Gwinnett Clifton: born, raised and worked in Hagan’s Driggers Grocery
By LeeAnna Tatum
Enterprise Staff Writer
Gwinnett Clifton was not only born in a grocery store, but she grew up there too. Born in Hagan in 1935, she was delivered into the world by the local doctor in the small residential rooms at the back of the family business, Driggers Grocery.
Clifton remembers from an early age that on Sundays when the store was closed, people would go around back to the living quarters and knock on the door when they needed something from the store. Clifton’s mother would stop what she was doing to go and help them get what they needed, right up until the time she left to go to church.
Clifton’s father passed away when she was 10 years old, but her mother continued to run the grocery store on her own. Well, not entirely on her own - Clifton helped as much as possible. “From the time I could see over the counter, I would try to wait on people,” Clifton said. “The older people didn’t think I knew what I was doing, or could do it. I would get upset because they wouldn’t let me wait on them.”
But, it wasn’t too many years later that Clifton, as a teenager, often ran the store on her own. She also contributed to the family business by taking what she learned in school and putting it to use. “In bookkeeping we had to pick a business to set up a set of books for, so I chose the grocery store,” Clifton said.
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