brezzler. It was close to the corner of North George Street. My best girlfriend, Mary Velen Keller, worked there. I stopped in to see her often. Mary lived in the 200 block of North George Street over her father’s restaurant (Pete’s Restaurant), across the street from the Valencia.”

Bessie adds, “Going south from the restaurant was a bowling alley, Jimmy’s Restaurant and Direct Hat Shop. many other places also! I thank you for all the memories you have brought back to me!”

Interestingly, Bessie concluded with an “Only in York County” small-world moment. She mentioned that her granddaughter, Courtney Henry, was my daughter Sarah’s homeroom teacher last year! How awesome!

I also received a quick note from David Knisely of Galeton. He writes, “I am a native York Countian but have lived in northern PA for the past 13 years. My wife and I keep in touch via the York Daily Record online and subscribe to the Sunday News, which is mailed.” (That makes me smile, David – I’m so glad you’re keeping up on York!)

He adds, “The A&P article was of interest to me as I was a college student and part time employee at A&P from June 1959 until 1965. I worked at the A&P on Edgar Street in York. We had a shoppette consisting of A&P, Masters Discount Store, Rea & Derick Drugs, and Weis Market. At that time, A&P had this location and the East Philadelphia Street store in York. There was also one in Red Lion.”

David mentions that A&P was union and, in an attempt to compete with non-union stores, later had an A-Mart in the York County Shopping Center.

Many thanks to both of you, Bessie and David, for sharing your A&P memories. I love hearing them!

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