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A Few Items for Sale

The Sears Museum in Greensboro, NC - 2022
Friendly Center

Front of Sears store at Friendly Center in Greensboro, NC - Airplanes and Rockets

Front of Sears store at Friendly Center in Greensboro, NC

Sears tool department entrance at Friendly Center - Airplanes and Rockets

Sears tool department entrance at Friendly Center

Craftsman tool department at Sears in Friendly Center - Airplanes and Rockets

Craftsman tool department at Sears in Friendly Center 

Sears at Friendly Center - Airplanes and Rockets

Sears at Friendly Center 

Melanie on the escalator in Sears at Friendly Center - Airplanes and Rockets

Melanie on the escalator in Sears at Friendly Center

What remains of the Sears at Friendly Center - Airplanes and Rockets

What remains of the Sears at Friendly Center

Upstairs clothing and kitchen appliance departments at Sears in Friendly Center - Airplanes and Rockets

Upstairs clothing and kitchen appliance departments at Sears in Friendly Center

Sears Auto Center shut down in Friendly Center - Airplanes and Rockets

Sears Auto Center shut down in Friendly Center

Call me a hopeless nostalgist when it comes to favored institutions I grew up with. I miss Pontiac dealerships, Montgomery Ward, and Radio Shack stores. I miss Uncle Ben on the converted rice package, and the Indian squaw on the Land O'Lakes margarine package. I miss trips to Blockbuster Video stores on Saturday to pick up a movie on VHS tape, and walking through Toys R Us during the Christmas season. General Foods, Woolworth, Eastern Airlines, Circuit City, Western Auto, Drug Fair, Read's Drug, Britt's Department Stores, Lafayette Radio, A&P Grocery, Northern Reflections, Hechinger Home Improvement, Babbage's Software. All those and more were part of my growing up in the Annapolis, Maryland area (with Parole Plaza being the prime shopping complex in the era).

One of the things I miss the most is the old Sear, Roebuck and Co. stores - particularly the Craftsman tools and lawn and garden sections. My parents bought just about everything from Sears, from us kids' (five of us) school clothing, to household appliances, to lawn mowers, to furniture. Sears' Open Hearth sofas, chairs, end tables, etc. (pretty sure we had this), were nice wood and cloth designs which wore well and were fairly inexpensive (which is why we bought them). Of course the Sears Wish Book and Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogs were anxiously watched for in the mailbox each Fall.

Tragically, our local Sears in Erie, Pennsylvania, closed its doors just before Christmas in 2015. It was always the entrance and exit point of our weekly Sunday excursions for walking the Millcreek Mall, of course always parking nearest to the tool department door. Sundays have never been the same since then. Nearly every Sears store in the country has shut down by now. Melanie and I recently moved back to the Greensboro, North Carolina, area, and to my surprise and delight I discovered that the Sears in the Friendly Center shopping complex is still open! The Auto Center has shut down, but the main store is still in business.

Admittedly, the merchandise stock level is pathetically low, and the place is like a ghost town inside, but it still fundamentally looks like the Sears I remember from when we first moved to NC back in 2001. Only two employees were anywhere in sight on the ground floor, and I didn't see any upstairs. It was a bittersweet experience. Melanie dubbed the place a "Sears Museum." Out of a sense of customer loyalty, we bought a couple items (Craftsman tools - now primarily sold by Lowes - and shirts) with the Sears brand name on them. There just wasn't much to choose from.

The pictures shown on this page are evidence that yes, there is still at least one Sears store left in the world, and it's about 12 miles from my home. Now that I know it's here, we'll make a habit of stopping in occasionally. I could almost feel the ghosts of people hustling and bustling - especially at Christmastime - in days gone by. I feel I did my part to help keep Sears alive, since most of my hand tools and workshop power tools are Craftsman - some of them I've owned for more than four decades. Melanie still wears the Lands' End clothes from days gone by. This is what happens when you cross the 60-year point...

 

 

Posted April 6, 2022

About Airplanes & Rockets 

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and RocketsKirt Blattenberger

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my
life I have endeavored to maintain
some form of model building activity.
This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

Copyright 1996 - 2030

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