It was back in 1936 when Grace Stone grew restless and talked her mother and dad into enclosing the veranda of their home at 32 Queen St. and converting it into a refreshment booth for the public.
Grace had contracted polio in 1929 at the age of eight and was Lindsay's second such person to do so. For a number of years she was taken back and forth from Toronto where clinicians did everything known to them at that time to save her life and arrest the crippling disease.
After a few years of being in casts, braces and then on crutches and suffering from post-polio fatigue and pain, Grace showed the true fight within her and sought things to do and not waste time feeling sorry for herself.
Finally her parents agreed to conform to her wishes so, after a few weeks under construction and preparation, a "Pepsi-Cola" sign was hoisted on the front of the refreshment stand and "Grace's" was born.
Of course "Grace's" sold everything from chocolate bars to soft drinks, mellow rolls, creamsicles, popsicles, ice cream, eskimo pies, hot dogs and hamburgers. The hot dogs and hamburgers sold for a nickel and dime respectively.
I well remember Grace introducing something that went over in a big way - frozen malted milk chocolate bars. "I thought of the idea when I heard a youngster say that chocolate bars don't last very long" said Grace. A few boxes of Neilson's Malted Milk bars were placed in the ice cream freezer. When frozen, a bar would be good for about a half an hour's chewing and was always in great demand.
"My mother thought we should sell fresh meat pies and so with Dad having a butcher shop, and Mom using nothing but the freshest of meat and her secret spices, we introduced them to the public."
Grace went on to say that it wasn't very long before they were getting orders from Horn Bros., Knitters, The Casket Factory and other places where folks would eat their lunch at work.
It was not uncommon for "Grace's" establishment to be open until 1.30 or 2.00 a.m. when they would await large numbers of young folks returning home from dances in Greenhurst and Pleasant Point for a late night snack.
When things were on the quiet side Grace would while away her time entertaining customers with her guitar.
In a recent conversation with her, I leaned that she had returned from a convention where post-polio victims gathered. It was there that she learned that she is one of two longest surviving polio victims of that era.