Thursday, July 8, 2010
Posted in homage to Thurston Moore, who discovered the likes of The Stooges, Amon Düül and Can in the cut-out bin of his local Woolworth's, as the Sonic Youth guitarist so matter-of-factly proclaimed on the DVD I Need That Record! The Death (or Possible Survival) of the Independent Record Store.
Imagine if records were still 87 cents? The music industry would still be a booming business!
For anyone who lived in the beautiful, wide swath of land known as Upstate, NY, Jamesway was arguably the department store of choice. There were three locations in particular that were very close to my heart: There was the store in Napanoch, NY, which was about 20 minutes away from my grandfather's property in neighboring Kerhonkson and was the first place I ever played both Time Pilot and SiniStar, two of my favorite video games ever. Then there was the one in Saratoga Springs, which was walking distance from my Aunt Madeline's house and I remember walking with my cousins there to pick up GI Joe figures and candy. Speaking of which, the third Jamesway that I will always remember was the one in Port Jervis. I remember stopping in there with my mom and my grandpa on our way to my Uncle Am's cabin up in that area and finding the Cobra Officer and the Cobra Soldier there after literally spending months looking for both on Long Island. That was definitely the moment for a nine-year-old GI Joe nerd, let me say.
One thing you didn't want to be seen in growing up, however, is clothes bought at Jamesway. If you walked into school rocking a pair of Spalding kicks, those stiff-ass Lee jeans and them ugly velour polo shirts, your ass was laughed right out the door where I grew up...but then again, the people laughing were wearing pink shirts with popped collars and acid-washed jeans, so who looks like the clown now in 2010, huh? However, those Rude Dog T-shirts were always a cool, cheap alternative to the expensive Hobie and Op joints they sold at Macy's, ya heard?
Sadly, in 1995, Jamesway went out of business along with Caldor, Bradlees, Zayre, Ames and all the other great department stores who fell prey to Wal-Mart's monopolizing, world-eating ways. But nevertheless, they will always be open for business on Metro Recycling.
Jamesway's 26th Anniversary Commercial:
1995 "Going Out of Business" Commercial: