Time traveling to Moore’s grocery

Vernon Moore: Richard Doherty
This photo of old-school grocer Vernon Moore is a portrait of the past: Richard Doherty

Vernon Moore served Oak Cliff as a grocer for nearly 50 years.

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He opened Moore’s Grocery near Rosemont Elementary School in 1940 and retired 40 years later. But that didn’t last long; Moore reopened on Edgefield in 1984.

“This was a real kickback to a different era. You felt like you were stepping into the past.”

In the early ’90s, photographer Richard Doherty had a gig in which he received free Polaroid Type 55 film in exchange for photos.

“So I started shooting pictures of what I always do, which is portraits of friends, family and the community,” he says.

One day, walking his kids home from Rosemont, he “just went in and made a picture” of Moore.

Moore’s Grocery was a throwback even then, Doherty says.

“The grocery stores that your parents and I went to in the ’50s, every little grocery store was just like that,” he says. “This was a real kickback to a different era. You felt like you were stepping into the past.”

Doherty, a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, still makes portraits of a similar style — “serious, dignified and more stoic than is the current practice,” he says.

Vernon Moore and his wife, Louise, had a son, Rodney Moore, an OB/GYN who served Parkland Hospital for 44 years.

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