Memories of Woolworth’s.
What does the name Woolworth’s conjure up in your mind? Could it be that it was Friday and parents were doling out allowances to their young ones?
They in turn could hardly wait to go to Woolworth’s to see what treasures could be had with their hard earned pennies. I know that this was part of my childhood, finding that special scarf or pair of shoe laces, skipping ropes and yo-yos or spending hours figuring out what color nail polish to get.
Earning that allowance and then having the time to ponder all the choices was part of our weekend fun. You just knew that you needed 35 cents for a root-beer float after ever special item was picked out.
My friends and I would spend hours just handling all the merchandise, anything from pots and pans to nail polish and perfume was just waiting for us.
On July 17, 1997 Woolworth’s announced it was going to close the last 400 stores. The end of an era had arrived and with it many memories came flooding back.
When we had a birthday party or needed a gift for some one “special”, our allowances would have to cover those purchases. So we didn’t spend all our time buying things for ourselves. Sometimes we needed to save our allowance so that a gift for a friend could be bought in time for their special day. We would get together with friends and “pool” our money to get that special something. We didn’t have birthday parties like the kids have today, but I think with all the thought that went into making sure we could buy something special and not expect our parents to hand over the cash to make the dream a reality, we learnt so much more. We learnt about friendships, values, saving and enjoying the pleasure of seeing our friends’ smile over their gift. We enjoyed ourselves and our friends.
Today Woolworth’s is no more! Along with Kresge’s and K-Mart and many of the other discount stores that dotted the landscape when I grew up.
Today, we have given way to Dollar Stores and Dollar Plus, everything is made in China or Taiwan and while there are some really good bargains to be had, they don’t have the same feel as Woolworth’s.
There is no snack counter with the gleaming laminate countertops and swivel seats, no place to order a float or French fries. Today you run into the Dollarama, grab what you want and get out of there before anyone sees you. There is no lingering on the aisles, there is no picking up three thing and returning two, and there are no little old ladies in their uniforms with the little white aprons waiting to make you a nice cold drink.
I miss Woolworths and the ambiance that I found there. Maybe it’s just me, but I know that Woolworths was a great place and my memories are fun to look back on.
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