Dear Editor:

Since before my last cup of coffee was served ... as my family and I greeted customers at 7:30 a.m., the day after Christmas to tell them my mother had died and the store was closed. I wanted to write a book honoring my parents, Tommie and Helen of Tommie's.

I know that to you Tommie's was a place to go to relax with a cup of coffee, some ice cream, or a sundae ... a place to take your children, grandchildren, or friends for an ice cream treat, a "fresh" cup of coffee, a comic book, magazine or even an early morning doughnut cut just so on your little saucer by Helen. For others, Tommie's was a place to talk about the news, ball games, about the sick, living and the dead, about politics, the weather and just about anything else. One of the great things about Tommie's was, you were sure to find an abundance of different opinions regardless of the subject. Then, there was always some who didn't join in but just went to Tommie's for the entertainment when the conversations really got going. And that is why I tried to sell the store to someone who would not change it from the Tommie's we all loved. Regretfully, we know that didn't happen.

So after keeping the idea of a book about Tommie's in my head these past years, finally after this past Christmas, I decided it was time ... time to clean out a closet that had many storage boxes of old newspapers, pictures, articles, letters, and memories of my life and of course, most of these involved Tommie's. As I sifted through and read all of this, I wondered, what do I do with all of this? The night before I was going to put some of the boxes full of memories in the attic, I got the vision and drive I needed to write this book. It was time to write "Memories of Tommie's."

This book is not just my book; it is our book, yours and mine. It is about you the customer and the good times you had at Tommie's! So, I want you to help me. I will write the history of Tommie's and you can send me your memories of Tommie's. Of course for helping me, I will be sure you get one of the first copies off the press with a big discount.

I want you to write about the good, funny, times at Tommie's ... the patriotic times ... whatever you want to write and however much you want to tell. I want you to write about Tommy and Helen they both made the store what it was ... they worked long hours to keep the store running for 55 years! It wasn't just pouring a cup of coffee or dipping a cone of ice cream, it was a daily 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. day of hard work for many years.

Please include copies of any pictures you have concerning Tommie's. They will be included in the book and will be much appreciated.

I have one more favor to ask you ... I realize that it has been 11 years since Tommy died and 9 years since Helen died ... would you please try to remember a memory of someone who is diseased and write their memory for them? Also if you know someone who is too old or ill to write, could you visit them and write their memory for them? Thank you very, very much in advance!

I REALLY think that all of us will benefit from this book ... WE ALL LOVED going to Tommie's so much! Also maybe some healing for our loss will take place with having this book in our homes reminding us of a way of life that was good, decent that we can read and look at. I know it will be for me and my family. Thank you!

I will only put your name with your memory, but please add your address, so I am sure to have your correct address. Please send your "Memories of Tommie's" to Joan Goodrich Adams, 65 Riverwood Drive, Fuquay Varina, N.C., 27526 or email joan3403@yahoo.com [1]. Deadline to receive submissions is June 1, 2011.

Joan Goodrich Adams

Fuquay Varina, N.C.