Another one bites the dust! The last of the Sears department stores in Illinois – at Woodfield Mall — closed Nov. 14, another sad sign of the times. Thinking back we can remember how the big store was a part of the American family, whether you were shopping for home improvement tools, clothing, fashion accessories or toys. 

Who can forget as every holiday season approached when the big Wish Book would arrive in the mail. We would pore over it, delving into the toy section to see what we’d be asking Santa for. 

There were those “Sears only” exclusives that really were special and found a place on our list. By the time Christmas came the pages of the big book were folded over and worn. We kept that catalogue until the next one arrived the following year because some items were available year round. You could always wish.

How many of you kids wore Sears clothing? The Tough Skin line of clothes was good for those rough and tumble kids who needed that extra patch on the inside of the knee. I know they were worn a lot around this house of tree climbers and baseball sliders.

Sears own line of tools fixed many a handyman’s problems and you knew the tools were of high quality, because they were from Sears. 

At one time you could even buy a Sears home, something for the ambitious DIY, do-it-yourself. You were able to select your choice from a series of plans. I know one of my knowledgeable readers will fill me in as to where they are locally. I think I know of one in Riverside.

Sears had a small store at the Cermak Plaza with limited items before the big store opened in North Riverside. It was also where you picked up your catalogue items. You were sure to meet someone you knew, because everyone shopped at Sears. Maybe you still have some Sears items in your home; appliances were big sellers.

So we close the book on another chapter of American life. Most of us remember it fondly and now with a little sadness.

Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful to all my readers. You make this job fun for me. To Bob and Dan, thanks guys for giving me this opportunity. To my family and friends, I am so thankful and lucky. We all need to be reminded of how much we do have, and for that be thankful.