This past week I had the opportunity to hear from one of my old friends from years ago, Mr. Ben Barclift.
Many of the readers of Homefolks U.S.A. will recall Barclift Furniture Company from here in Russellville. My first job in the furniture business was with Barclift.
I started out as a delivery boy, and the store manger was Ben Barclift. Ben had so many friends and was always very courteous to the many customers who chose to shop with us at Barclift’s.
After Barclift sold out to the Jackson’s, many of the employees left the company and went to different jobs. Ben moved back to North Carolina, and that was the last I heard from him until this past week.
He is now 83 years old and still in fairly good health. It was a real joy to hear from Ben after many, many years. He still has good memories of Russellville but had to admit the city has changed a lot in the past 50 years.
Looking back on some of the merchandise that we sold at the time is almost unbelievable. Bedding sets sold for $49.95 per set. Living room suites were $129.95 for a sofa and chair. Dinette sets were $49.95. Of course, easy terms were always available, along with free delivery. Fall terms were available for many of the local farmers, with payment due in full Oct. 15 of the year.
One of the big sellers of that day was cedar bedroom suites for $199.95. Today if you could find a manufacturer that made cedar, it would be approximately $2,000.
One family that I remember well that purchased on fall term was Mr. William Hargett, who lived on the Water Plant Road. I am sure that most all the furniture in William’s home came from Barclift’s.
Most every home had a cedar wardrobe and chest, made by Murphy Furniture in Jasper. Cedar chests were $39.95, and a cedar wardrobe was $59.95.
It was so good to hear from my friend Ben Barclift, but the old memories really made me a little sad. Just natural, I guess.
Til next time,
Thought for the Day
It’s a sad time when the person who gave you the best memory becomes a memory.