Not too bad. Nice walk in park. Gotta find a better podcast to divert though. Pony to poo ratio TOO low.
Speaking of said ratio, I noted this week an article [Link] about the rotting of Sears, Roebuck and Company. I am saddened. Sears was a part, positive and negative, of my maturation. Back when I was a bairn, the highlight of November was the appearance of the Sears Solstice Book. They called it a Christmas book but there was nothing not secular about it. I don’t ever recall seeing holy water or wafers or even a bible offered for sale in the catalog. The Solstice one, at least. I think they listed bibles – but not torah nor quran – in the big catalog.
Huntsville was Nawth Alibam’s Toy Desert in those days, except that everywhere, except the big cities, were toy deserts in those days. Still are, I suppose. I recall trips to department stores in Birmingham, Alibam’s stinky version of a ~big~ city where they had a few square feet devoted to toys, mostly collectible dolls and metal soldiers. Stuff one couldn’t play with. So the Sears solstice book was epiphanal.
When I was a teenager, Sears opened a real store, not just a pick-up-big-things-ordered-from-catalog storefront, that was a great way to improve a date that had degenerated into silence. I am still amazed today how seeing that stuff could bond otherwise mismatched people. The roots of understanding sedentaryism were there.
I never got a slide rule from sears. They sold Pickett slide rules, which were made of aluminium, I believe. Somehow that seems a fitting match up given the solidity of what Sears offered. Nothing flighty or fashionable. I am surprised Garrison Keilor (sp?) hasn’t Worbegoned on Sears. So selling metal slide rules fits. Not very good but solid and enduring.
When I went off to graduate schule, Sears was where I went to acclimatize. They didn’t advertise it, but what they sold – storefront and catalog – was regional in those days. So I could get a good Plains Democrat Winter Coat in Sears and not worry about looking ferdish. Grad students wear whatever and people from Alibam were considered sophisticated in those days if they wore a shirt and shoes.
Even now, Sears is helpful. FD SCP bought clothes cleaning machines from them last year. And the question of why the transition from mail-order to storefront retailer is irreversible seems all too important in this day when mail order is once again the mode. It worked for my grandparents and now it works for me. Except there are times I would like to buy one of those Sears prefabricated cottages and go plop down on some VERY out of the way ground.
I shall miss them. I can only hope they survive long enough that I don’t have to sit Kaddish for them.