Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy (Day After) the 4th of July!

Hope that everyone had a great Independence Day! Now that the parades and fireworks are over, some of you may be tackling household projects today, like painting. And there’s no better place to buy the paint than…do I even have to say it?

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Pleasant Family Shopping. (This website, that is, not the actual practice itself.) Thanks so much to everyone for your support and continued readership!



  1. Happy 1 year anniversary! Super Sears photo, what a cute family. Thanks for all your hard work, I love this site! Oh, you linked up the "Sears" posts, man that was a great series!

  2. Happy 4th and Happy Anniversary, Dave!

  3. happy anniversary for sure. Please don't stop. I look forward to every new update.

  4. Congrats on your first anniversary!
    I love this site and visit it almost every day. Your research and attention to detail are incredible and I've really enjoyed reading everything here. Keep up the great work.

  5. Happy 4th, thanks for the memories in your blog. I am thinking with the announcement of Walmart's new logo the other day, that you should do a retrospective on America's favorite discount retailer.

  6. Congrats on your 1st year!
    It's a joy reading your well-reasarched posts.

  7. happy anniversary! I found your blog a few months ago and you continue to educate me with every new post. Keep up the good work!

  8. Thanks - Tim, Steven, John, Gordon, Jack, DCSeain and John - Your comments and encouragement mean a lot!

    And Jack, I was thinking the exact same thing regarding Walmart. I'll try to get to some W-M (or I guess we now just call it W) posts soon!

  9. I've been following your blog for that entire year. Keep up the great work.

    You know, one of these days, I need to fire something up that puts a focus on Wisconsin. We've had our share of retail, both local and national.....they came and went like the wind back in the 1960s through the early 1980s. We were also one of those states that, due to our cooler climate, had smaller cities and towns that all had to jump on the 'enclosed mall' bandwagon. Many of these malls have now since been literally forgotten, and I don't want that to happen.

    Many memories of my trips to the local location of the discounter chain, Prange Way, remain in my mind to this day.

    I'm just at a loss for pictoral examples though. That's where I'm hitting a roadblock.

    May as well put this forth here, though I may copy it to the relevant posts. When you did your series of bloggings on how the old Sears stores used to look, it took me back to when I was floored by the condition of the old Sears location in Sheboygan WI. That store, and its adjoining mall, were a literal time warp back into the late 1960s/early 1970s in mall architecture that have all been wiped out through renovations over the past few years. Much appreciate the refreshers of the old building styles and signage. :)

    Keep up the great work. I check the blog at least once a week if no more. I find it interesting and entertaining.

  10. Congrats on one year of Pleasant Family Shopping, a big year indeed.

    The image above is certainly appropriate for the holiday and evokes a time when the slogan "As American as hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet" could easily have been "As American as hot dogs, apple pie and Sears". Incidentally hot dogs(the weiner itself) and apple pie are German, while Louis Chevrolet was French. Don't know the origin of Sears, but it's says much about the "great American melting pot." Where else could retail have evolved as it did?

  11. Matt - Thanks very much, and glad you liked the Sears stuff. They really were impressive stores, and tremendously varied.

    I'd love to see more on Wisconsin stores. John Gallo ("Stores Forever" in my links section)is from Racine and has begun posting old retail pics he took there years ago on his new site. All I have on Prange Way are a couple of old newspaper ads, and it would be great to see what the stores looked like.

    Ken - Thanks, and I'd never really thought about the origin of the items in that famous slogan! Sears would actually seem more American by comparison.

    Whenever I hear the phrase "Great American Melting Pot" I'm drawn back to old "Schoolhouse Rock" song of the same name that used to play in the 70's on ABC between cartoons on Saturday Mornings! You may remember it too depending on your age.

  12. I love this blog so much. I found you by way of the Caldor Rainbow blog's link list. This blog has become one of my very favorites. It's really informative, it's really well written, AND you update regularly. I never know what I will learn about next! Great stuff. Happy one year!

  13. Panda Cookie - Thanks so much! You're very kind. And I'm a fan of the Caldor Rainbow as well!

  14. Thanks. YOU are the kind one for giving us so much interesting stuff to read about all our fave stores from the past. I do have one more thing to say, though: THANK YOU SO MUCH for reminding me of something that has been lost in my memory for years, until recently. You rock just for that reason. :)

    Good luck for the future. I will be reading...

  15. Just found this blog earlier today. Happy belated anniversary!

    This picture says so much about what we have lost as a country.

    The happy, idyllic family walking out of Sears after a pleasant shopping experience.

    That father and son both are carrying cans of paint make it all the more sweet, for the memories ... yet painful, for what used to be.

    Sears is very, very close to my heart ... my Dad, an art major in college, had few options with such a degree when his new wife squeezed me out early in 1965. Sears was hiring in our hometown of Huntsville, Alabama and Dad took a job in the paint department.

    I don't think he expected to spend his entire career at Sears, but that's what he did. After 25 years of moving up the ladder (and moving us around gawd knows how many places in the process!), he retired in 1993 as a store manager.

    That picture could've been any family in the late '60s, walking happily out of the Heart of Huntsville Mall with paint my Dad helped them select and mix.

    Sears stores had such a dignified character back then. There was no P.A. system - employees were paged using a Morse code style "chime" ... Dad's code was one long and four short.

    The candy kiosks with the best candy corn in the world -- served in teal and white striped bags. A snack bar called "The Coffee House" (with a 'mod' style "house" logo). And Allstate insurance kiosks in every store.

    Today? Sears is but a shadow. Somehow I wish it would rise up and reassert itself as the quintessential American retailer. Wal-Mart might talk a good game of being "all-American", but Sears WALKED patriotism. Sears WAS America. Was.

    But when I make those wishes, I feel like Linus on Halloween night.

  16. Talmadge - Thanks for expressing those great, heartfelt memories. It's astounding how much the world has changed, and in many cases not for the better. Our dads' generation took great pride in their work, which is one reason it's so fondly remembered today. I have a slight connection to Sears paint department as well. For a couple of years in the late 70's, my Dad worked for DeSoto Industries in Des Plaines, Illinois. They were Sears main paint manufacturer, and Sears business was literally the lifeblood of the company. As Sears' fortunes declined, DeSoto went under in the early 80's. Such is life sometimes.

    That's a great story about the morse code chime. Cool!