ralph lauren polo clothing From first jobs to blue light specials
When the Morning Sun asked Mt. Pleasant nostalgia focused social media groups to share memories of working shopping, socializing and more at the city Kmart, the response was overwhelming.
For 45 years, Kmart was more than a convenient box store for many.
Pat Rankin: We moved mom up here in 1990. She was a bit lost being away from the Detroit area and not being able to drive. When she discovered the bus would take her from her doorstep to K she was thrilled. One of our daughter favorite memories of her grandma is taking the bus with her and having a treat there with her. For some reason I was thinking it was mashed potatoes and gravy did they ever offer that? I remember their specials on a bag of ham sandwiches on hamburger buns with mustard!
Nancy Cantrell: The parents of my son best friend owned clothing stores in the shopping center Men Wear and Cricket Closet (a children clothing store). These two; Jeremy Schafer and Gabe Cantrell, would do in the stores to earn money and then wander on down to Kmart to shop and usually end up in the cafeteria for lunch. They were not much more than 8 9 years old at the time.
As parents we knew they were ok as they always chatted up the clerks and couldn get into too much trouble when everyone knew them.
These two 40 something guys still talk about the wonderful lunches they chose in the Kmart cafeteria. They felt quite grown up to be on their own and ordering their own lunches. Young business men on the go Kmart never felt like a big box store. Maybe because the employees were local people or ones we got to know and think of as local.
Stacie Hacker: I was born in 1983 and my grandparents were both retired then so they watched me while my parents worked. My mom worked in the office next door at Winchester Towers since before I was born and just retired a couple years ago. My grandma did not drive, so everyday we came into town and my grandpa would drop us off at K Mart and he would head down to Freddies. My grandma and I would look at all of the stuff onsale and eventually make our way to the cafeteria inside. Many people from Winchester looked at me as though I was their own granddaughter since my mom worked there. We would sit with Winchester ladies and my grandma would get me mashed potatoes and gravy and still to this day I remember what it tasted like! A couple hours later my grandpa would pick us back up at K Mart and we would head home. The cafeteria was practically a coffee club for the ladies to sit around and talk about what Avon had in their latest catalog or they would talk about what Peter Jennings said on the news last night. It was literally something we did every single day. Since there were not cell phones, my grandpa would come into the store when he was done at Freddies to find us. He always wore the same type of men pants and almost always a short sleeve light blue button up shirt, with black cowboy style boots. One day I saw him from behind in one of the aisles so I ran up behind him, bent down and grabbed his leg so I could sit on his foot while he walked. Well, it just happened to be another man dressed in almost the same clothes. I was probably 4 at the time and still remember that embarrassing moment like it was yesterday, right in the middle of the aisle.
Once the store opened the workers became a family. Kmart put together a group of guys for a slow pitch soft ball team. Our store manager (George Daisy), assistant managers (Tom Kamholtz) and many of the guys that worked in the back stock room joined the team. When we got out of work we all met at the ball field to cheer the team on. After the game we would go to the Alibi for drinks, laughs and fun. We had summer company picnics with games and fun for the entire family. I have a lot of fond memories from those days. August 1973, 18 I really enjoyed that time in my life. It was a Great place to start being an adult after high school. I had a full time job with insurance and benefits.
Melissa Moss Bayduk: the Midnight madness was the best we lived on S. Lincoln rd between M20 and Broomfield as a kid I remember mom saying mother ship is landing let head to Kmart that was like 1983 or 1984. Then it was House of Flavors for ice cream then to go blue light special shopping. I also remember pretending to be the Kmart lady over the loud speaker as a child shouting to friends and family Attention Kmart shoppers. Our grandparents would take us to the little cafeteria in the back of Kmart for jello with whip cream, it was such a treat.
Larry Grabinski I remember taking all my 135mm film there for developing and buying new film and flash cubes. When I got my first 35mm camera, same thing. remember they had free double prints all the time. I started in the Grill, then the front Deli. From there I was a cashier, merchandiser, working my way up the ladder all the while. I helped build the Pantry area from ground zero, as I achieved the title of Pantry Manager. That section was my baby which consisted of paper products, food, cleaning supplies, pet products, etc. Managing that entire section of the store was very rewarding as I excelled at what I loved doing ! But then. Tragedy struck my health after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I think I achieved that. I began working at Kmart 1973 before it opened. The store was a shell, no products, no shelves. Trucks began delivering the freight through the front where the doors glass was to be installed. Freight tracks ran down middle of store. None of us really knew anything about pricing or laying out the stock, But, we had wonderful management to teach us. Mr George Daisy was our store manager. We learned how to put up counters, how to read layouts the best was making those price tickets!
We had small printing machines. In each went a roll of price tickets. You would set the price for your item, turning a knob on the side. I made so many great friends whom I am still in contact with today. I loved my job at Kmart. To me, it really wasn the work, it was the family I was working with. We All shared in each other lives. Weddings, babies, graduations and death. We were there for all of it. As like with all Families, we each spread our wings and ventured out.
I proud of my work at Kmart! I proud that I dedicated my years 38 to a great place. Sad times have changed, but I one of the lucky whom can close my eyes think back to those days smile! It was a fun filled 13 years at Kmart 7014!! If those walls could talk. more wonderful stories could surely be toldJamie Gill: My grandma, Carole Gill worked there for years. She could tell some stories for sure. We always went to Santa house when it was out front during Christmas. Always had the best ice cream: superman with bubble gum chunks in it.
Peggy Mcdonald: I had work from 1980 until 2000. Only the 3rd job I had ever had in my life, still in high school. We shopped here before I started working, the store seemed so large for me when shopping, huge box like bins full of shoes and jeans everything any little girl dreamed of.
My very 1st week in the shoe department I had to do a blue light special on white canvas sneakers for $2.00 and it really opened my eyes of just how crazy this one stop shopping could really get, it was announced and the people came running ( and I mean running) I was scared of being knocked down, so my manager said always stand behind the blue light! I had never seen such madness over a pair of $2.00 shoes ! I still think of my 1st week and thought of leaving,
but I not one to walk away from anything because of being overwhelmed!