Customers will notice something a little different when they enter Harp's Grocery in Thayer this week, long-time employee Vivian Kornegay will no longer be behind the registers greeting customers. After 35 years with the company (formerly Wallace & Owens), Vivian who will be 80, Feb. 16, has decided it's time to retire.
"I hate to see her go," Dan Wrenfrow, manager of the Thayer Harp's said. "She's been a very, very loyal employee and a friend. She's trained a lot of people, including me. She actually started about 6 months before I did. I was just a wet-nose little kid. I started as a carry-out. She broke a lot of us managers in; kept us on the straight path."
When Wrenfrow became manager in 1997 Vivian told him she would stay one more year. "I couldn't get him lined out so I had to stay," she laughed.
Vivian has seen a lot of changes in the grocery business over the paast 35 years. "Use to, people only bought the basic items like beens, potatoes, sugar and flour. Now they buy a lot of convenience items," Vivian said.
"We also used to give S&H Green Stamps with groceries. People really wanted them. They were very valuable to the customers. They would save them in the little books and then trade them on things they couldn't afford to purchase."
Vivian is married to Winfred Kornegay who is retired from the Air Force. They have three sons, Bud who lives in Iowa, Scott who lives in North Carolina, and Jeffrey who lives near the Kornegays in the Jeff Community.
Vivian says she plans to do a lot of outside work in her garden and flowers as well as enjoying her other hobby, quilting. She is also active in the Jeff Community Church of Christ.