Do you remember when you were young and the excitement you’d feel on a family vacation when mom and dad used to pull the car into the Stuckey’s parking lot? How you’d race inside and dad would say something like “Hey, Sport, slow down. Don’t you want to get something to eat?” So, you’d hold the door open for them, and all of you would pile up to the counter at the Stuckey’s grill. Mom would get the chicken salad sandwich, Dad, the King of the Road burger, and you, well, you always loved the chili dog with everything on it.
After you finished eating, Mom would remind you to go wash up, but you didn’t mind because you knew that on the way out you could stop over in the toys section. Maybe they would let you buy a pop gun, a tom-tom drum, or even a magic trick. Dad would look at the souvenirs while mom was looking at the Stuckey’s pecan rolls and other fine pecan candies to take to the folks back home.
As you and your mom and dad walk back to the car with bags full of pecan candies, souvenirs and toys, you ask your mom and dad. “Gee, wouldn’t it be swell to live here?” And, really, wouldn’t it have been?
Well, today, you’re going to meet someone who really did grow up in a Stuckey’s – actually two of them!
Kathy Broughton Sharrah was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania but moved to Smyrna, Delaware when she was around a year old. The reason? Her folks, Bill and Lucy Broughton, had some friends that worked for the Stuckey’s Corporation managing one of their stores and they found it to be a pretty good gig. Then they told Bill and Lucy about an opportunity managing a Stuckey’s in Delaware, an opportunity that the young couple didn’t want to miss.
You see, back then, one of the perks that came with managing and operating a Stuckey’s was that each store was built with living quarters located in the back of the store usually about the size of a 1200 sq. ft three-bedroom apartment, where the store managers could live with their families while they took care of the business.
Bill managed the Smyrna store while Lucy managed the grill (Kathy remembers her mother making some of the best pimento cheese sandwiches in the world – a favorite of Kathy’s even until today). Billy and Kathy were always nearby in the apartment in the back to check in on once in awhile and the family was happy and content for the next five years in Delaware.
Nevertheless, one day Lucy told Bill that she really would like to live closer to her parents back in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, so when they heard of the opportunity to manage and operate a Stuckey’s in the closer-to-Gettysburg town of Middletown, Virginia, they jumped at the chance and soon it was business as usual at the Shenandoah Valley location.
Meanwhile, Kathy, around six-years-old then, was growing up and getting restless sitting in their little apartment in the back. She remembers getting chased out of the store and back into the little apartment many times in those days until one day, after getting tired of hustling her back to the apartment, her folks decided to put her to work, giving her the task of wiping down tables and counters and the like. Kathy kind of liked it, too. She wasn’t so bored any longer and at least her parents could keep an eye on her at the same time.
When a Greyhound bus would make a Stuckey’s stop there in Middletown, Bill would put Kathy on security detail, having her keep watch over the passengers as they strolled around the shop. After they left, her dad would pay her with her favorite treat – a giant rainbow lollipop.
“I caught a lot of shoplifters in those days!” Kathy said, laughing.
Her favorite job, though, was helping her brother sweep the parking lot.
“We’d always find money out in the parking lot and my brother used to tell me, ‘The only reason you help me is because maybe you’ll find some money.’”
“And what’s wrong with that?” Kathy would ask him.
Now that’s logic even an older brother couldn’t argue with!
Speaking of parking lots, Kathy remembers that her and her brother would ride their bikes around the parking lot that “seemed a lot bigger to my brother and me back then”, much to the consternation of her father.
You have to understand that in those days you didn’t have to pump your own gas and the gas station would have a pneumatic hose that, when driven over, would ring a bell to let the gas station attendant know they had a customer. Well, when Kathy and her brother would ride around the parking lot on their bicycles, it was inevitable that they would ride over this hose – again and again! As a result, her father would quickly put an end to that, making them come inside and go to the apartment in the back so he could enjoy a little peace and quiet among his pecan log rolls.
Sometimes Kathy would get a peek at some of the celebrities of the time that would come wandering into the store along Interstate 81. There were country and western stars like Red Sovine, probably most famous for his 1978 hit “Teddy Bear”, and NASCAR drivers and their crews would often make a pit stop at Stuckey’s on their way from one race to another.
Perhaps most memorable for Kathy weren’t the celebrities, however, but the one thing she remembers most was the time that a family in an RV stopped into their Stuckey’s store with their de-scented pet skunk and Kathy got to pet it!
Unfortunately, when Kathy was around 12-years-old, her grandmother died and the family moved back to the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, area. Kathy would go on to graduate from Fairfield High School and became a horticulturalist in a greenhouse. Today, she still lives in Gettysburg and often fondly thinks back on those days growing up at Stuckey’s. When asked if she would recommend raising a family at Stuckey’s, she said, “Absolutely! It taught me and my brother responsibility and gave us a great work ethic.”
Today, Stuckey’s is still helping people find their highway happiness, so the next time you see one of our signs, stop in one of our Stuckey’s locations and stay as long as you like. Don’t forget to pick up some pecan log rolls, souvenirs or other Stuckey’s merchandise for you and the folks back home.
No Stuckey’s near you, yet? No problem. You can get Stuckey’s world famous pecan log rolls and other fine pecan candies delivered right to the comfort of your own home by ordering online! Visit stuckeys.com today for more info.
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!
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