Last Visit To Kmart

Last night, I left the house to pick-up some Indian for my wife and me, and I decided to stop by our town’s Kmart. I told myself it was to pick-up some drinks, but I really wanted to see it one last time before it closes for good next month.

I vividly remember this Kmart opening when I was 11 and thinking it was fantastic. We were there often because it was the only place on the south side of town to get everyday goods, and I liked it because it had a solid electronics department with a wide selection of CDs (I bought my copy of The Breeders Last Splash there). But over the years the store fell out of favor as other retailers like Walmart & Best Buy moved in, and the Kmart powers-that-be refused to modernize the store that just felt dirty and stuck in the 90’s.

As I walked in, I was greeted with this sign:

Even if the store had accepted coupons and other promotions, shoppers would still have been out of luck. Much of the store was already empty.

There were some shelves with products still available, but patriotic coolers at a deep discount are not much in demand late December.

I found the old electronics department I once loved. It was dead.

The old Seasonal department was selling store fixtures no longer in use.

I found the coolers that would usually sell chilled bottles of Coke, but like everything else in the store, it was a disappointment.

I stopped by the jewelry counter to see if an associate could point me towards another cooler. No one was there.

When I finally found someone who could help me, she told me they didn’t have any other coolers or sodas for sale.

I left knowing I’ll never go back to a Kmart again.

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Humanities (1999)

During my senior year of high school, I participated in a Humanities class led by two fantastic teachers — Kelley Baker (left) and Craig Humphrey (right).

Note: Not their real hair!

This combined government/economics class was the highlight of my public education as it was challenging and (as this photo gallery illustrates) a hell of a lot of fun. We had fun birthday rituals, movie nights, camping trips to Cumberland Island & FDR State Park, dances, a rafting excursion down the Nantahala River, and more.

The bonds we formed continue to this day as we just held our 19th annual Christmas potluck last night.