Talking shopping

By: 

Lorna Marquardt, Leader Columnist

When I was about 11 or 12, my dad gave me money to shop for a gift for my mother’s birthday. There were not many places in Marion to shop. However, Arlette Nehring had a nice little gift store. I knew my mom liked jewelry, primarily earrings and pins. It took me a few visits to the store before I finally selected rhinestone earrings.

A few years later Dad brought me to Shawano to shop for Mom’s gift. I went to Montgomery Wards and selected an electric hand mixer. Mother made the most delicious desserts, stirring everything by hand. I remember her whipping cream with an egg beater and mixing cakes with a wooden spoon. I knew how much she would love the mixer.

Another shopping experience I remember was during my senior year. I was dating my hubby then and our good friends, Ron Kupper and Karen Gould (now Kupper), wanted to have a picnic and go swimming.

Karen and I went to Chaimsons to purchase swimsuits. I selected a bright red one (birthday money), and Karen bought a royal blue suit. I didn’t have many non-essentials, so it was a memorable purchase.

One shopping trip brought with it a mixture of emotions. I was selected by the student body to be on the homecoming court. When learning of my exciting news, my mother’s reaction was rather subdued. I learned it was because it meant purchasing a new dress and shoes. She said I had to ask Dad for the money. He told me it would be a few days. I later learned he went to the credit union to withdraw the money from his meager savings.

Probably the most exciting shopping trip in my memory was with my first check from Dairyman’s State Bank. I started working there the summer after I graduated. What a great first-job experience. For those of you readers from Clintonville, perhaps some of these names are familiar: Max Stieg (he hired me), Orval Malueg, Elaine Donaldson, Sharon Brauer, Donald Goltz and Sharon (Radtke) Lozier. I went to Sawyer’s Music Store and bought a phonograph along with some records. I remember I bought “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” by Andy Williams, “Walk Right In” by The Rooftop Singers, “If I Had a Hammer” by Trini Lopez, and “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Peter, Paul and Mary. I spent my entire check!

My mom was a stay-at-home mom, and I believe she was as excited as I was about my purchase. She worked hard in our home, always scrubbing on her hands and knees, wall papering, washing clothes in a wringer washing machine and hanging them out on the clothesline, ironing and baking coffee cake and chocolate eclairs. I loved hearing her sing along with the records as she worked. I am glad my purchase brought her so much joy.

Other enjoyable shopping trips involved searching for Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. My hubby and I went to flea markets, antique stores, auctions and rummage sales, and it was great fun. My hubby could spot a Raggedy hidden away beneath a table or chair. He found some of my most prized dolls.

Christmas season was and still is my favorite time for shopping. I enjoy finding unique gifts for those who are very special to me.

As I reminisce, I guess I did have a few pleasant shopping experiences. However, I must admit, I really dislike shopping. I am embarrassed to admit that, because women are supposed to enjoy shopping, aren’t they?

The shopping I dislike the very most is grocery shopping. My hubby does most of our grocery shopping, but once in a while when we need things like spices and seasonings and specialty items, I shop. Neither of us is a good shopper, though. We don’t clip coupons and we don’t go to several grocery stores taking advantage of sales, like many shoppers do. When we were raising a family, I was a better shopper than I am now. I did all the grocery shopping when our kids lived at home, even though I didn’t enjoy it even then.

It seems so many people shop online now. Unfortunately, the online shopping has hurt many stores trying to survive. Although more convenient, I don’t do much online shopping for that very reason.

Lately I have been purchasing gift cards from local businesses when I need a gift. No wrapping, no going from store to store, and no trying to find the right gift.

I guess I wasn’t blessed with the “I love shopping” gene.

Answer to last week’s question: The founders of the R&R Bowling Lanes were W. C. Reichel and E. C. Reichel in 1953.

This week’s question: What was Rades Bar and Bowling before it became a bar/lanes?

Lorna Marquardt is a former mayor of Shawano.