Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Sears Catalog

Someone mentioned something to me today, and it sparked a veritable frenzy of nostalgia. Yes, I can even get misty-eyed when I think about the Sears & Roebuck catalog.

When I was growing up in Mexia, Texas, there weren't a lot of fancy stores. We had three five and dime stores: Perry Bros., Duke & Ayres, and Ben Franklin, all with limited stock. There were some department stores with shoes and clothing, but I wasn't interested in things like that. So the way I got to see all the latest stuff, from bikes to guns to toys, was in the Sears catalog. When the new one arrived, I'd study it for days, looking at the baseball gloves and shotguns and just about everything else. One of the happiest days of my life was when I saved enough money to order myself a J. C. Higgins baseball glove. I could never have afforded it if it hadn't been on some kind of sale as a discontinued item. I still have it, as a matter of fact. It's pretty worn, but I can't part with it.

And then there was the best thing of all: the Christmas catalog. Zowie! I can't even begin to describe what a joy it was to pore over that one, with toys galore, few of which we could afford and fewer of which I ever got to order. Just looking at them, however, was just about enough of a thrill for me.


Cap'n Bob Napier said...

There's a book out called The Big Toy Box at Sears that reprints all the toy sections from Sears catalogues from the fifties and sixties. If you can look through this without salivating you're dead or a very, very dull person.

KingBushwicktheToityToid said...

I read"The Toy Train Department"
Volumes 1&2.*(*Wards and Sears Respectivelly).
Being 48,I too have fond memories of Sears and Ward's Catalouges,both Xmas as well as the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter Catalouges.
Funny you should talk about Mexia.
While I rarely visited Mexia or Groesbeck growing up,my Maternal Grandparents lived in Kosse,so I was quite familiar with Limestone County!!
I nearly always hung out at the SP Depot every chance I got.Did you know that the Kosse Depot is alive and well??
Yeah!!It's the Office of the Saginaw CofC!!Now about 5&10 Chains.
I spent the first 15 Years of my life in Freeport,so I remember Grant's and Neisner's in Downtown Freeport and the Woolworth's in Lake Jackson.
But my folks bought a farm outside Flatonia,so some weekends if we sold a herd of cattle in Gonzales,
every once in a great while my Mom would leave the cattle trailer at the Auction Barn and go into downtown Gonzales.
And I remember the Ben Franklin on the square downtown as well as the Duke and Ayres!!
Plus,my folks moved to Flatonia when I was 15,so I lived there until 1996.
And I remember the Winn's in downtown Schulenburg and the Ben Franklin's in Flatonia and LaGrange as well!!
Hard to beleive that all the great Variety Stores are all just"dangol'dustinthewindman!!Oradangol'candleinthewindman!!Itdon'tmatter,it'sdangalloldiesallthetime!!"*(*Thanks and a Tip of the Hat to DangOl'Boomhauer from King of The Hill!!).

KingBushwicktheToityToid said...

Bill,in your Blog,you talked about Duke and Ayres 5&10 Stores.
Do you know when they went out of business??

Bill Crider said...

I believe there are still a few Duke & Ayres stores still in business in Texas. My wife is from Thornton, so I know where Kosse is. I didn't know they still had a depot, but I'm glad to hear it. Too bad Mexia didn't have the sense to save the one there.

YOUR TOP said...
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Anonymous said...

I doubt there are still any Duke and Ayres stores in business but it would be a cool blast from the past if there were.