Monday, April 16, 2018

Nostalgia #blogboost #AtoZChallenge

Nostalgia.  It happens to all of us.

Do you remember S.H. Kress?  I do. It's a piece of my childhood.  As a child of the 1950's and early 1960's, I shopped at Kress with my Mom on many occasions.
The former Kress Building in Columbia, South Carolina, gives a flavor of Kress architecture

Between 1974 and 1976, my spouse and I lived in Tampa, Florida.  During this time, as an office temporary, I spent several months working in downtown Tampa.  And, my spouse worked for a company called Woolco.  Woolco was a subsidiary of Woolworths, the famous "five and dime" chain.

I remember the Tampa Kress.  It closed in 1981.
Woolco is gone, too.

Kress building historic plaque, King Street, Charleston, South Carolina
Kress and Woolworths has a place in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's, as many civil rights protestors strove to integrate their lunch counters.

Maybe the marker will be like this one on King Street in Charleston, South Carolina
The Woolworth's in Tampa was one of those stores.  Only this year have they decided to commemorate this with a historical marker.

The former Kress building in downtown Tampa, Florida, has sat, abandoned, since 1981.

Of course, I never took pictures of these buildings when I lived in Tampa- whoever would have thought that those chains would be no more.

I remember the W. T. Grant in Tampa and when the chain went bankrupt.

They aren't just a piece of Old Florida. They are a piece of the retail history of the United States.  Binghamton, New York, (population about 47,000) where I work, still has a downtown department store.  I wonder how many other downtowns still do.

So many stores from when I lived in Tampa are gone.  Besides Grants, Woolworths, and Kress Brothers:
RIP  Maas Brothers (founded in 1886, it closed its downtown Tampa store years ago. The building was demolished in 2006.)  Another Tampa store, in a major mall, still operates as a Macy's).

RIP Robinson's. (we got our first credit card at Robinson's as newlyweds).

A lot to reminisce about, this nosgalgia I feel for the Tampa we knew between 1974 and 1976.  But now, it is time for music.

Since this is Monday, it is time for #MusicMovesMe.

The Head 4M'er is XmasDolly.  Her co-4Mers are:  Callie of JAmerican Spice, (who has been taking a break for health reasons) and ♥Stacy of Stacy Uncorked♥   And last but certainly not least, Cathy from Curious as a Cathy


 I decided to look up retail music.  Yes, there is such a thing.  Music is used by retailers all the time to drive sales.  The first two songs come from an H&M playlist from 2013 I found on You Tube.

Here's one I found:  New Day by Alicia Keys

And this, by Ne-Yo:  Forever Now.

Day 12 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

"N" day on the #AtoZChallenge.


  1. Alana,

    Woolworths I remember but I don't believe there was a Kress in our area. It's sad that these old retailer moguls went under. I see this happening to Sears and Kmart. I don't know how on earth they are still hanging on but it won't come as any shock if both eventually close their doors. :(

    'New Day' & 'Forever Now' are introductions. I, especially enjoyed Alicia Keys' song. Thanks for putting the boogie in my move this morning. Today's post is a hodgepodge of posts with 4M, Sparks, A2Z, & BoTB. Have a tunetastic week and happy A2Zing, my friend!

    Curious as a Cathy
    iPad Art Sketch 'N' is for Naptime for Baby

    1. It's sad that my grown son may become nostalgic over K-Mart and Sears - both now gone from the area where I live.

  2. There are a lot of places I miss from my childhood. Schraff's comes to mind, on Fordham Road. LOTS of places on 161st street (just up the block from the real Yankee Stadium).

  3. I could give you a list of chain stores that used to exist in NYC and/or on Long Island...S.Klein, Korvette’s, Stern’s, May’s, Alexander’s, and, of course, Gimbel’s. Sad, isn’t it?

    1. Oh yes, I remember all of these stores well. My Mom used to almost live at Alexander's. One of my first jobs was the twice a year inventory taking they hired high school students to do. Do you remember John's Bargain Stores?

  4. Woolworth's (reincarnated as Woolco), Kress, Murphy's, McCrory's all failed to see the demographic changes. Or, if they did see them, failed to react to them.
    And, these small town 'monuments' disappeared from view.
    (Except the 'dollar' stores that are their descendants.)

    1. Soon, who knows if there will be any brick and mortar store chains left?

  5. Great songs. I don't that store ever made it to the West Coast.

  6. I remember retail music. I once worked for 7up bottling, and back in the day of Cherry 7up (remember that drink?) we had a playlist of songs that were sold on cassette. I'm going to have to see if I can find the list now. Thanks for that fun memory!


    1. Yes, I remember Cherry 7Up. I don't remember the playlist sold on cassette, though. I would love to learn more.

  7. That ad for W. T. Grant was recorded off WRNG in Atlanta, which is now WCNN, or as it's called "AM 680 The Fan," a sports talk station and home of the Braves. Just thought you'd like to know... ;)

    1. And then there is WFAN in New York City, whose history would make your head spin. I don't think I can remember all of it. I could blog about clear channel stations one day and how I collected QSL cards as a young girl...oh yes, speaking of nostalgia.

  8. TW and her bro used to buy tons of 45s in our Woolworths. They were so cheap and they'd have ones they couldn't find elsewhere. They also sold packs of 10 45s for $1. Even though you couldn't see what records were inside the pack, there were some gems. TW found "Ina Gaddadavida" in one of those packs. They still have the Top 40s Woolworth's used to put out.

  9. I have never heard of Kress. I had heard of Woolworth's. And Robinson's (which became Robinson's-May around here for a while before disappearing). I wonder if Sears is going to be the next to go.

  10. Sorry, I never heard of a Kress store. I was raised in Chicago, but I remember Woolco & Woolworths they had one downtown where my Mom always took my brother & I. Never heard that Alicia Keyes song either & I thought I knew all of hers. hmmm Your last tune is also a introduction. Hey, where have I been living under a rock!?! ~hehehehe~ Thanks for all the entertainment & the education! hugs....

  11. What a trip down variety store memory lane. I miss all those stores of our childhood and young adulthood with their lunch counters and everything from buttons to nail polish. In Fredricksburg, Texas there is an old time variety store called Dooley's. I stop there everytime I pass's exactly like Woolworths and Ben Franklin stores. Neat music today, too.

  12. So many stores have faded away and we're losing even more these days. That's a beautiful art deco building. Weekends In Maine


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