Back to School Shopping

The days of summer were in their twilight. It was time to pull the jackets out of the closet, head sleepily to the bus stop and bid summer vacation a sad ado. Before you headed back though, you needed a few supplies.

There was plenty to shop for, a plethora of school supplies like markers, pencils, paper, glue, binders and composition notebooks. Local stores were flooded with those in frantic search of items for their kids before the first bell rang.

Today, schools are more apt to dictate these supplies in detail, even handing out “supply lists.” Back in the day, however, it was more of a guessing game. And chances are, just when you thought you were done, the teachers would let you know on the first day all of the items you neglected. Back to Woolco!

And let’s not forget clothing. If one was not subject to hand-me-downs from brothers and sisters, cousins and even the neighbors, you were left with the dreaded trip to the clothing store. Carts roamed the aisles, filled with Toughskins, new shirts and skirts, new underwear, new socks and new shoes (Buster Brown’s, perhaps?) because growth spurts showed no mercy.

It was bad enough that shopping for clothes was a torture that removed you from playing with you friends on those last few days of summer. But no, you also had to face the evil dressing room. Pants after pants, shirts after shirts – it seemed as if the punishment would never end.

Many a child pleaded in agony to deaf ears, “Mom, can we please just stop?” A few sniffles and tears later, you finally made your way to the cash register. Never was there a more welcome sight to a child’s eyes.

Then, as you grew older, something strange happened; you started to actually care about what you wore. Suddenly, you had your own set of preferences, your own styles, even your own color choices.

You wanted trendy, you wanted designer clothes – most importantly, you wanted to fit in. The first day of school was fast approaching and you better look cool and fashionable, lest you become an outcast.

And when you finally returned home and looked at all your new supplies, all your new clothes, something bizarre occurred; you actually began to look forward to showing off all your new stuff to the friends you hadn’t seen in months. Surprisingly, the end of summer vacation didn’t seem quite so bad anymore.

What are your memories of shopping for school stuff on Long Island? Did you head to Sears, Woolco, TSS, Two Guys, Grants, Korvette’s or Woolworth’s (just to name a few)? Let’s hear all of your back to school shopping memories in our comments below!

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