In its July 23, 1942 issue The Bossier Banner reported that J. T. Manry had written to the Banner’s editor about a worthy enterprise that was getting under way in South Georgia—possibly a precursor to our modern farmers’ markets.
“Plain Dealing farmers and truckers are fast taking on the weekly market habit that has met with such signal success in the South Georgia counties, where thousands of dollars’ worth of stock are sold each week, and our friend, Bruce Cartwright, is fast learning how it is done in his weekly auctions on the Benton Road, near Bossier City. Here in Plain Dealing one is held each Thursday, near the City Hall, on the curb. So far it is a market of country produce, and while it has started in a modest way, it is gaining such popularity that its promoters are planning to buy ground space, in order to provide better facilities for parking. The merchants here should, and no doubt will, do what they can to further this movement. It was surprising to see the interest that is being shown by the sponsors of this movement on last Thursday.”
“Operators of produce trucks from Shreveport and other cities will watch these weekly sales days, thus assuring the truck grower of not only a ready sale but of a fair price for his products. The venture will develop and grow fast.”
“The foregoing has proved of interest here in the Banner Office and we know it will be so received by Mr. Manry’s many friends throughout Bossier Parish. Thank you, sir—and let us hear from you often.”
In an unrelated but highly significant report, the Banner noted one of many local World War II efforts: “Have you noticed the delighted crowds as they pass the gas office window near the Post Office? Mr. Brent Barron, assisted by his able office associate, has already installed dozens of pictures of our soldier boys in the office windows, and at times the walk is nearly blocked as eager eyes scan for the face of perhaps a son, or a kinsman. One old father has three sons in the window. There can be seen pictures of our boys in all foreign lands. One even of a hometown boy connected with our London Embassy. At a later date a list of these soldier boys will no doubt be furnished.”
Understandably, much of the content of the local papers had to do with World War II. To find out more about rationing, preserving foods and growing gardens in Bossier Parish during the war, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.
Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org