Monday, October 05, 2009

Missing McWhorter's

I know I sound like an old fuddy sitting on the porch, but I really really miss McWhorter's. When I rented in Mountain View, I would go to the one in Sunnyvale to get notecards. When I was active in ABATE, I would go to the one off of Saratoga and Moorpark to get tickets for the 50/50 raffle. And I have so many memories of the one in Los Gatos where Trader Joe's now is located. I love TJ's and am very happy they're there, don't get me wrong. But I miss a store like McWhorter's.

When you needed a graduation gift of a really nice pen, or a fountain pen, you would go to McWhorter's. When my daughter was born, and I would walk down to the Live Oak Manor park, I stopped into McWhorter's and bought a scrapbooking kit. My daughter loves her baby book. I would never have done scrapbooking had it not been for McWhorter's.

And I think back to a time and a place that was so very long ago. I had completed my sophomore year at CalPoly SLO, and was so busy that I hadn't lined up a job "in my major." I worked 2 weeks at Radio Shack in Saratoga, and just could not hack the "hard sales" job, and walked into Wherehouse Records and Tapes and asked if they were hiring. They were. I was hired on the spot. I was also taking 3 classes at night over at De Anza to try to get some of my general ed taken care of. I'd take a break, and walk down to Di Martini's Orchard (now Carl's Jr) and get some fruit, and love walking around McWhorter's during my break. And a friend of a guy I was sorta dating worked there, and we three would meet & flirt. It was a fun time.

And I have a confession. I have long had an odd love of office supplies. A new pen and a notebook would send me over the moon. Even when Office Depot moved in, my loyalty was for McWhorter's.

And for good reason. I swiped this from the website:
In 1996 McWhorter's was purchased by U.S. Office Products (USOP) of Washington D.C. This ended the local ownership and our long affiliation with Hallmark Cards. USOP purchased over 200 small companies, attempting to form a powerful nationwide commercial office products company.

We bought our house in LG in 1995. And I would always get my cards at McWhorter's, sign them, and then run a few doors down to Mailboxes Etc. (now The UPS Store. I love Elroy & promise to devote a whole post to my love of the man) to get it out so hopefully it would arrive not TOO late after the person's birthday. And, let's face it, we all knew Hallmark. We were slaves to the brand.

I wrote a letter to the president (yes, I used the internet to research who he was and where to send it), and within 2 weeks, got a personal letter back from him explaining the situation. It went into more depth than this blurb up there, and I won't mention it since, you know, it was a personal letter, personally signed. He made me feel special. And he had my loyalty until the end of time.

So I lift a glass of Testarossa Pinot Noir to you, McWhorter's. Well done. I miss you.


Anonymous said...

I loved mcwhorters as well!!!

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