Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2021

They Are All Disappearing

I SAW A NEWS STORY THE OTHER DAY that made me get all misty-eyed and nostalgic. A wonderful piece of my life was disappearing and there was nothing I could do about it.

I got my first VCR back in the early 1980s in the days of my callow middle-age. I wanted a quality machine so I bought a really nice Betamax VCR. After I got it hooked up to my Sylvania SuperSet I had everything I needed for countless hours of cinematic pleasure…except for one thing. That was where I had to fire up the car and head out to – BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO!

Now I have learned that the Blockbuster Video chain that, at one time, numbered more than 9,000 stores is on the verge of extinction. Changing technology made the trip to rent a movie unnecessary. The stores became pointless and began disappearing like snowflakes on a hot sidewalk. Before I knew it they just weren’t there anymore. The last one here in Terre Haute (That’s French for “Do you have this in Beta?”) closed a couple of years ago. One day it was there and the next day it was a Salvation Army Thrift Store.

When I tuned into the news to check the weather I saw a short story about two Blockbuster stores closing down up in Alaska. Two stores closing at once in Anchorage or Fairbanks or some other place with an excessive number of tanning salons. With those two stores closing it left just ONE, UNO, EIN Blockbuster Video  store! 

Bend, Oregon is the last bastion for Blockbuster. It seems that the owners of this last store have no plans to close down. Business is good they say. If that is true there must be a cult living in Bend that is kind of like the Amish, living in the past. Like you won’t find too many Amish with X-Box consoles, there must be nobody streaming videos in Bend, Oregon. I can’t imagine how that store can survive.

First it was Service Merchandise, Radio Shack, then the A&P Supermarkets, Sharper Image,Thom McAn, Woolworths, and Howard Johnson’s. My entire retail world was gutted one store at a time. Every place I liked to shop was closed down. I don’t think that it was my fault, except for maybe the Sharper Image (A long story).

I grew up shopping at the A&P. I built my first electronic bugs from the bins at Radio Shack. I actually liked the Fried Clams at Howard Johnson’s. One store after another was pulled out from beneath my feet leaving me feel seduced and abandoned. All of these chains and now Blockbuster Video. It’s not fair.

Well, if I ever have a need to track down an obscure movie or anything by Barbra Streisand, I know where to go. It is only 2090 miles from Terre Haute to Bend, Oregon. I can make it there in about 31 hours of drive time. I’ll have to find someplace other than Howard Johnson’s for Fried Clams along the way, but if I need to find a Beta videotape of “Yentl” I will head west at dawn.


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