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A little fantasy shopping trip


I love old photos! They are a great way to study how the real people of an era dressed. My Midwestern location often yields items from regular run-of-the-mill folks, as opposed to high fashion designer stuff from people with old money. I’m ok with that! As I was working on a hat, I remembered this set of images from my town’s sidewalk sale, specifically the 1967 sidewalk sale! This annual sale is still done to this day, though the purely retail nature of our downtown has changed some, as most small town downtowns have, we do still celebrate this event in early August.

Let’s do some fantasy shopping in these pics, shall we?
Our first stop is the Woolworth’s store..Ladies in summer cotton dresses push tots in strollers that would most certainly not pass modern safety standards. There are some lamps for sale, and some bolts of fabric. Let’s stop inside at the Luncheonette for a lemonade?

One block down is the P.N. Hirsch store. Similar to Woolworth’s, they had a variety of items. Oh! A rack of cotton summer dresses! I’ll take the rack of them! Looks like more fabric there by the door, and I spy a few mannequins there in the window. The ghost sign on the side advertises Big Smith jeans. I sure wish this building hadn’t burnt down. That would be neat to walk by.

Across the street now from Hirsch’s, we’re at two menswear shops, Little Dick Clothing (I know…go ahead and giggle) and Camp’s Menswear.
Looks like we could get some patterned and plaid shirts (yes, please!). The boxes at the front of the table say Campus, wonder if those are shoes? Sure looks like it.

Let’s do some shopping at Nola Leach next..it’s just across the street and carries fine women’s clothing. Oh dear! Are those unmentionables out on the sidewalk? Oh…just socks and pajamas. I guess that’s ok.
Nola Leach is still in operation at this very location! The owner recently decided a purge of the storeroom was in order, and if I’m not mistaken, that mannequin in the window is one of the ones I now have in my collection.

We should really buy some gifts and greeting cards…let’s head over to the Coach Light next. This Hallmark store is also still around, now run by the second generation in a different location down the street.
I spy another thing that’s still going strong…there’s Lucy from Peanuts in the window! Looks like some nifty paper goods on the table in front of the lady in the most awesomest bold striped dress! Looking super close, I’d be willing to bet a nickle that the bracelet she’s wearing is Bakelite.

The next block down is the home of Patterson’s, where you can buy fine clothing, housewares, and furnishings. The gals out in front are going through a pile of blue jeans. Pick up some for me! I’m digging those angle-legged tables, too.

Let’s make sure to shop the side streets, too. They’ve got some specials at Montgomery Ward’s. Just under that blerp in the photo paper I think that’s some good work pants, denim maybe? I’ll take the rack of short sleeve sweaters there next to the window. How cute is that little girl in the yellow mini dress and Mary Janes? She’s ready for shopping with her little purse in tow.

We’re still at Ward’s in the next two images. You know I’d be clearing off that table of hats! Summer hats in colorful woven straw in a variety of shapes and forms? Fetch me a box!

Oh, and the reflection in the glass behind the ladies in this first shot? That’s my building back when it was a furniture store. Like I said, downtown has changed a lot in 45 years. What was a furniture store is now a sign shop (the day job for me). Some of the buildings have gone through a few owners and shops, while some stay the same. We’ve got a lot more life in our downtown than some small towns, and that in itself is awesome.

Now, who has a time machine I can borrow?