Thursday, August 27, 2009

Store # 76 The Original Naples Publix (Under Construction)

No doubt it's a Naples institution, thank GOD they did away with those 1 cent S&H Green Stamps! I can still taste the glue on ‘em & those cheesy paper stamp books that went with them. How did it go 1 page you could do 50 1 cent stamps, or if you had five 10 cent stamps you could trump them, BUT the ultimate was a 50 cent stamp 1 per page. If you ever see longtime locals the original Publix is where you’ll find them. It still has the original green & white terrazzo floor & you can see how small it used to be. And I believe everybody was a bagboy there at one time or another. Larry Haymaker, Jim Page, Butch Rush, Jim Clary & Mark Finger, Roger Mann to name a few. A GOOD local laugh was the baseball games at Cambier Park the announcer would go. “Barley is up to bat & Finger's in the hole”! It had the whole town laughing well maybe just a quarter of the town (it was summertime).

PS: Mr. Deville (the 1st store manager) wherever you are, thanks for all you did & all the memories.

The comments are getting better than my stories!


  1. Homeboy,
    My brother bagged there also. Later on, both my little sisters worked there, all under the careful eye of Mr. Deville.

    A story about Mr. Deville, and the old Naples: My father had bought a pound of hamburger for dinner one night, probably to make his famous chili, (famous only to us!) Anyway, when he opened the package, it was obvious the hamburger had “gone over” if you know what I mean.

    So Dad takes it back to Publix (5 minutes away) and when he tried to return it, the girl at the service counter gave my Dad a hard time about it, (something that never occurred at 1970’s Publix.) My Dad never argued with anyone, he just left the meat on the counter and said, “Have it your way” and left.

    Fifteen minutes later, Mr. Deville was knocking on our door with a five pound package of hamburger and an apology. What a guy. We invited him to stay for dinner, but he had to get back to the store.

    As always, thanks for the memories and the photos. You’re doing a hell of a job!
    Tara (Saad) Linn

  2. I remember when the Publix store opened; I was in 7th or 8th grade making it '62 or '63. It was really a "big deal" after having shopped at "Qwik-Chek" (Winn-Dixie), Sunshine Market (the original on 5th Ave.) and Cris-Tal for many years.

    I want to give "Honorable Mention" to the "Seminole Market" which was located just across the alley from the Beach Store (I can still hear the screen door squeak then slam at the Seminole circa 1958).

    Anyway, I used to ride the "Naples Tranist" to St. Ann School with the 2 DeVille sons (Phillip and Andrew?). Naples Tranist at the time was a pair of imported 7 passenger Komer mini-buses. I lived in Seagate (not many houses back then...) and DeVilles lived somewhere in the original Pine Ridge (not many houses back then....) The mini-bus would pick us up at the Pine Lanes parking lot and drop us off at Cambier Park behind Rexall and we would walk to St. Ann. It was either that or our parents would have to drive the six miles into town... after all, gas was 17 cents a gallon!

    Because we did not attend "Lake Park" school we couldn't ride the Pine Ridge/Seagate route into town with Mrs. Jones in old #24.

    (When I got to 9th grade at the old Junior High I always wanted to ride with Mr. Easterly because he had the coolest bus - but he did the Shadowlawn/East Naples run - right?).

    As usual I have begun to ramble and my brain is beginning to overheat... so, Later,

    Seagate Homeboy

    p.s. Tip o' the Hat to Mr. DeVille for being such a good role model for all in his charge.

  3. The Devilles lived almost across the street from us in Sorento Gardens. The oldest was Skeeter (I forget his given name but thought "what a cool nickname"), Phillip was next(he went by Andrew, his middle name at the time), Robin who was my age, Monica and then Troy. Mrs Deville's first name was Beverly. I spent a lot of time at their house playing. They lived on "the lake", okay it was a pond but it looked big enough to be a lake while we were in grade school. We fished there all the time. We spent 1 summer feeding a big gator marshmellows until animal control took it away. I believe they moved to pine ridge after Sorento gardens

  4. Okay after a few days shaking the dust off my grey matter I think Skeeter's given name was Kenneth.
    Whit @ work

  5. This is pretty cool. My little sister Colette sent this to me. I love hearing all the good remarks about my Dad. Out of the six kids - four of us still reside in Naples. Dad retired at the age of 48 and he and my mother have traveled the world since then. He worked for Publix for 27 years. I will never leave Naples and have some wonderful memories of the mid 60's and on! I rarely hear or see some of the old Neapolitans. We are not such a small town any longer. Hello to all my old Naples High graduates and I will add this site to one of my favorites. If anybody wants to look us up try Face Book. Robyn DeVille

  6. I worked for Mr. DeVille and I still believe he was the wisest man I have ever known. He certainly gave me more slack than I deserved. I remember Robyn, but was much closer to Phillip and especially Ken. The DeVilles were a wonderful family and had a lot of class, except, of course for Ken.


    I can remember so many things about Mr. DeVille. I even recall his whistle as he would walk down the back hall of the store.

    So many wonderful memories. I was lucky to kno that man.


  7. Colette DeVille CollinsNovember 11, 2009 at 1:28 AM

    As Jim said " I was lucky to know that man". I am also lucky to know that man. My father is, without a doubt a 'rare find'!! I also love hearing the stories about St. Ann, Pine Ridge, etc,as my sister Robyn mentioned. Back in the early 70's, my father hired a man by the name of Phil Collins. I later married HIS son, and OUR son is now 3rd generation Publix on both his father's and my side. My husband is still currently with Publix (25 years in January) in Atlanta. I know the impact that my father has had on my family, my husband's family....but it amazes, and touches me to hear that he touched others. LOVE the comment about how he would "whistle as he would walk down the back hall of the store". Dont forget Jim, he would also jingle those keys in his pocket!!! I TRY, to live my life with the integrity and honesty that my parents taught us!! Thank you all for the comments honoring "Mr.DeVille"....he IS worth it!!

    Colette DeVille Collins

  8. Hi, Colette--

    I could bore you with dozens of stories about your dad and a couple about your mom! As for Kenny, FORGET ABOUT IT!!!

    I certainly remember the keys jingling.

    It is funny how strong an impression your father made on me; I am sure that I was a thorn in his side.

    One story: I was kind of a hippy, and I got some round wire-rim glasses like the ones John Lennon wore. Remember, this was 1967 or so and those glasses were very uncommon at that time. I was punching in by the front office and your dad walks through the rubber door, takes one look at me and calmly said, "They don't make you look any smarter," and continued down the back hall.

    Oh, he was a funny person in that straight-faced manner of his.

    Another time Kenny and I were going to some concert or something and I hadn't shaved for a day or so. Your dad was at the front office talking to Kenny and glanced at me when I walked up. He totally ignored me but said to Kenny, "Make sure that you shave before you come back to work."

    How he could do that stuff with such a straight face is beyond me.

    I have worked for three U.S. presidents, the NASDAQ Stock Market, and now the American College of Cardiology in Washington, and there have been and are tons of very bright folks at those places, but I still consider Bob DeVille to be the wisest man I have ever been lucky enough to know.