Little girl memories: Morris was 'special friend'
by Stanley Nelson - posted Thursday, June 14th, 2007 @ 8:31 am
Located directly across the street from Frank's Shoe Shop in Ferriday in the 1950s was a store known as Pastime's Grocery.
During the final years of the store's operation before a fire destroyed it in the 1950s, the owner was Milda Davis, formerly of Plaquemine. She was known in Ferriday as Mrs. Pastime.
Her husband, George Davis, died a few years before the store burned. He was from Athens, Greece.
One of the Davis' four children, Pat Davis Smith of Mesquite, TX, recalled this week both Frank's Shoe Shop and its owner, Frank Morris, who was murdered in 1964. The FBI is reinvestigating Morris' death.
Smith said this week she is "pleased" that the case has been reopened.
"No man should have to suffer the horrendous death he endured," Smith said of Morris.
"My mama had a store across the street from Frank's Shoe Shop," she said. "Many remember it as Pastime's Grocery. This is how she made a living and it is also where I spent my younger childhood years."
Smith's sisters are Theresa Pullon of Ferriday, whose husband was the late William Garnett Pullon, and Mary Davis of Ponchatoula. The sisters' brother was the late Ernest G. Davis, former principal of Huntington, who died in January.
Pastime's Grocery was located across the street from Frank's Shoe Shop along Hwy. 84 known then as South Fourth Street and now as E.E. Wallace Blvd. On the north side of Pastime's was Georgie Boy's Cleaners. On the south side of Pastime's was John Lee's Grocery and south of that was Wall's Fish Market.
Spurlock's Store was located beside Frank's Shoe Shop on the south side, recalled Davis. Tin Can Alley, now Blue Light Alley, was located on the north side of Morris' store.
Davis said Pastime's sold dry goods, clothes, furniture, linoleum and meats such as pork chops and bologna. Store employees also delivered orders, many of which were to customers who had regular accounts.
"I would cross the street to Frank's Shoe Shop and spend countless hours with him," recalled Smith. "I went behind the counter and watched him cut leather with a sharp knife. I chattered constantly as I watched him hammer soles onto shoes. I can see Frank wearing his cobbler's apron and his visor down on his head. His smile was contagious.
"I can still smell the leather and the shoe shine paste. It was fun to sit in the shoe shine chairs and put my little girl's feet on the shoe supports as if I were getting ready to have my shoes shined. Never did Frank become impatient with all of my questions.
"When Frank would come over to our store, I would always ask him if he brought me a package of plank cookies that were iced white and pink. That smile of his would broaden as he listened to me fuss, whine, and threaten to not like him anymore because he had nothing for me. Then out from behind his back would come a whole package of plank cookies!
"Frank Morris and I knew no racial barriers. We were just special friends. For this I am grateful."