Remember When: Downtown Shopping

Welcome to week two of “Remember When…” The response to our first column was overwhelming and very entertaining! While some of us lamented the loss of The Texas, Peking Restaurant and Letterman’s Bakery, others had fond memories of Ash & Naunas, Moyer’s soda fountain, and Herr’s. And check out the comments to find out what folks are saying is the connection between Charlie’s, Stuccio’s, and Grotto’s pizza. I still haven’t figured out what the name of the bakery on the corner of West & Main was, though… All that and more are still open for discussion at: “Remember When…Main Street Eats.”

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For this week’s column, I’m taking the lead of one of our readers, Dave Henrichs. Last week Dave wrote:

“Remember the huge portrait of J.C. Penney (the man) that used to hang over the stairwell of the Main Street store? I’ve often wondered what happened to that picture….I wonder if it is still in Bloomsburg somewhere….”

I remember being quite intimidated by that painting and nearly tripping several times in an effort to keep my eyes on it while going up or down the stairs as a child. It was one of the first pictures I saw where the eyes had that uncanny ability to follow you wherever you were.

Remember When…Downtown Shopping

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Cole Camplese has this downtown shopping memory:

“Remember that we had a Sears downtown that was multiple floors? The part I remember the most was the catalogue pickup area in the basement. We’d order my St. Columba uniform from the Sears Catalogue and then go to the basement of Sears to get it after they called!”

I remember that basement well, Cole. My memory is of standing in line with my Sears Wishbook, looking at all the toys, waiting for our turn at the window to get our packages.

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Melanie Strickelis was impressed that at Woolworth’s:

“…you could get anything…real goldfish, parakeets, hamsters, clothes, shoes, food, keys made, anything you needed!!!”

And Jeremy Harvey remembered this about the old five and dime:

“I remember saving up my weekly allowance to buy 45s (records) at Woolworth’s. Some favorites I bought include Eddie Rabbit’s ‘I Love a Rainy Night’ and Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney’s ‘Ebony & Ivory.’ I also remember buying albums at Record & Jeanswear.”

Jeremy, I bought the K-Tel “Rock 80” 8-track at Woolworth’s! And I learned how to decorate my walls by taping album covers on them from Record and Jeanswear!

What was your favorite record shop in town? Woolworth’s? Record and Jeanswear? What about Pro Audio or Record Review?

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Remember all the clothing stores that used to be on Main Street? Que Pasa, Jolly Jean Giant, Racusin’s, Arcus Dress Shop, Eudora’s Corset Shop…and what about The Small Mall?

And how many shoe stores did we have? J.S. Raub’s, Endicott Johnson’s…what else was there?

Kristin Camplese remembers a male employee at J.S. Raub’s:

“…who was very friendly, not too tall, and had very curly hair.  Anyone remember him?”

I think I do but he never helped me. I was always helped by a nice, white-haired lady, but I only remember her name as Winnie because that’s what she always called me. I had a yellow shirt with a small embroidered logo of Winnie the Pooh holding a balloon…I probably only wore it once to buy my new school-year sneakers but I was “Winnie” for ever after that to her. Does anyone remember her real name?

I got the fastest pair of sneakers in the world from her one year. They were so awesome that, after walking uptown to watch the new Superman movie at the Capitol with my grandmother, I ran leaping home, convinced that I too, could fly.

Speaking of the Capitol…well, that’s a whole other “Remember When…”

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Have anything to add? Comment on these memories or add your own “Downtown Shopping” memories below. Have other topics to memorialize? Write to us at: jenralston@thebloomsburgdaily.com

-Jen Ralston, The Bloomsburg Daily
Photo Courtesy of Jack Edwards