General Store by
(27 Stories)

Prompted By Shopping Local

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General Store

Sears and Roebuck

The original Amazon

The circles of 



Of the landmarks of our

Consumerist commitment—

Beacons that guided

Our travels

Before GPS


White Front 

To Gemco

To Target



To Longs


To Cannabis dispensary


Mr. Jordan’s corner tobacco/liquor 

To 7-11

To million dollar condos


Joey Franco’s


To Safeway



To radio shack 

To best buy


Dave’s hardware

To Orchard Supply

To Home Depot


Costco & IKEA 

Go Big or 

Go wireless….


My mom made us go to

Imahara’s farm stand store

In the 70s

Before posh

farmer’s markets

Were the rage,

Carrying our embarrassingly

re-folded paper bags 

she insisted

We reuse

Before anyone 


To support our neighbors,

To have long 

(Very long to my child’s eye/experience)

Conversations with those who 

Grew and brought us our food

Or to “pick your own” fruits/berries

We also had Peninsula Creamery

deliver our raw milk and cheese each week, 

And mom’s big treat was to Call

Chicken Delight (Don’t cook tonight)

Also delivered to door, before Colonel Sanders

Came to town 


Profile photo of January Handl January Handl


  1. Laurie Levy says:

    Your mother was a woman ahead of her time, January. I love your poem’s chronology of the evolution of shopping from Sears to Amazon, the old hardware store to Home Depot… And now we don’t even have to talk to anyone when we shop online. Kind of sad.

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    A wonderful inventory of the shape-shifting ways of our cultural landscape from brick and mortal, to on-line retail, and the days when re-using paper bags weren’t cool to now, when it is essential. Great treat to see you take on the world, January.

  3. Marian says:

    Wonderful memories, January. I’d forgotten about Chicken Delight. Your transitions were pointed and moving.

  4. You name Sears and Roebuck twice. Portent. One for its 1880s beginnings and rapid expansion into supplier to the prairies’ sod huts, waiting for the pans and boots and corsets and tongs they so desperately needed, at once saviors and killers.

    Two for the sudden death via hedge fund garroting by Eddie Lambert, born in 1962.

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