Woolworth’s memories come flooding in

Last week I used this space to ask for your memories of the old Woolworth’s store in Downtown Salisbury. My inbox was was a recipient of some speedy replies:

Bill Yascko writes:

“For me it brings back my memories since I worked for (the) Woolworth (company) for 41 years, 36 of those as a manager — although I only have memories of downtown since 1979.

“Fred Herrmann was the store manager of downtown at that time and we became great friends. The store reminded me of where I started. The same lunch counter,merchandise counters, and yes, tin ceiling.

“How about the red price tickets which I have a few of? Your article sure brings back great memories. Thanks.”

Claudia Brown, who used to work at the Pedue plant down West Main Street, shared this:

“When I worked at Perdue, sometimes on my break I would walk up to Woolworth’s to see what on sale, I have Raggedy Ann doll that I bought when I turned 40. Now I’m 65 and still have the doll.

“Thanks for giving me the chance tell this!”

Susan Peacock brought a true writer’s touch to her memory, so I’ll share a lot of it:

“I moved to Salisbury in 1969 and lived close to downtown on Camden Avenue. Unbelievably, I did not have a driver’s license at that time, so it was very convenient for my 3-year-old daughter and me to walk across the bridge that used to be next to the current Market Street Books  to shop downtown.

“Woolworth’s was always a favorite destination, and I looked forward to the grilled hotdogs at the lunch counter. I remember the waitresses were very friendly and always treated my daughter well. I think I recall a popcorn machine, with it’s enticing aromas, near the front of the store.

“Looking back, Woolworth’s was really the Dollar Store of it’s day, only way nicer and more personal. As a young mother, I appreciated being able to find affordable clothing and household goods. And I am sure that many of our Christmas gifts were purchased at Woolworth’s.

Peacock continued:

“The toy department was a popular destination for my daughter, and in those earlier years when we weren’t worried about child abduction, I felt safe leaving her to browse among the toys while I shopped elsewhere in the store.

“Writing this causes me to reflect upon all of the other downtown businesses which were still going strong in 1969: Hess, Benjamin’s, R.E. Powell, Read’s, 1st National Bank, Castleberg’s and Watson’s Smoke House, to name just a few.

“At that time, there were also stores on Market Street, across from the Opportunity Shop, and I remember doing business with Walter Thurston, the photographer, in his small shop.”

Peacock concludes:

“Many thanks for evoking these memories.  I am particularly enjoying the human interest element of the stories which are featured in the Salisbury Independent.”

Send more of your favorite Woolworth’s memories and I’ll print more. Email me at gbassett@newszap.com.

Greg Bassett is editor and general manager of the Salisbury Independent.

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