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Manuscripts

Abstract

The calendar in Grandpa's general store, filling station and grocery reads 1939. His store is the first you see when you come into Buttonville, a town right in the center of the United States about a mile from Sugar Crossing and running along side of Catfish Creek. You can't. miss it for, as you enter, there's a sign saying "Buttonville - Population 2,005 (They crossed out the two and changed it to five when Mrs. Blanchy had the town's triplets, Minnie, Winnie and Sam, Jr.). As you leave, there's a sign reading "Come again when you can stay longer - B.Ville Chamber of Commerce". You'll come right in on Main Street. It goes straight to the town square where all the stores except Grandpa's grocery are located and where, not the court house, but the Buttonville Button Factory stands. The factory occupies the entire great square except for the corner across from Peabody's Picture House and the Buttonville Ice Cream Parlor. On this corner is old Mrs. Biddle's house. It is a big yellow place with a long side porch and a wide front porch. There are two pointed towers stuck, one a few feet higher than the other, on either side of the house. The factory heads gave up long ago trying to buy this land. Mrs. Biddle likes to be in the heart of things. If people want to know anything at all about the town they always go to her. She is the source of most of the news that goes in the Wednesday Morning Gazette which is delivered every Friday evening. When you knock on her door, Mrs. Biddle will drop the curtain on the front window back in place and come to the door just as if she didn't know who was there. If you're a stranger, after she's brought you sasafras tea and ginger cookies, she'll always get out her button string to show you. She has on it every style of button made since the factory began, and they are all coat buttons, for the factory manufactures only overcoat buttons.

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