Our House was Built onto the Back of the Store

The back of Gihon Springs Grocery and the foundation of our house.
The back of Gihon Springs Grocery and the foundation of our house.

My mom and dad both attended the University of Alabama, but they didn’t meet until they were both teaching in Winfield, Alabama. Mom was a second grade teacher, and Dad taught math at the high school. A couple of colleagues set them up on a blind date.

Sometime after they got married, they decided to take on one of Papa’s businesses. He had Gihon Grocery and Sunny Land. Sunny Land consisted of a small store and motel on Romar Beach (near Gulf Shores).

Papa recommended that they buy the store in Gihon Springs. He said that it was a better place to raise a family, but I’m pretty sure that it’s really because he wanted them to live near him and Gramma. I wish my parents had chosen the beach…one of my favorite places in the world. But then I would be blogging about growing up at the beach!

My parents opted to buy the store and 160 acres of Findley land. They actually had the house built onto the back of the store. It made very interesting living arrangements, to be sure. We never had to go grocery shopping. Mom would just have me run to the store to get whatever we needed. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The pictures that I have are of our house being built onto Gihon Grocery.

View from Papa and Gramma Findley's yard.
View from Papa and Gramma Findley’s yard.
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Great-Gramma Bee, Aunt Lyn, Cousin Lydia, and Gramma come around the corner of the store to see the progress of the new house.

0 Responses to Our House was Built onto the Back of the Store

  1. My family spent many vacations at the Sunny Land Motel in the 60’s. So many wonderful old memories! I loved that old store. Do you have any information on its history?

    • Really?!! That’s amazing! I know a little bit about Sunny Land. I know that Mr. and Mrs. Scott managed the place for my Papa. I think SL is one of the reasons that my favorite color is pale blue. I’ll try to find out more from Mom.

      • Thank you! I would love that. I can remember one of the exact room/kitchenettes we stayed in. The store. And walking the path over the dunes to the beach. Is any part of it still there? Do you have any pictures of it? Whenever I visit Gulf Shores I try to figure out where it was located. I know we walked east to a pier. I have one picture of me sitting on the beach. Had to have been before I was two. I’m 56 now!

  2. Sunny Land is still there, after many hurricanes! My parents are deceased now, long after they sold the motel and grocery. I studied for finals there as a U of A student. On Romar Beach, you can find SL, now a boutique, directly across from the Waffle House. What fun memories you and I have!

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