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I Remember When … The Rainier Market

“I Remember Rainier When…” by George Johnson

The Rainier Market

Rainier Market (Behind the Shell gas pumps)

Rainier Market (Behind the Shell gas pumps)

Homer’s Rainier Market was kind of the center of Rainier.  Just about everyone in town stopped in once in a while to catch up on rumors.  You could sit in the corner with a cup of coffee and kibitz with everyone that came in.  It was the town meeting place and a lot of politicking went on in there as well.

Every Saturday the Rainier Market sold “Homer Dogs.”  We would set up a table with chafing dishes and keep them full of quarter-pound beef brands and buns.  Many customers would stand in line on Saturdays, waiting for the Homer Dogs at 10 AM.  The price was only a dollar when it first started, so many families made it their Saturday lunch stop.

We were all a little crazy.  You had to be to work there!  Homer was always trying to scare people and usually succeeded.  On the sales floor or in the backroom, it didn’t matter to Homer.  Whenever there was an opportunity to make someone jump, he took it.  And jump they did!

One day Homer found a foot long piece of steel pipe and started dropping it behind people and screaming.  I thought for sure Ross Rutledge (one of the managers at the market)  was going to go into cardiac arrest many times.

Homer loved to scare people out of their wits! On the back of Sonja’s Restaurant is a caricature of Homer with an air horn, running.  This is because one day he started with a bicycle horn and it only got worse from there, when he got an air horn.

Sometimes he’d put a rubber spider in Brenda Flaherty’s register, when she wasn’t looking.  When she was collecting money for a sale and opened her till drawer, you could hear her scream in the high school across the street at Rainier High School.

George Johnson

George is Co-Chair at Rainier Community Cares. George has been a resident in Rainier for over 20
years with a lot of community involvement, including the Rainier Lions Club and Rainier Senior Center.

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