Thanks for the Memories

cbyusBy Charlotte Byus
This past week I heard that Sears South Main was closing. Of course, that caused my memory to head on back there. As a young child, I remember most families shopped downtown. Now Sears was a way out of downtown, but if you were shopping downtown you also headed for Sears. Long before the stores downtown had an escalator, Sears did and if you were not playing on the escalator you were looking at your toes through the fluoroscopes and you could see your toes wiggle! Who knows how much damage that machine caused to our feet. The claim to fame was that it helped to determine the proper shoe size, not really, I heard. Do you remember your first smell when you walked in the door? It was fresh popcorn, and then the chocolates and roasted nuts, but Mom said “no,”but if you were good “maybe.” Try as I might to be good, there were times when I walked out empty handed.

Sears was one of the first stores to have a Christmas display. Every year it was a sight to behold. There was always Santa waving to us and trains blowing smoke, and a snowman tipping his hat. Santa was saying “HO-HO”, it never dawned on me that it was not real and that it was a recording. Being a child back in the 50’s was so wonderful. Then Mom would take me to see Santa in the toy department at Sears. What a wonderful day that was. There were trains on tracks near the ceiling with whistle sounds and dolls everywhere and snow everywhere. Santa was so nice. He wanted to know if I had been good this year, and of course, I was. He asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I knew because Mom had let me look for what seemed like hours in the toy department.

Charlotte ByusAt Christmas time, Dad would drive Mom and I to downtown in the evening on Saturday or Sunday. The street lights were so pretty and the big bows in the center of Main Street were lit up too. We would park on a side street and walk a few blocks on both sides of the street and window shop and look at all the pretty clothes and Christmas elves and toys. Of course, Dad was in a suit and so was Mom, I had on pretty white socks, Patten shoes and a nice dress under my coat. You never went to town un-dressed! I remember a picture that was taken on Main Street in the early 50’s of Mom, Dolores (my sister) and me, as we were walking. We were all dressed to the nines. Mom had on a hat, gloves, suit, stockings and heels. Dolores was all dressed up too. I was in the middle and they were both holding my hands. I wonder why?

Oh well, enough of that. As the late Bob Hope would say, “Thanks for the memories.”

Have a Happy Thanksgivings with friends and/or family. And Please! Eat too much!


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