Grocer will be missed
Published 6:22 am Sunday, February 22, 2009
Brewton and East Brewton have lost a good friend with the passing of Jim Grimes this past week.
I knew who Jim was for many years of my life. Having lived in Atmore for a period of time, I even got the pleasure of seeing him as he managed a grocery store there.
When Jim retired, the grocery business took a hit all those years ago. To many people’s pleasure, Jim came out of retirement to take on the duties of managing what would be known as Magnolia Superfoods. To many people, Jim and Big Bear were one and the same and it showed.
No matter what time of day or evening you ventured into the store where Jim was working you didn’t go away feeling unnoticed or unappreciated. He always knew your name and even the names of your family members. If you were sick, he knew it. If you were nursing a loved one through an illness, he knew that too and made a point to ask about their condition.
Not once, in all my years of shopping with Jim, did I leave the store without at least a wave and a hello from him.
As I sat in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church in Brewton Friday for Jim’s service, I remembered the stories he told me of his years in the grocery business. I recalled a wonderful opportunity I had a few years ago to sit with him at length and talk about his service in the industry. The result of the interview was a Profile article that told only part of the story about a wonderful, caring man.
The story printed on the pages of The Brewton Standard that week didn’t fully describe the man I talked to on the day of the interview. The story about how he managed to see to it that a woman in need was able to get groceries for her family even though she had very little money didn’t show up in the article. The story he shared about the shoplifter he counseled with one day didn’t show up in the article either.
Anyone who knew Jim knows how much he liked to visit with everyone he met. He shared stories of faith, humor and love if you took the time to stop and visit him.
Lydia, Jim’s wife, is a part of our family here at The Brewton Standard. Through his illness over the last couple of years, we have shared our love with her and have offered our prayers for Jim and his family. We, of course, will continue to support Lydia through what will be some hard days ahead.
The next time you go grocery shopping, remember the man who gave his life making sure your milk, bread, coffee and even your green beans were the best and freshest you could find. Remember as you shop in an increasingly impersonal world, the personal touch Jim had on the lives of those who “traded” with him. He certainly remembered you.
Goodbye, Jim. You may be on the other side, but you will certainly never be forgotten.
I feel certain that if there is a grocery store in heaven, Jim will be there to greet us.
Lisa Tindell is news editor for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached by email at lisa.tindell@brewton