Turn out the light


Attention all Kmart shoppers. I grew up shopping at in Kmart. I grew up seeing the Blue Light Special.  I rode the mini mechanical rides out front and placed things on lay-away. My Kmart had a cafeteria and a deli. We would occasionally get food from the cafeteria, although more commonly getting sandwiches to go from the deli.


Dagwood sandwiches from Kmart

They usually would be a bologna dagwood sandwich, which consisted of bologna, cheese, a little shredded lettuce and tomato, and sliced onion. I learned the value of mustard while eating these childhood sandwiches.


Kmart sold everything .They had toys and comic books. Many G.I. Joe’s were bought from them. They had bikes, fishing gear, and soccer balls. They had school supplies and televisions, and eventually video games. I got most of my new clothes from Kmart, from jeans to socks.

Now they are closing the final Kmart in Sioux Falls. Although the Kmart of my childhood is still open in Rapid City, I will not have one in my current home town. The brand has not been able to keep up with the changes in society. I have worked for their largest competitor and Kmart could not compete. Their brand and their name has not fared well over the years. Their buildings are old and so are their customers. I will always fondly remember the brand and the memories that I have. Unfortunately, it is time to turn out the blue light…the party is over.


Blue Light Special. Photo credit: babyboomerflashback.blogspot.com

Leather and Ozone


Reader’s Digest asked it’s readers to finish the following question

“The smell of my childhood is…”

Leather and ozone.

Growing up, I lived near a store named Haggerty’s Department Store in Rapid City. Haggerty’s was a local department store that carried clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, home goods, and musical instruments in the back. The also carried shoes.

I loved going into this store. The air smelled of fresh leather. It was stronger as you entered near the back entrance, but it was noticeable either way. It was a crisp scent, mixed with the air conditioned air. It was overwhelming initially, and eventually acclimated to a pleasing aroma that followed you out the door as you left.

I loved going into this store. The music department was a fun and interesting place to wander around in and touch. I couldn’t play the instruments, but they were shiny and wonderful. They smelled of leather.

I loved going into this store. The boy’s department eventually turned into the men’s department. We couldn’t afford the clothes in this store, but occasionally something special would come. I recall buying a belt in this store. It smelled of leather.

I loved going into this store. The ladies department was boring and uninviting to a young boy, but my grandma loved the clothes here. She couldn’t afford this store either, but she would happily spend time browsing through the racks. They smelled like leather.

I loved going into this store. My best friend Vic shopped here often. He would stop in and pick up random clothes as he needed them. I remember his buying a pair of shoes here once. They smelled of leather.

I loved going into this store. It was bright and friendly. It has a multitude of items to look at and it was inviting. I loved the fact that it had a front and back door. It always smelled of leather.

I have never smelled the same combination of leather and ozone since. The store is closed now. A grocery store now occupies the building that it was in. Unfortunately, it no longer smells of leather.