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Sears….Another One Going Down

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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?

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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.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2000/12/29/business/montgomery-ward-to-close-its-doors.html?referer=

 

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!”

 

“Why?”

“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.

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Happy Anniversary To My Plymouth, And Hurry Up With My Chrysler!

It’s kind of hard to know what to do when your Internet connection is thrashed. However, I believe in trying to produce anything-even if it’s not perfect.

I actually recorded two pieces, but I wanted to save that for someone special, so I had to record again.

I haven’t felt well in the past few days, as I’m frustrated as hell with everything which isn’t happening.

First is the crap with my car-which all started on September 3. I was informed by GEICO that it was going to be reassessed by a new adjuster.

I have been without my new Chrysler for five weeks, so it’s a good thing that I still have my Plymouth Breeze as a back up.

For those of you who live in civilized countries, America sucks now because no one knows what anyone is doing. Worse yet, no one cares. This has been going on for thirty years, but it’s finally caught up with us-and those of you who have vacationed in the United States know exactly what I’m referring to.

It’s strange how even a poor man in America can own two vehicles. However, it would actually cost me more to rent a car than to keep the workhorse I’ve owned for 13 years, as of tonight.

I would have to fork over $200 deposit per week if I rented a car. However, I save money by keeping that Plymouth around-and besides, I love that car.

I bought my 2000 Plymouth Breeze the afternoon before my Auntie Katie died. I called my uncle to tell him that I had bought a Plymouth to replace the Saturn that I totally totaled.

I bought the Plymouth thirteen years ago tonight. Not only was buying that car one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but so was ignoring my first wife, who told me to get rid of my Plymouth whenever I bought a new daily driver.

History aside, I knew that I would be right about this.

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My 2000 Plymouth Breeze at over 188,000 miles

Don’t even try to tell me how “bad” American cars supposedly are, because that’s bullshit. This is my 2000 Plymouth Breeze at triple digits.

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Bittersweet Day, Sorry To Say….But My Old Baby Plymouth’s Not Going Away

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After fourteen years of grueling driving, rush hour traffic, snow, 120 degree heat, second jobs, my autistic buddy, Tommy, girlfriends, and a marriage, my 2000 Plymouth Breeze has been retired from full and active duty.

To those who say American cars suck, I reply: “Blow me.  This Plymouth has been the best car I have ever owned.”

In the fourteen years which I have owned it, I have had very few problems with her.  She started right up, did her job every day, every night, and every weekend.

Whether I went to a sign flipping job in the San Fernando Valley on the weekends, worked night shift in Colorado, going to Hermosa Beach, California to watch my buddies play at the legendary Lighthouse, participating in anti-war marches, political rallies, four presidential campaigns, several heavy metal concerts (Kiss in 2003, 2012, and 2014, Def Leppard, Ozzfest-2005, Gigantour, 2007, Volbeat, Guns N’ Roses, 2017, moving to Colorado from L.A.-twice-and doing stupid things that guys do with cars, my 2000 Plymouth Breeze has seen it all and done it all-and I thank her for it all.

I bought her at Galpin Ford in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles after having overcorrected and totally totalled my 1999 Saturn SL-2.

I was so pissed off that I hadn’t been killed in that wreck on California 118-East in Simi Valley because, “But officer, if I were dead and in Hell, this would be someone else’s problem.  But now, I gotta pay for all of this!”

I went to Galpin Ford on Roscoe Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley to buy a new vehicle, and I had thought about getting another Saturn because I had had very good luck with the one I had-up to that point in time anyway.  The only problem was that the only Saturn in my price range had 95,000 miles on it.

I remember standing there, trying to figure out what to do when I saw this greenish, golden car shine at me; almost as if it were smiling at me, flirting with me.  I remember then walking toward it.  I was thrilled when I saw the name on the door: PLYMOUTH, as Chrysler Corporation had just ended the brand and I wanted to own a piece of automotive history.  The only problem was that she was a little out of my price range:$7600.  That blue Saturn was just over $5000.

I didn’t care because I figured I might never have another shot at a Plymouth of which my uncle owned several in his garage in Granada Hills, California.

I bought the car and being with it was like a living in a marriage.  My Plymouth outlasted my human marriage more than four times over.

I woke up, drove it to work every morning, spent all day with it, drove it home, went to my second job with it on the weekends, and went to gigs in Hermosa Beach.  Like you read prior, she went with me to political campaigns every two years.

It was the same situation with buying this Chrysler 200, as I was going to buy a Dodge Dart. This is the last year Chrysler Corporation is going to make the vehicle because, according to salesmen at Broadway Dodge in Denver, Colorado the Chevrolet Sonic outsells it by far.

I’m sorry, but I see way more Dodge Darts than I do Chevy Sonics.  However, I was informed by the salesman that the Chrysler 200 is basically the same car as the Dodge Dart-both are being discontinued.IMG_0044IMG_0474img_0450

Some girl used to own this Plymouth Breeze before I did, and I knew that because there was an impression of some kind of big kitty sticker on it.  I just covered it with a John Kerry sticker.

This Plymouth Breeze is fast, too.

I’ll never forget the time I had to rush home to vomit.

I had passed the Reseda Blvd. offramp on California 118-East when the sweat machine turned on-and then my stomach began to go.

I had absolutely no choice.  I had to punch it.

I floored it, and the speedometer was at 115 mph the last time that I looked at it.  I had 10 miles to cover and not much time in which to pull it off-and I barely made it to the toilet.

I was 35-years-old when that happened, 12 years ago.

Concerts, rallies, demonstrations, political campaigns, a marriage, brutal work environments which ranged from -25 degrees Fahrenheit in Denver, Colorado to 135 degrees Fahrenheit in Santa Clarita, California, my 2000 Plymouth Breeze has seen it all, and she has now earned her retirement.

She will be transformed into a classic show car.

Don’t tell me that American cars are inferior, because I just proved to you that they aren’t.

As for my new Chrysler 200, I expect the same dependability for her-maybe even the same length of service.

It’s my favorite color, but I still have to figure out how all these gadgets work.  I mean, I’ve never had a car that didn’t have a key with which to start it.  I don’t feel entirely comfortable with using a video camera to back up, and I want to make sure that the damn thing is going to turn off so that I don’t drain the battery!

I might as well be Rip Van Winkle because I didn’t realize just how much cars have changed!

Thanks for all the hard work, Breezy, you were a trooper and I promise to get you fixed up to your former glory.  You deserve the rest after all you did for me through the years.  You never let me down once.  Thank you.

200, let’s go kick some ass.

This is a demo store for testing purposes — no orders shall be fulfilled. Dismiss

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