Saturday, February 12, 2011


Saturday in Dorchester was Shopping Day. Living on Capen St we were not
far away from the Stop & Shop on Gallivan Boulevard. Besides food the
Stop & Shop was also the source of other items, such as china, classical
music collections, and childrens' books. There was one offer of classic
books, .99 cents for the first book and  .59 cents for the others. I still have
the copy of King Arthur and His Knights  that my folks bought me.

Of course prices on food were the main reason to shop somewhere and
some Saturdays we’d drive from one place to another to take advantage of
some bargain or another. There was a place called Morse’s over on Blue
Hill Avenue where we’d go to buy meat and sometimes we’d go to the
Upham’s Corner district for some other item. Eventually we began ranging
further afield to the city of Quincy just south of Dorchester to shop at
Roxy’s once word got out about their prices on meat.

Quincy had another big draw:the Bargain Center store where Mom
prowled the store shopping for our clothes. “The Bargy”  was BORING
for us kids and eventually Mom would send us and Dad back out to the
car to sit and wait while she finished up.

There was one other important element to shopping back then: the stamps.
Stores gave out “trading stamps” with each purchase and you filled up
the stamp books with them . Then you redeemed the books for items
like toasters or irons or other items. If some store was giving out Double
Stamps that day, that’s where we shopped. Stop & Shop gave out Scott
Value Trading Stamps and First National was the S&H Green Stamps store.
I remember my Mom checking the catalog to see how many books of stamps
they needed to get some item or another.

I wonder if given the present economy we might see a return of those trading
stamps today?

((326 words))

Written for the Family History Writing Challenge

1 comment:

GrannyPam said...

OH yes, the stamps; but I had forgotten about the *double* stamp day. I remember them rolling out of the machine, and the junk drawer full of stamps at our house. I also remember traveling to a nearby town where there was an actual showroom of items you could buy will fulled stamp books.

The closest thing we have today is our shopping card for a local supermarket, which gives us points to cents off at their gas pumps. Not as tangible, and the points expire each month.