Kenneth Avery is a Southern humorist with well over a thousand fans. The charm and wit in his writing span a nearly a decade.
Writer's note: okay. And absolutely nowhere in this hub is it said to promote or endorse the brand-name business, or Rod Serling who produced the show, Twilight Zone, had to use the brand merely as an editorial base. Thanks, Kenneth.
Back in 1892, when our nation was enjoying the Free Enterprise System, there were numerous opportunities for men (and later, women) to start-up business selling everything from bee's honey to men's work boots. One such man was Richard Warrren, who started Sears-Roebuck, one of America's most-prominent department stores.
Business prospered. So did Warren's fledgling Sears-Roebuck Co. But Warren was not the only man who wanted to get in on the "milk and honey" that America provided. One such man was Alvah Curtis, a sharp, talented watch repairman. Little did Warren and Curtis realize the depth of the power and prestige that Sears began to be "the" store to visit, because Sears was on the lips of every American consumer.
This took faith. Warren and Curtis never swore to snap their fingers and business would boom. They worked as many hours as they did the regular employees and their vendors. These two guys knew something and that "something" was going to be the biggest department store chain in America.
Sears stores started by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck in 1892, knew that the time came to become reincorporated by Richard Sears and Julius Rosenwald in 1906. Once based at the Sears Tower in Chicago and currently headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, the operation started as a mail ordering catalog company and began opening retail locations in 1925. And yes, the phrase, "the rest is history," fits Warren and Roebuck up and down
If you ever wondered who was the "Roebuck," in this mega-famous name? He was Alvah C. Roebuck a very talented watch repairman whom Sears hired as his business grew. Roebuck eventually partnered with Sears to form the foundation of Sears, Roebuck and Co.
These two paragraphs of historical facts about Sears, should satisfy what curiosity that once crept into American society. Personally, I began looking at Sears when I was seven. Yes, age seven. Kinda young, you might say, to begin gazing into a strictly adult catalog, but in 1961, America was beginning to grow and with that came infant steps of a lot of cold truths. "Nothing remains the same," might apply to my thought.
So with my young life the Sears catalog grew, but with it, they grew in leaps and bounds. I can recall the thickness of the catalog. It would take my mom one entire day to shop through dresses, housewares and things that she needed. Dad was no different. He loved the things that men love to use and for a long many years, my parents bought from Sears for Christmas gifts for family and friends. But with age and economy declines, they had to just scrimp-by and live the best that they could. It was one sad day when I went to the mailbox (a tin box set on the side of a rural road) and there was no Sears catalog. I cannot go any further with this.
I've saved the most-controversial for last. This is pretty crispy, so I will do my part in explaining this segment of my life. Before my parents stopped receiving Sears catalogs, my number one goal each day was to, you guess it, fly to the pages with scads and scads of lovely underwear models with brunette, blond and red hair. You see, it was early puberty for me. I should have said this and be finished. But these memories are like they happened yesterday.
One time I fell deeply into love with this gorgeous blond who wore a two-piece bathing suit and she was posed sitting in a tree swing. In my adult years, I never understood the photographer's concept. A bathing beauty in a tree swing. If this presentation was to teach me some secret message, then I missed it a country mile.
I even dreamed of how would be the easiest way to get this beautiful model a message from me. Nothing worked. I knew if my parents saw the envelope, I was finished because the vast majority of parents always inspect their children's mail habits, and mine was no different. So I just gave up and sat for hours just gazing into this young woman's deep blue eyes. It was if she was saying, someday, Ken, you and I will fly away to Germany where we can always be together. No wonder my heart beat twice the normal amount of beats. But Germany? Well since she was going to make the plans and get us on a plane, why should worry?
I promised her that I would wait for her to somehow travel through our rural community. Fact: even in 1962, there was a thing called mental telepathy and she had powers to talk to me with her mind. But how? I had it. Eureka! I had gazed at her so much that that mysterious power that only Rod Serling of Twilight Zone understands, would somehow see me through the tangled eons of time and substance and then know where I lived.
This gave me all of the hope in the world. I was truly happy. So with nothing more to do, I began waiting on her to stop by.
It's 2021, I'm 67, and still waiting.
June 21, 2012_______________________________________________
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© 2021 Kenneth Avery
Nathan Bernardo from California, United States of America on June 22, 2021:
Interesting history, I'm always up for a history lesson. Not going to lie, I fell in love with a good number of catalogue models in my boyhood.