Friday, April 27, 2012

Rolling Stones...

In an article about her memories of growing up in Tennessee (Her life spanned from horses and model T's to the Internet!), a woman named Ruth Shannon mentioned rolling stones.  This, apparently, was a name for peddlers.  She mentioned that peddlers came to her family home twice a week and that bartering and trading for goods was a way of life.   

Am I the last person in the U.S. to know this name for peddler?  I associate the name with the song, "Papa was a rolling stone", which I don't think meant peddler, and, of course, the Rolling Stones.  I suppose it wouldn't be a short jump from calling a peddler a rolling stone to using the term to mean anyone who travels about, seldom staying at home and living a wild life. 

My mother and aunts used to tell of traveling photographers who came through the middle Tennessee countryside, as they did in many parts of the country.  We have many photographs, some quite old, that were taken when these photographers came through.  Whoever was at home prettied up in a hurry for a picture taking.  My father's west Tennessee family were uptown, as they had some of theirs done in a studio.




  1. Yes, we had many peddlers coming by when I was a little girl. My grandmother would run out to catch the "pots and pans" peddler! We also invited these peddlers in for coffee. She was such a good customer, that she would pay them a little at a time. My mother loved to buy brooms and get her knives and scissors sharpened. The traveling photographers remind me of the book "Christy" by Marshall. It all takes place in the mountains of Tennessee. God bless, Rose

  2. We didn't have many peddlers, but I do remember brush salesmen going door to door. They sold the best hairbrushes.