About the Book

For years, the old men had been hanging around the country grocery store whiling away their days playing checkers and dominoes and talking about politics, women, drinking and life experiences. All that time, the store owner readily approved their presence in the store and went on about his business as if they were not there. Then, one fateful morning in the fall of 1956, a new owner bought the business who was not quite as tolerant. The narrator of this story, an unnamed thirteen-year-old, was the son of the new owner and tells how his father dealt with the problem of the old men.

Behind the Story

When I was a teenager, my father owned a grocery store in our little town for about four years. When he bought it, there was a group of old men who had been hanging around for several years, entertaining themselves with checkers, dominoes and tales about the good old days. The previous owner had given the old men free rein, but, after some unpleasant incidents, my father took a different view! This is that story!


“Full of personality! When a country grocery store gets a new owner, it means an end for the group of old men who spend their days talking and playing checkers in the small store. Told from the perspective of the new owner’s young son, this story explains what happens when the old men test his father’s patience. I really enjoyed this short story full of humanity and heart. It was a great way to take you back to a simpler time, or introduce you to it if you didn’t live through it. The author didn’t use long descriptive passages to fill space. He sketched each scene in just a few sentences, and packed so much personality into it. I could just picture the poor nurse and feel her embarrassment. Great read! – HeatherY

“Good read! The Old Men by John Isaac Jones was a good read. In the country grocery store there are always old men that hang around playing games and jawwing. They also talk about politics, women and drinking. That is, until a new owner buys the country store.” Ashley Hedden, Amazon reviewer