Sears Holdings closed at $3.82 this week, which reasserts the fall of the 131-year-old retailer.
Did you know that Sears sold cars in 1952 and 1953?
From the Allstate and Craftsman tools to Kenmore appliances, Sears was the one of the main retailers for the American middle class for decades, along with JC Penney and Montgomery Ward.
Penney’s still exists, but Wards went out of business at the turn of the 21st Century, according to the New York Times.
My own memories of Sears were of not wanting to go there (because I figured that where old women went), misbehaving by lying the floor, being grabbed by my arm and reprimanded by my mother, occasionally getting chocolate stars, popcorn, or an ICEE if I behaved myself.
I’m a guy. I did the best I could. However, there’s only so much ‘good’ that a six-year-old boy can fake before he lays down on the floor out of sheer boredom.
All I wanted to do was hang out with my grandfather on the day after Thanksgiving, as I saw nothing in it for myself by being dragged out of bed at five in the morning to go to someplace that bored me nearly to sleep.
My parents bought me my first guitar from Sears in 1984 and my first amplifier in 1985. It was all they could afford.
Back when I used to flip signs in the early 21st Century, after work, I decided to have some fun with the kids who worked at Sears after I learned about the Allstate sedan.
I did this by walking into the automotive department, where I would request a carburetor for a 1953 Sears Allstate.
“Like, we don’t sell cars,” the kid would reply.
Being prepared, I would retrieve a copy of the old ad and cause a scene-a rather boisterous one at that:
“Don’t tell me you don’t sell cars here, punk.”
“We’ve never sold cars here.”
The volume of my voice now began to rise.”
“Listen to me, you little shit! My uncle bought that Allstate FROM THIS VERY STORE IN 195FUCKING3! DON’T TELL ME THAT YOU DON’T HAVE THE PART I NEED!”
Again, the ignorant employee would assert that Sears never sold cars, and it was at this point that I would pull the advertisement out of my pocket and sarcastically ask, “WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE TO YOU?! WELL, SON OF A MOTHERFUCKING BITCH IF IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE AN AD FOR A GOD DAMN SEARS ALLSTATE! I WANT YOUR MOTHERFUCKING SUPERVISOR, DUDE!”
“BECAUSE I WAS TAUGHT THAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW THE HISTORY OF THE COMPANY YOU WORK FOR!”
He would then go looking for a supervisor and I would make my getaway. This worked every weekend for years-until I made the mistake of asking a senior employee for the same part on same car.
“Son, we haven’t sold cars in years!“
“I just happened to ask the one employee in this place who knows that, damn it!”
I never tried that gag again.
I now appreciate those Black Fridays of the 1970s, because I now realize a part of history is fading away…a part of my childhood. I just wonder what’s next to fall down.