Do you remember the Anchorage Woolworth Grand Opening?
by Mary Jane Dougherty
My entire family went to Woolworth's Grand Opening in Anchorage when I was in grade school.
That was back in the 60s.
Woolworth's was just a few doors down from the 4th Ave Theater and that made it a happening place to go.
As I walked in to Woolworth's for the first time, I got an eyeful of the café on the left, makeup, and school supplies in the middle and my favorite aisle… the toy section.
The grand opening was very crowded, and I had a lot of fun walking around with my father, “Big Sammy.” He said we could walk down each aisle together and look for something that I would like to buy. We even walked downstairs where the home furnishings and the clothes were located.
After walking back upstairs, I ran into my school friends, and they were having as much fun as my father and me. My mom and brother's and sister were also scattered throughout the store, and I wondered what their first purchase would be.
After pushing my way through the crowd as I walked down the toy aisle about half a dozen times, my decision was made. I kinda wished I kept what I bought because I see it now in our Antique Stores. For some reason, when I was a young girl, I loved miniatures or tiny things. I still do.
What I found in the toy section of Anchorage's Woolworth on that grand opening day was a small Barnyard decorated oval lunch box with a matching thermos. It was small and cute!
My father asked if I was certain that was what I wanted. I smiled and happily answered yes.
That was such a fun day at our new Anchorage Woolworth's. I remember that I couldn't wait to get home and use my small lunch box.
Later, when I was back home I went in the kitchen and I poured hot chocolate in my thermos and packed graham crackers in wax paper and placed them in my small new Barnyard lunch box.
Then, I went into the living room, turned on the television, sat down on the couch and put my lunch box on the coffee table. Then I opened up my small lunchbox and poured my hot chocolate out of my small thermos into the cup.
Anchorage's Woolworth store became a meeting place for me and my school friends during my growing up years and by gosh their chocolate ice cream sundaes were the best!
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