August 13, 2002 - "The Jax Store"

It's been there for so long that people have forgotten its rightful name. They just call it "The Jax Store." It's an aging piece of Acadiana nestled in the cane fields of St. Mary parish.

On Irish Bend Road in Franklin, not too far from this house, sits the Jax Store. The old building has been here since 1870, and it has been called the Jax Store for so long that not very many people hereabouts can even recall its right name. But one man can. Eighty-eight-year-old Medric Martin has been owner-storekeeper here since 1935. Says Medric, "They call it all kind of things!"

He explains why most folks have always heard it referred to as the Jax Store. "I think the governor's wife named it that when she said, 'Go down and get something at the Jax Store.'"

Well, Alice, the faded old sign on the front porch gives the right name, but you're not the only one who never uses it. That Jax Beer sign is just so darned prominent!

Medric says, "Oh, that's been there a long time."

"Was it here when you got here?"

"No, I put that up."

Things are kind of slow at the store these days, but the tourists still come by from all over the world.

"Can't be to see me!" says Medric. He has kept a log of all the times he has been robbed over the years, once knocked in the head so bad they were afraid that he wasn't going to make it. But he won't quit.

"I had a good wife," he says, "but now she's gone, and I'd have to sit in that house by myself or come to the store and see some people. Now, what would you do?"

Medric Martin and his store, two Louisiana treasures.