Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

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Regarding Bill Muncey's Store on Mercer Island

I believe that the following article, which I have a copy of and have re-typed here, was published in a local community newspaper, but I have not been able to identify the paper. Nevertheless I find it interesting.




By Terry Burt

Everybody knows Keith. You can often find him between the canned beans and the household cleansers dusting the macaroni at the Roostertail, Shorewood’s family groceria.

Keith is the manager. He is also the buyer, the grocery checker, the box boy and occasional nose wiper for his littler customers. He has a special fondness for the young ones who can usually be found there immediately after school seriously pondering the merits of licorice sticks compared to Hershey bars, unless somehow 7 cents could get both. They also find it important to check on the possible appearance of 1941 dimes or Indian head nickels which Keith may have acquired since yesterday.

Keith comes here with impressive experience. He’s been in the grocery business for 18 years. Before coming to the Roostertail, he was manager of a large Foodland supermarket in Seattle for 4 years. The Roostertail opened with Keith in charge in December 1963, and has been closed only once briefly following the February 1, 1965 fire. It is owned by Bill Muncey, better known for his hydroplane racing.

In the beginning, the store was associated with the Thriftway market at the south end of Mercer Island, but it has been independent since June of last year.

While it is a small store, customers can order any item not normally stocked and Keith will see that the get it. Film can also be left there for developing.

If you drop in sometime when Keith is not there, you will be waited on by either Rosanne Cohn or Betty Renwick who take care of things during his lunch hour or his day off.

So….if you are making oatmeal cookies and you discover you are out of oatmeal, proceed directly to the Roostertail and have a cup of coffee on the house while you pick out the oatmeal and also pick up a tube of toothpaste and some olives while you’re at it.



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Comment by Jordon Haguewood on July 25, 2012 at 7:10am

I was  one of those kids pondering the licorice sticks. I grew up not too far from there and back in the 60's, during the off season, you could sometimes find Bill behind the register. There was a shelf high up on the wall that circled the store and there wasn't much room for any more trophy's.

Comment by Jon Osterberg on July 18, 2012 at 8:51pm

Probably ran in the Mercer Island Reporter. I remember the store well and mention it in my new book, "Dragon Days." Prices for some of the food items were written on cardboard placards that had Bob Hale artwork of the Miss Thriftway. We used to stop there as kids, in route on our bikes from Lake Hills to the Lake Washington race course. I'm pretty sure we saw Bill there one time, "pushing prunes" as he used to say.

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