People: Kyle and Marie Crain

March 15, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Kyle Crain prefers a little fat in his meat. He knows how to pick it. For more than two decades, he was a butcher at A&P grocery store in Danville, slicing chops, tenderloins and roasts from sides that were hung on meat hooks.

Crain always worked in groceries. He started at Williams Grocery when he was 8 years old and had to stand on a box to reach the counter.

As a teenager out delivering groceries, he first laid eyes on his wife. She was at her sister's house helping with her newborn twins.

"When he came in, we'd eyeball each other," Marie Crain said.

Eventually he caught her on the street, walking the babies, and asked her to the movies. An evening at the movies was the date in Danville, especially if you were Baptist. The other option was to go dancing at the roadhouse.


The couple were a match and were married after Crain was drafted to fight in World War II. He was 18; she was 15. After basic training, he was shipped to Berlin and directly went to work for the PX, a military version of a grocery store.

"Even in the army," Kyle Crain said.

When he returned home, he got a job at the A&P, which used to be on Fourth Street across from the courthouse. He went to Louisville to train as a butcher and one year later began to manage the meat counter.

"Grocery business is the only thing I know," Crain said.

In later years, he saw the meat business change. The cuts started coming in boxes, and the butcher would only slice the meat. Crain said he preferred to wrestle with the 300-pound sides of meat.

The Crains lived in Danville when everyone knew everyone, how many children they had and what church they attended. People got up early on Saturday morning to get a prime parking spot on Main Street, preparing for a day of shopping and visiting.

In their spare time, the couple camped, searched for arrowheads, refinished furniture and worked on their house. The Crains were foster parents for 18 years. They took care of 13 children during that time. Most of them were still too young to go to school, and they stayed with the family until their parents worked out problems.

The Crains also had three daughters, who still live in Kentucky but not in Danville. The couple also have six grandchildren.

The Crains enjoy retired life and spend quite a bit of it at A Gathering Place. Marie Crain line dances, and they both play cards and exercise there.

"We saw they were having so much fun out here we decided to get in the middle of it," Marie Crain said.

"They have so much to offer, seniors ought to be flocking to the doors," Kyle Crain said.|None|***

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