Miller’s market was on Olympic Boulevard in East L A and the half way point between my home and our elementary school. It was run by Joe Miller and just a Pa store. No ma. He had a small butcher counter, a reasonable produce section, a fair amount of packaged and canned goods, and the essentials up front at the cash register. Comic books, candy bars, bubble gum, and our wax lips and mustaches. But I must say he knew us kids. Mr. Miller was a genius at marketing his little store. He was my friend Donnie and my self’s resource guy and banker. Donnie and I collected soda bottles which were redeemable for cash. Cash that was immediately traded back for comic books and candy. We were okay with this. Any loose leftover pocket change could easily be spent elsewhere on frivolous items.
One of Mr. Miller’s marketing ideas was to have a drawing for a brand new 3-speed racer bike and was displayed up on a high shelf behind the checkout counter. A super bike coveted by any boy-child back in the 1950s. We all signed and put a ticket in the drawing bin and waited several months for the drawing. Winner must be present to win. Then came the evening of the drawing. So to our surprise a short dorky curly hair kid who no one really liked had won the bike drawing. I guess I didn’t wish hard enough.
Then there was a time Oscar Meyer who was really a midget actor in his white chef hat and coat drove up in his Wienermobile out front of Mr. Miller’s store. We kids were so excited. After steping out the side door of the Wienermobile the Oscar Meyer actor gave us kids wiener whistles. Wow! Tweet tweet! But anyway the incentive for Oscar, the actor, to show up with his rolling wiener was a full box of White Owl cigars presented by Mr. Miller. What a guy! Mr. Miller really knew his business and how to draw a crowd