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Chock Full O'Nuts. That heavenly coffee. I was never much of a

coffee drinker so I didn't pay much attention to it, though I remember

the aroma. I do recall when stores had a large barrel of pickles that

customers would fish out and put in bags. Not exactly the most

sanitary way to do things.

I think people used the tongs to fish out the pickles in the barrels, not their hands. Pickles were also in a vinegar solution and that's a natural distinfectant. I think the salad bars in supermarkets or buffets that became popular years later are a lot worse.

I saw a woman in the supermarket while picking out some apples by accident dropping some on the floor and putting them back. That's really sanitary. I doubt all the soap and water would get that fruit clean. I peel the fruit I buy since everyone handles all this stuff.

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Yes, Kreske's is KMart. In my travels I've spotted old Kresge's, Woolworth & Sears buildings, identifyable by their design as well as the name still on them up high. (I'll dig through my archives to find a photo)

 

Green Stamps. There was even a Mary Tyler Moore Show episode where Mary & Rhoda are sticking stamps in a book. I remember pouring through the catalogues seeing cool toys-but my Mom would always buy a lawn chair or something along those lines.

 

I recalled many years after moving from my apartment in Worcester MA, that I had left a six foot high S&H Green Stamps sign in the basement! I wonder what my landlord thought of that when he found it!

(I still have a 5 ft high 12 foot long working neon D-I-N-E-R sign in my attic for 15 years just waiting for a base!)

 

Thanks for that May Co. photo Dargo. Gorgeous building. May Co took over our local big department store, Sibley's. Both my mother & I had worked at the original Sibley's store in downtown Rochester NY. It was an adventure, I most certainly miss traditional Main St independent department stores, and collect memorabilia from them.

 

I thought May Co was originally "based" in Cleveland OH. When I visited that one, it felt like a pilgrimage, it looked like a cathedral.

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Along with many supermarket chains, TIKI, several other long time discount and department stores have disappeared.

 

You mentioned KRESGE,  and for a good spell, after K-Mart  was formed, Krege still kept many of their old stores going.  We had two in my town.  One closed several years before the other.  One of my stepsisters was a commercial artist for them for several years.

 

One is still a vacant unit in one strip mall we long called "The Plaza", and the other after it closed was worked into, along with the closed up stores alongside of it, an OLD NAVY store that's also no longer doing business there.

 

We also had a WOOLWORTH "five and dime" on the same block where there was also a NEISNER'S "five and dime".  Neisner's was where I'd go to get my monthly ARCHIE comic book.  They also had one of those machines that you made those "lucky charm" medallions by moving a pointed bar around, point it at a letter, pull the lever and when you were done, a medallion would drop into a tray that had your name (or whatever else you wanted) stamped on it.

 

Downtown Detroit also had a KERN'S dept. store, next to the HUDSON store that when it was torn down, they kept the "iconic" clock tower intact.  I think it's still there.  Back in the '30's and '40's the KERN CLOCK was a popular rendezvous point.  "I'll meet you under the KERN CLOCK"  was a well used phrase in those days.

 

Behind Hudson was a CROWLEY'S dept. store that closed up in the early '80's, and kept their Dearborn, MI store opened until about 15 or so years ago.  All gone now.

 

HIMELHOCH'S, which was on par with SAKS is also long gone, along with THREE SISTER'S, MARIANNE'S , SIM'S,  HUGHES, HATCHER and SUFFRIN, KINNEY SHOES and GRINNELL BROS. music, which also had a huge downtown Detroit store.  They also had a branch outlet in Lincoln Park, which is where I bought the ticket for my first rock concert(Jimi Hendrix) and where I also got my first electric guitar from.  They were also known for their own brand of piano.  It's location is a discout furniture store now.

 

 

Sepiatone

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We also had Gold Bond stamps.  They had a redemption store in the Charleston, SC about 60 miles away.  Still have the Samsonite attache case my mother got for my college graduation with her GB stamps.

I have some DVD's of Classic TV commercials.  Great to watch while on the treadmill as you can stop at any point and then resume next session.  Several commercials on Raleigh cigarettes and their coupons and some of the things you could get. 

By the way Gerald, this is a great thread. 

There were stamps known as Top Value stamps. I believe they were used at the Penn Fruit supermarkets.

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You are all talking about the disappearance of supermarket chains. How about 5 &10's? Woolworth's, Kresge's, W.T Grant. All long gone.

DownGoesFrazier: along with the disappearance of dime stores, what about those wonderful luncheon counters they contained.  You could get a full meal or ice cream sodas.  I remember the smell would waft over you as you entered and always made for an interesting encounter with your parent because you knew you were going to ask for an ice cream cone.  My mom used to buy some of her sewing supplies at the dime store like buttons, zippers and ribbon.  She made all my clothes through grade school and she loved rick rack as it was most likely inexpensive and rather easy to sew on to material.   I am just loving this post as it reminds me of all things.  I sit here in the AM, read additions and then sit back and let my memory take flight. 

 

Since this is fall and we are busy raking leaves I also remember when you were able to burn your leaves in a big wire cage.  There was an alley behind our house and my Dad bought this big wire basket/cage thing and the raked leaves would go in there and then you could burn them and this smell permeated the neighborhood. As the oldest needless to say raking was one of my chores.  However thanks to Al Gore we resort to piling our leaves in plastic bags and have them taken to the dump where most likely they never decompose.  I suppose I should have a compost pile but at this stage I am just too old. 

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Since this is fall and we are busy raking leaves I also remember when you were able to burn your leaves in a big wire cage.  There was an alley behind our house and my Dad bought this big wire basket/cage thing and the raked leaves would go in there and then you could burn them and this smell permeated the neighborhood. As the oldest needless to say raking was one of my chores.  However thanks to Al Gore we resort to piling our leaves in plastic bags and have them taken to the dump where most likely they never decompose.  I suppose I should have a compost pile but at this stage I am just too old. 

 

I'm not sure what Al Gore was supposed to have done, but people burn leaves in my neighborhood 8 months out of the year. Usually on the nicest days, so you can't open a window without smoke coming into your house.

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DownGoesFrazier: along with the disappearance of dime stores, what about those wonderful luncheon counters they contained.  You could get a full meal or ice cream sodas.  I remember the smell would waft over you as you entered and always made for an interesting encounter with your parent because you knew you were going to ask for an ice cream cone.  My mom used to buy some of her sewing supplies at the dime store like buttons, zippers and ribbon.  She made all my clothes through grade school and she loved rick rack as it was most likely inexpensive and rather easy to sew on to material.   I am just loving this post as it reminds me of all things.  I sit here in the AM, read additions and then sit back and let my memory take flight. 

 

Since this is fall and we are busy raking leaves I also remember when you were able to burn your leaves in a big wire cage.  There was an alley behind our house and my Dad bought this big wire basket/cage thing and the raked leaves would go in there and then you could burn them and this smell permeated the neighborhood. As the oldest needless to say raking was one of my chores.  However thanks to Al Gore we resort to piling our leaves in plastic bags and have them taken to the dump where most likely they never decompose.  I suppose I should have a compost pile but at this stage I am just too old. 

Integration did in many of the lunch counters in the South.  But I suspect fast food restaurants had more to do with it.

Don't blame Al Gore!  Prohibitions against leaf burning pre-date him.  I live in a town where it is prohibited as is all outdoor burning of anything.  Except charcoal in a grille.

The reasons against leaf burning was the odor and the smoke was offensive to many, especially when a lot of people did it.  Also, big fire hazard.  Burning leaves could blow to some other location and start fires, not to mention grass fires for the person doing the burning.

I use my riding mower to bag my leaves and then spread them around the trees and other areas where I do not want grass to grow.  Use some to mulch over plants for the winter.  This way I do not have to blow them into a pile, bag them and haul them to street.  The town (and taxpayers) benefit because the town does not have to haul them away.  Yard debris is a major headache for many municipalities.

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I think people used the tongs to fish out the pickles in the barrels, not their hands. Pickles were also in a vinegar solution and that's a natural distinfectant. I think the salad bars in supermarkets or buffets that became popular years later are a lot worse.

I saw a woman in the supermarket while picking out some apples by accident dropping some on the floor and putting them back. That's really sanitary. I doubt all the soap and water would get that fruit clean. I peel the fruit I buy since everyone handles all this stuff.

 

You are correct...the brine in the pickle barrel would kill just about anything on your hands.  As for salad bars...I watch employees tend to these all the time and just shudder.  I also like watching the staff behind the deli counter wearing gloves and then running their hand across their nose...EGADS!!! it's E-Coli.  However I must admit that being exposed to a few germs is good for you as it builds up the immune system.  I believe that this country has over-used hand sanitizer, bleach and other products to such an extreme that kids today don't have a chance to build up a good immune system.  But what do I know? 

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I think people used the tongs to fish out the pickles in the barrels, not their hands. Pickles were also in a vinegar solution and that's a natural distinfectant. I think the salad bars in supermarkets or buffets that became popular years later are a lot worse.

I saw a woman in the supermarket while picking out some apples by accident dropping some on the floor and putting them back. That's really sanitary. I doubt all the soap and water would get that fruit clean. I peel the fruit I buy since everyone handles all this stuff.

Yes indeed, tongs were used. Perhaps the appearance was more

bothersome than the actual act, but they're long gone. I'm sure

there are lots of things in the supermarket that are a bit on the

unsanitary side, but not enough to cause actual harm.

 

There always seemed to be one large retail space in town that

had one discount store after another. One would be there for

a few years then leave and the next discount store would move

in and on and on.

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Yes indeed, tongs were used. Perhaps the appearance was more

bothersome than the actual act, but they're long gone. I'm sure

there are lots of things in the supermarket that are a bit on the

unsanitary side, but not enough to cause actual harm.

 

There always seemed to be one large retail space in town that

had one discount store after another. One would be there for

a few years then leave and the next discount store would move

in and on and on.

 

 

So, kind'a like the phenomenon of old and grand centrally located movie houses having a second life as churches, eh?!

 

Seen that a few times I'll bet.

 

(...not that's there's anything wrong with that I suppose, and if one might be into that sort of thing)

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So, kind'a like the phenomenon of old and grand centrally located movie houses having a second life as churches, eh?!

 

Seen that a few times I'll bet.

 

(...not that's there's anything wrong with that I suppose, and if one might be into that sort of thing)

I've read about that, but have never seen one, though I have

seen old churches used for other purposes. The outside wall

of a church would be a good place to project a movie on.

Let's Movie.

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I've read about that, but have never seen one, though I have

seen old churches used for other purposes. The outside wall

of a church would be a good place to project a movie on.

Let's Movie.

 

Wow! Gotta say ol' buddy that YOU were very last person around here who'd I'd EVER suspect of fallin' for that snappy new little TCM sales catchphrase! 

 

(...although somethin' IS tellin' me you weren't exactly bein' serious about that)

 

;)

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Wow! Gotta say ol' buddy that YOU were very last person around here who'd I'd EVER suspect of fallin' for that snappy new little TCM sales catchphrase!

 

(...although somethin' IS tellin' me you weren't exactly bein' serious about that)

 

;)

I guess that isn't so far out. That's a real cathedral in the vicinity and they have an actual church congregation, parish and all that.

 

Of all times - - every Halloween they show scary Silent movies like Phantom of the Opera accompanied by the church organ for charity. Go figure...

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Great reminiscences in this thread!  Even though I consider myself a child of the 60's, I'm familiar with many of the references cited here.

 

--Loved the smell of burning leaves as a kid.  As an adult, I grew to hate it!

--Family collected Top Value stamps from our local Kroger store (long since gone now).  Every year,        the parents would take us to the redemption center where we'd get some pretty

   cool back to school stuff.

--Next town to the west of me had a Newberry's department store.  It was the only place in my county

   that had an escalator, so it was always a treat to go shopping there.  It also had a lunch counter.

--There were three drug stores in town, and all of them had a soda fountain.  I always thought drug

   store milkshakes were the best thing on earth!  One of the drug stores was in an older building that

   had wooden floors that creaked with every step you took.  The local hardware store also sported a

   wooden floor, as did two of the town's dime stores.

--Woolworth Donovan's last wife lives in my hometown!  She was honored a few years ago as a 

   distinguished alumnae of the local high school.

--When the United Methodists built a new church in 1967, their old building (from 1895) sat idle for

   nearly 20 years before someone bought it and turned it into a bar and grill.  It's pretty neat to sit

   there and have dinner and a brewski with John Wesley watching from one of the stained glass

   windows!

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I guess that isn't so far out. That's a real cathedral in the vicinity and they have an actual church congregation, parish and all that.

 

Of all times - - every Halloween they show scary Silent movies like Phantom of the Opera accompanied by the church organ for charity. Go figure...

 

This reminds me of the renascence of sorts which took place beginning in the late-'60s and which entails the Old Town Music Hall located in El Segundo CA and just 7 or so miles from my old home in L.A.'s South Bay beach area, and it being restored at that time along with its grand old "Mighty" Wurlitzer pipe organ, and where it has become quite a popular attraction to watch a classic silent film while listening to the organist play along to the movie...

 

http://www.oldtownmusichall.org/

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Wow! Gotta say ol' buddy that YOU were very last person around here who'd I'd EVER suspect of fallin' for that snappy new little TCM sales catchphrase! 

 

(...although somethin' IS tellin' me you weren't exactly bein' serious about that)

 

;)

I figured if they can show it on the side of a mountain in the ad,

why not a church. Perhaps they could have a more thoughtful

slogan--Come, let us movie together.

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The local W.T. Grant had a fairly long soda fountain/grill

in the front of the store. Toward the end of the night

the area underneath the stools was pretty gross. If

you weren't ashamed to eat stuff from off the floor, you

could probably make a good meal from it. :o

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The local W.T. Grant had a fairly long soda fountain/grill

in the front of the store. Toward the end of the night

the area underneath the stools was pretty gross. If

you weren't ashamed to eat stuff from off the floor, you

could probably make a good meal from it. :o

 

On our main street we had a hierarchy of dime stores. Being in Woolworth's was like being in the King's Castle-- hot dogs, snow cones, and 45 records for $0.90.

 

Did I forget to mention hot peanuts and every kind of knick-knack you could possibly want at a decent price.

 

What used to fascinate me the most were the picture frames because they had pictures of the movie stars inside. I used to buy the ones with Robert Stack and Ava Gardner.

 

Kresge's was nearby and it was on a lower level but it had some okay things you could get.

 

WT Grant was in the basement of the dime store business. Not only did it smell bad, but everything in it was made in Japan-- when things that were made in Japan we're not really what we would call all that great.

 

If you live long enough Everything Changes. LOL

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On our main street we had a hierarchy of dime stores. Being in Woolworth's was like being in the King's Castle-- hot dogs, snow cones, and 45 records for $0.90.

 

Did I forget to mention hot peanuts and every kind of knick-knack you could possibly want at a decent price.

 

What used to fascinate me the most were the picture frames because they had pictures of the movie stars inside. I used to buy the ones with Robert Stack and Ava Gardner.

 

Kresge's was nearby and it was on a lower level but it had some okay things you could get.

 

WT Grant was in the basement of the dime store business. Not only did it smell bad, but everything in it was made in Japan-- when things that were made in Japan we're not really what we would call all that great.

 

If you live long enough Everything Changes. LOL

 

Reminds me of growing up in Long Beach. We had some of those stores down town. The Sears was a city block and had clearance in the basement. I remember the counter with nuts and candies in the glass compartments. Fresh popcorn you could smell all across the store. 

 

They decided around 1980 or so to build a mall across the street. Sears thought they were so big, they didn't need to be in the mall. Both the Sears and the mall are gone now. And no one shops in Downtown Long Beach anymore. 

 

 

This reminds me of the renascence of sorts which took place beginning in the late-'60s and which entails the Old Town Music Hall located in El Segundo CA and just 7 or so miles from my old home in L.A.'s South Bay beach area, and it being restored at that time along with its grand old "Mighty" Wurlitzer pipe organ, and where it has become quite a popular attraction to watch a classic silent film while listening to the organist play along to the movie...

 

http://www.oldtownmusichall.org/

 

I live in the south bay and didn't know this existed. They even changed the name of the mall. I know up in L.A. proper there are theaters that show classic film but, nothing so near by. I'll have to investigate. 

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Reminds me of growing up in Long Beach. We had some of those stores down town. The Sears was a city block and had clearance in the basement. I remember the counter with nuts and candies in the glass compartments. Fresh popcorn you could smell all across the store. 

 

They decided around 1980 or so to build a mall across the street. Sears thought they were so big, they didn't need to be in the mall. Both the Sears and the mall are gone now. And no one shops in Downtown Long Beach anymore. 

 

 

 

I live in the south bay and didn't know this existed. They even changed the name of the mall. I know up in L.A. proper there are theaters that show classic film but, nothing so near by. I'll have to investigate. 

 

Gerald, Long Beach as gone through a renascence of sorts itself in recent years, as you probably know. Pine Avenue just north of Ocean Blvd, especially.

 

Have you visited that area recently? Last time I was there a few years ago while attending a motorcycle show at the L.B. Convention Center, I and few friends with me that day stopped at one of the fancy restaurants on Pine and had a wonderful dinner.

 

(...and yeah, be sure to check out that music hall in El Segundo...I think you'll find it a very entertaining experience)

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Very interesting reminiscences.....makes me wonder what experience kids of today have.

 

We're a country built on consumerism and the biggest hole "chains" have created is human interaction & individuality. Everything is automated -even bank tellers & cashiers- and stores/restaurants pretty much sell all the same Chinese Chotchke.

 

The saddest aspect I see is kids "expressing their individuality" by wearing logos & charactors (worse tattoos) that everyone else has too. They bought their "expressions" at the same chain store, because there ARE no other stores. They mistakenly think they come across as "unique" when they all look exactly the same. (exactitudes.com)

 

My grandfather had the "Sportsman's Repair Shop" here in Syracuse and he was able to run his little store for 50 years. He had a national reputation for building and repairing custom fishing equipment. I'll never forget the smell of that store-because NEXT DOOR was a Planters Peanut Shoppe! Can you imagine the smell of those peanuts roasting? You got them in a little paper bag, too hot to eat until they cooled off.

 

Re: Burning leaves: All cities are reconfiguring themselves with the holes left by downtown retail & local manufacturing. When Syracuse has to redesign infrastructure, they always choose "green" alternatives. All our yard waste is collected, run through a chipper and composted over the winter. The compost "pile" steams alongside a highway all winter, where an industrial building once stood. In the spring, the pile is open to residents to take as much mulch as they like, free.

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We stopped burning leaves 'round here in 1970 when "clean air' ordinances were passed.  It struck us funny beause We( here in Lincoln Park, MI) live closeby the GREAT LAKES  STEEL mill, which still covered area cars with graphite dust that the "clean air" mavens seemed to overlook for some reason( probably $$$).

 

There's nothing essentially wrong with "chains".  But I think what you really mean to malign in the death of small, independent  businesses, are those "big box" places like K-Mart, Wal-Mart, and MEIJER'S.  Eveything in ONE big place.  No need to go to the bakery for your pastries, bread and other baked goods, or any need for the neighborhood BUTCHER SHOP to get a steak or any other meat.  No corner DELI, or specialized CLOTHING  or SHOE stores. And now most of them have PHARMACIES in their HEALTH and BEAUTY departments providing competition for CVS and WALGREEN'S. 

 

Many of the "chain" stores that sold those items WERE smaller spaces, and limited to just those items.  PIZZERIA'S and BARS seem to be the mostly independently owned places around anymore.  I mean, there ARE several independant bakeries and smaller markets around here, but most people get their donuts in a box or in the bakery dept. at he supermarket these days.

 

 

Sepiatone

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How about pinball machine parlors? There was a place called Doug's Dugout near my house. My parents forbid me from going there.

They had a pinball machine in my brother's barber shop. It was no big deal and I played sometime. But most of the time I had to wait there with my mother and I was much more interested in the Coke machine and the peanut dispenser.

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How about pinball machine parlors?  There was a place called Doug's Dugout near my house. My parents forbid me from going there.

 

I don't recall any pinball "parlors" per se 'round my neck, but there WERE a few in a place called SPEARS, which was a combination "Malt Sop/juvenile delinquent" hang out in LP.  In the mid to late '50's, it was a place of legend.  By the '60's, I was still too little and too scared anyway to venture IN there.  ;)

 

How 'bout COFFEEHOUSES?  You know, those dim lit smoky dives where you'd find all the  beatniks languishing all about?  Sipping espresso and listening to incoherent "beat" fre-form poetry to the erratic slapping on bongos?  There were a few in Detroit on PLUM ST.  which by the mid '60's became the big "art colony" permeated by "hippies"  and was Detroit's answer to HAIGHT-ASHBURY.  There was a place that was also "legend" called "The Hungry I"   where was the place all the beatniks went, and since I never saw the place, but only heard the name, I thought it was "The Hungry EYE"!  and always wondered what it meant.  It wasn't until the '70's while reading some newspaper(remember THEM?) article about Detroit history that I learned it was "I" and not "EYE"

 

 

Sepiatone

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