Ground Round and Grocery Shopping – 1962

grocery shopping
My mother and me coming out of the store.

This store was located some blocks from our house on Oregon on Tireman Ave.  Sometimes my mother called and ordered the food and the delivery guy brought it to the house. This day we went there in person and there is my mother in the glasses and me in a scarf with the grocery bag  coming behind her. Henry must have been there to take the photograph.  There is that strange grassy stuff at the top of the picture. It seems to be on a bunch of photos, maybe they were all taken on the same roll.

My most memorial story concerning this store is the time my mother, my sister and I were on the way to the store.  My sister and I were going in while my mother waited in the car and she was telling us what to get. One item was ground round and she was explaining the difference between hamburger (don’t get it!) and ground round (do get it!) when I heard my voice saying, “ok, ok. We’ll get ground round.”  There was silence for a moment and then she said get out, get the groceries and walk home.  That was about 5 blocks, with heavy paper bags of groceries.  We made it. Probably she had little to say to us when we finally did get home with the ground round and the rest of the groceries.

I was going to put a photo of the store as it is now but that area on goggle maps was vacant lots covered in cracked asphalt or brush. I can’t even tell where it was.  You can read more about the house we lived in during this time and my life there in O is for Oregon.

30 thoughts on “Ground Round and Grocery Shopping – 1962

  1. I remember buying “ground round” but now everything is labelled by percentage. I think “hamburger” was 70% and ground round was 80% or 85%. Now I buy 93%.

  2. Ooh I hadn’t heard of ground round..but it makes sense. And I remember being “wild” with my kids in the car. Something about all those big personalities in a confined space?

    1. I think you are right – too small a space, everything is magnified. But with my mother, if I’d said that out in the middle of a field we both would have still been shocked. You did not talk back or talk rude to my mother. Anywhere.

  3. It is one of those perfect captured moment photographs – Even if it has some kind of light leaking in (the grass effect?) and even though there is some motion blur, it captures more life than a roll of studio portraits.

  4. A great example of the prompt. I remember seeing the paper sacks of groceries in American films back then. We didn’t have them here.

  5. Your mother wore those glasses so well. You both appear to be pleasantly pleased at your photograph being taken. Lovely picture!

  6. I agree, a great picture, and even better I now know what ground round is – well, sort of.

  7. Your childhood memory reminds me of similar ones which in retrospect you wish you had handled differently Another lovely story-telling photo. We don’t often hear the word grocer these days. It’s all supermarket, supermarket and I often talk about going to the “small supermarket” which is tucked away in a side street and not in a shopping centre. It was only recently that I noticed that the sign above the veranda didn’t say supermarket but said Grocery. That pleased me immensely.

  8. I enjoyed the Photo. Especially the head scarves. I don’t think I kept one of my Mothers. I wish I did now. I never did like putting them on. Especially for bed when my hair was made up the night before. I don’t even want to think about ground round vs. hamburger. lol. Enjoyed!

  9. I just adore that happy face! The name The Ground Round also reminds me of an old restaurant that I used to enjoy going to!

  10. A happy photo. I’m not exactly sure what the problem was that caused your mother to make you walk home, as it sounds like you agreed to get what she wanted. I’ve never heard of ground round, here we just have mince, which might be labelled premium quality if it contains less fat than the regular kind.

  11. Great memories. I too remember grocery shopping with my mom in Detroit in the 1960s. As I recall, she liked Dexter Davison Market back in those days, maybe because it was close to our home in Russell Woods. I also remember going with Mom to a butcher shop where she bought most of her meats – occasionally more exotic cuts like oxtails and beef tongue, both of which remain on my “can’t stand to eat” list to this day!

  12. The picture is wonderful – an ordinary brief moment in time captured by surprise. And I completely understand why your mother made you walk home. Sass never helped anything – with me & my Mom, or with my kids and me! You really made me smile over that! Thanks for the memories! 🙂

  13. Ha! I completely understand it too. Depending on the moment, I just might be the mama who sends the children walking, if I feel they are being impertinent. There are just times when you feel you need to make a statement…. For instance, tonight a whiny 17 year old who felt put upon said he couldn’t take the Christmas tree down by himself. Now, I was not asking him to; I was asking him to help his brothers…but ….guess who is taking the Christmas tree down by himself at this very moment…

    I love the picture! The grocery store still has a twin in Dunlap, IA…well, it did have a twin. The grocery store there now looks a little bit different, but not much!

  14. WOW! This post and talk about ground chuck and ground beef brought back a lot of memories for me as well. I remember going to the grocery store carrying a list where my mom specifically wanted ground chuck for making burgers. Of course I couldn’t tell the difference at the time, but I did kind of catch on to the difference later (notice I use “kind of” here). It was explained that ground chuck comes from the shoulder area and contains the right amount of fat that adds flavor and juiciness to any good hamburger. Ground round, I understand, comes from the hind leg and can dry out if cooked beyond medium to medium-rare. When I eat a burger, I need that meat cooked well done to kill all bacteria . . . so ground chuck it is for me!

    Great picture and post!

  15. Was that market on the corner of Tireman and Beechwood? It looks like Vic’s Market. Unless it was the store near Awry’s Bakery close to Ironwood and Tireman.

    1. It might have been Vic’s Market. That sounds familiar. We lived on Oregon between Northfield and Ironwood. I remember the Awry’s Bakery but I thought it was closer to the Blvd?

  16. Awry’s was at the bend where Tireman turned more northwest. The Blue Bird Inn was on Tireman/Ironwood east of Awry’s. Maybe you were too young for the notorious Blue Bird Inn. Rumor was there were some powerful numbers racketeers behind the Blue Bird. It was the “cool” spot for jazz entertainers. Ed Mackenize, WXYZ-TV, had his Dance Party show on Saturday afternoons. He would attend the Blue Bird and book some of the jazz stars for his Saturday TV show.

    1. I don’t remember the Blue Bird Inn. I couldn’t even go skating at St. Stevens growing up and after I left home, never went to any jazz spots until I was in my 50s and went to Berts.

      I remember going to the Awry’s and even buying a creme puff or two there. Seems like I walked past it if I went home from Northwestern down Tireman. Wish there was a historical google maps where I could see what was exactly what in the 1960s.

  17. That was a long walk to McMichael and Northwestern from your home on Oregon between Ironwood and Northfield. Did you ever walk to Beechwood and catch the Joy Road/Tireman bus to Grand River and the Blvd? Did you ever go to the Twenty Grand on Warren Ave and 15th street? It was almost across the street from St. Leo’s high school? When I left Detroit in June 1961, it was Twenty Grand was nice place. Sometimes I would go to the wrestling matches at the Olympia (Grand River and McGraw). Skating at St. Stevens – was that St. Stevens AME complex on Stanford and Cobb Place?

    1. In June of 1961 I was finishing my freshman year at Northwestern. I never did go to the Twenty Grand or the Olympia. I went to lots of church and political stuff though 🙂

      I never took the bus to or from highschool. I did take the bus from Wayne State but unless it was raining like mad, I walked home from the Dexter bus. We used to walk all over the place, the Main Library sometimes, church on Linwood and Hogarth. Sometimes we took the bus or rode bikes.

      And yes, that is the St. Stevens I’m talking about. I never thought about how many things I didn’t do that most people did until my father was sick in the late 1990s when I would spend time with him and talk with some of the church members who came up to his apt. They would ask me, like you did, if I’d gone to here or there and I hadn’t.

  18. I spelled the name “St. Stevens” in error. If you check the past pastors of St. Stephen’s AME (Stanford and Cobb Place) on its website, you find something informative.

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