~ Do you remember the Country Boys Market with its wooden floors? Walter Smiths was the place to go for clothes on the Fulton Mall. Penny Candy had great blacklight posters and don't forget Whitie's Pet Store on Blackstone. What vintage retail do you remember growing up in Fresno? ~
My time in Fresno ended before there was a Fashion Fair Mall, or the second local Gottschalks.
My mother was a sales person at the original downtown Gottschalks before there was a Fulton Mall.
In the mid 1960s, my father was the store's Collection Manager. He performed the same job for Cooper's, another major downtown department store of the day, and owned by Gottschalk's. One of my first summer jobs during high school was as a sales person in the men's department of Cooper's.
The mall was still relatively new at the time, and downtown Fresno was still a happening place: stores, restaurants and Warner's Cinerama Theatre, were all bring Fresno downtown.
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I don't remember Coopers at all. But Gottschalks was definately a big player back in the day. My Mom spent some hard earned bucks there buying me back-to-school clothes. I have one Gottschalks store memory that is etched into my mind like stone. I was 17 years old and a friend needed something in the clothes department so I tagged along. I guess I was kind of a nerd back then and I wasn't the coolest dresser. That day I had on a pair of light blue pants and a solid light blue long sleeved shirt and black shoes. At the time, I thought I was cool but the sales person at the Gottschalks Men's Department took one look at me me and said, "Who are you supposed to be? Blue Boy?" Jeez, it scarred me for life! For that point on a made certain that a didn't wear the same color/hue of everything. Just one of the many lessons in life I suppose.
Yes, I remember downtown Gottschalk's. I worked there during the pre-Christmas season at the cosmetics counter.
Does anyone know when Gottschalk's opened? My dad, who passed on recently at age 100, often talked about my great-grandfather being the night janitor there, and I think he moved to San Jose in the late thirties.
My mother also worked at that Gottschalk's in the toy dept. She used to bring home broken returned toys for us to play with, we didn't care. My sisters and I would wait for her to get off work with my dad and play in the playground area. My brother kidnapped one of those cement turtles from the playground and it sat in our backyard for several years until my parents finally got him to get rid of it. Those were happy times.
When you were a kid do you remember how great the store looked at christmas right along with the rest of the mall all decorated wonderfull in those day now no chance that ever happens again farewell good ole days we will love and savor the flavor of our youth
My favorite memories of the downtown Gottschalks are 1) : the candy counter ( with the giant swirled lolipops) in the middle of the first floor , 2) the elevators which had an attendant running them ( and which always gave you that weightless sensation all elevators back then had when they were about to stop) 3) shopping for Buster Brown shoes on the second floor ( where I still get chills thinking about the costumed Easter Bunny with giant alien -like black eyes that suddenly appeared behind me during one shopping trip and scared the *%#* out of me ! 4) the green paper shopping bags with the line drawings of Fresno landmarks
My Mother bought all my school clothes at Gottschalks in August. I remember trying on wool skirts and sweaters when it was 104 degrees. I also remember the dark wooden floors and the system they used to pay. The money was sent by a suction air thingy up to the cashier who then sent the change back the same way. Not a bad idea...only 1 person responsible.