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Friday, April 27, 2012

extra special . . .

I grew up 5 miles outside of a small town. One stoplight, a volunteer fire-department, tiny sheriff's office, and a walk-up window Dairy Queen. Actually there was more to the town than that; in fact, you could even say it was a thriving and growing community during those years. As small as we were, we managed to support 2-3 grocery stores, at least 4 gas stations, and a couple locally grown department stores. I remember what a big deal it was when "The Ben Franklin" came to town. Wow! Life was exciting. I used to look forward to slipping over from the city pool during the swim break to contemplate how I would spend my allowance. In my eyes, if you couldn't find it in that store, it wasn't worth having. This past week I was rummaging through the "Hail Mary" closet looking for pink wrapping accessories to finish up some Sweet 16 presents and there it was, the last of my tinsel from The Ben Franklin. For a moment I considered putting it back and saving it, holding it as a keepsake of THE Ben Franklin of yesteryear. But in the end I realized that using the last of my stash would not erase the childhood memories. I only hope Ms. Sarah appreciates just how special those Sweet 16 gifts were. I'm sure she did - but obviously for different reasons.
* My sister-in-law used to laugh at our reference of the store as THE Ben Franklin versus just 'Ben Franklin'. I don't know why or when it earned that distinction - but it held it to the day they locked the doors forever.


  1. We had a Ben Franklin too! I so miss that store! Thank you bringing back some forgotten memories. This is a great simple reminder of childhood.

  2. I have similar memories of W.T. Grant Department Store where I grew up and more recently of The Fair (one of the greatest stores ever) that was around here and was run out by WalMart. Funny! I love these pics! And happy birthday to your 16 year old!

  3. I love it when our photos help us tell the story of strolling down memory lane :) We were pleasantly surprised when we moved to Michigan to fine they still had a "Dime" Store........... we go in there every now and then to just look around. They still have the candy at the candy counter, you select what you want and they weigh it out and put it in a little bag, and they have little bits of everything.... toys, home decor, fabric, sewing supplies etc.

  4. I remember Ben Franklin; loved that store. Memories!!

  5. I love the second shot especially-gorgeous! And I love the story behind the photos!

  6. I remember The Ben Franklin stores to. Wow you still had the ribbon.