Friday, May 7, 2010

Remember Shopping at Woolworths or JJ Newberry's?

Growing up in San Mateo, CA, we had several five & dime stores locally where my Mom would take us to shop.  There was a Woolworths in downtown San Mateo,  on 4th Avenue.  I have more memories of going to the Hillsdale Mall and shopping at JJ Newberrys, which was a competitor to Woolworths.  They both had a wonderful variety of items for your home, beauty, toys, pet items, the usual drug store fare.  And of course, the famous lunch counters!  How exciting it was when we sat down on the spinning chrome stools and ordered a milkshake or Coke!  There were these cardboard displays of delicious milkshakes, cokes, grilled cheese sandwiches to tantilize your tastebuds.  You could sit at the laminate counter and talk and watch the customers come and go with their packages..little kids trailing behind.  The "ca-ching" sound of the old metal cash registers.  You really had to press down on the buttons on those old monster cash registers!  My Dad would take me to Newberrys to pick out Christmas gifts for my family members.  Alot of their stuff was cheesy, but it was affordable for the blue collar family.  My Grandmother treasured a jam dish that I gave her.  I think it cost $5.  It was a decorative clear glass dish that fit into a metal holder and you would hang a little spoon from the holder frame.  Great memories!  Especially at Christmas time!  Oh yes, there was of course the Ben Franklin store at Parkside Plaza.  And the Shoreview Variety Store.  The owner there in the 60's was a very grouchy old man who scared me...he would ask kids "are you going to buy something?"  If not, get out!

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