Norma Buckingham’s retirement starts this week after a 37-year run at the Carson Country Store! Norris and Norma purchased KB Standard in 1983, but remodeled and opened as the Country Store on Feb. 10, 1984. Gas prices for ethanol were $1.12. The place had been a truck stop in the ‘70s with a café and motel. It had changed hands a few times before landing in the Buckinghams’ care. After a failed partnership, the Buckinghams had to regroup, and it was Norma who went to work in the store every day from 6am to 11pm. The Country Store also survived M-16 being built and Carson High School being consolidated. The Buckinghams added diesel and the convenience mart. At one point, the store housed a beauty shop, movie rentals, and tanning beds. (I, personally, may or may not have stopped in for a few rounds of pop and candy during the days of cruising Carson along with many of my friends!) Today, they keep that soft serve ice cream going for all their customers! A lot of things have come and gone in the more than 3 and a half decades the Buckinghams had the store. Norma said she raised 4 kids, had chickens, did canning, and ran the store in that span. They were only closed one day in those 37 years and it was for Norris’ funeral.
Unfortunately, 2 years ago, Norma broke her leg and hasn’t been able to get back to the pace she once kept. At 89, Mrs. Buckingham knew it was time to hand over the reins to the McKerns. She’s very grateful to all those that supported their business over the years and is thankful to have been part of their lives. One of her favorite parts of owning the store was watching all the kids that grew up to be parents and grandparents and continue the generations of Country Store customers. She says the world has sped up but that remained consistent.
So as Norma starts a new chapter she says she’s not sure what she will do with herself, but she did mention some TV movies along with gardening, mowing, and planting flowers in the spring! She also mentioned she feels blessed to have been able to hear the outpouring of well wishes as the final days came to a close.
Well, Norma, thank you for your part in keeping a Carson landmark just that. Your legacy will live on.