Cofield’s Corner

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2023

By John Cofield

Many an Oxford kid from my 1970s generation can remember the time when feed and seed and produce stores were a mainstay of the county’s farming community. The Co-Op on University Avenue left behind many memories, among them, the smells.

As did the stores along North Lamar through the years. And along with Jones Produce and Bailey’s and all those long-gone businesses, there are the characters to be remembered, like Elbert.

Email newsletter signup

Elbert was a fixture at the store. He was a regular too at Mr. M. R. Hall’s blacksmith shop on the other side of the Square.

Elbert knew all the customers and they jawed and laughed. He did odd jobs and swept up and in return, his Cokes and “bacca” were on the house.

Around 1959-60, my uncle let me work there. My job was to grade the eggs. He sold cases of eggs to Ole Miss. It was plenty of work but for a kid, you couldn’t beat the fun of the hustle and bustle of the store.

Folks from all over the county came in bringing or buying produce and telling stories. I surely miss Uncle Durley, old Elbert, and those great old Oxford days. —David C. Jones