Thursday, December 18, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Bye, Kmart. Hello, fun?

wade kelvin column sig copy

By
From page A7 | June 27, 2013 |

I have to admit I was a little sad to hear that Fairfield’s Kmart will close its doors in September. It’s obviously a blow to the employees and longtime customers, as well as residents who fear the shopping center will sit vacant and blighted for years like the former Mission Village shopping center did before Walmart moved in.

Kmart was one of my hangouts when I was a kid. My friend Dan, a.k.a. Chumley, and I used to ride our bikes down Air Base Parkway to Kmart. We’d buy toys like Star Wars action figures or Atari cartridges and have lunch in the snack bar. For a time, my brother Orvis worked security there so they didn’t mind us hanging out. It was where we chilled before the mall opened in 1981 and became the default teen hangout.

From there we might go down and thumb through the catalog in Consumers Distributing and then stop by Thrifty for one of their famous cylindrical-scooped ice cream cones.

I have mostly good memories of Kmart growing up except for the time my bicycle was stolen from there. My bike was tricked out with side mirrors, battery-operated turn signals and a water bottle holding grape Kool-Aid. Three weeks later, Fairfield police called to tell me they’d found it. And the grape Kool-Aid was still in the bottle! (I didn’t drink it.)

But I, probably like most of you, haven’t shopped at Kmart in years.

Prior to Walmart moving in, one of the arguments against it was that it would close down Kmart. Before we castigate Walmart and lament Kmart’s closing too much, let’s remember that we’re not talking about a mom and pop operation here. In its heyday, Kmart helped drive other chain department stores out of business. Let’s not kid ourselves. Kmart filed bankruptcy in 2002. It’s own failure to update its image quick enough and modernize let Target slip past it and become precisely what Kmart wanted to be.

Like I said, when was the last time you shopped there? If they were doing boffo business, this wouldn’t be one of the Kmarts on the chopping block. And our Kmart had its problems long before Walmart opened up down the street. That’s capitalism.

So what should anchor the space once Kmart closes its doors? One letter writer suggested a roller rink, something Fairfield has been missing since the old Skateland closed its doors. It’s not a bad idea. I’ve always thought an entertainment complex could do well in that location. Imagine movie theaters. We haven’t had theaters on that end of town since the old Chief Cinemas where Raley’s is on North Texas Street. Also, something like a John’s Incredible Pizza (think Chuck E. Cheese on steroids) would be a hot kids attraction. Maybe a laser tag or other party-type facility might find a good home in that location.

Those types of businesses wouldn’t compete with a Walmart so it would be a good fit.

Change is the one thing we can always count on. Something new will rise from the ashes of Kmart and life will go on. And years from now my brother Tony will get a “Back in the Day” column out of it. Peace.

Kelvin Wade is the author of “Morsels” Vols. I and II. Email him at kelvinjwade@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich GiddensJune 27, 2013 - 10:54 am

    A lot of businesses go belly up around here---the big and the small. ACE Hardware closed in Suisun. They were very convenient and close by. Soon your city will become Detroit, a shell of a city that's undesirable and unlivable.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mrs. EvansJune 27, 2013 - 1:42 pm

    Mr. Giddens your comments never fail to bring a chuckle. I imagine you see Fairfield a post apocalyptic world where there is no water supply and Zombies roam the streets. And the Detroit reference? Priceless..... You must be a joy to know in person.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Solano College trustees move back ‘home’

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Needs of small dog give Solano man life’s mission

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Christmas comes early for prenatal program participants

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Jury convicts teen for role in 2012 DeBartolo’s heist

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Police chief: Suisun crime up 3 percent in 2014

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Council OKs $65,730 pact to advocate for Travis base

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield pays $42,500 to settle soil suit

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Fairfield police log: Dec. 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: Dec. 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Fears fanned by hackers bring down Sony film

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Like Iran, secret diplomacy leads to US-Cuba thaw

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Pope played crucial role in US-Cuba rapprochement

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US travel industry carefully eyeing Cuba tourism

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US-Cuba thaw could benefit farmers, energy and travel firms

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Cubans cheer historic renewal of US relations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

Freed American endured years of declining health

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Bay Bridge light sculpture to keep on shining

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

Study: Huge wildfire supports need for controlled burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
A fresh setback for efforts to cure HIV infection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

14 charged in deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Study: Alcatraz inmates could have survived escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Nigerian court sentences 54 soldiers to death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Colombian rebels announce unilateral cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Russians flock to stores to pre-empt price rises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Pakistan buries victims of school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

 
Crime Witness Protocol 101

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 8 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons: Dec. 18, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 18, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
My siblings don’t want to replace abusive mother’s pacemaker

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

25 movies chosen for the National Film Registry

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Saving Private Ryan’ among films being preserved

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
.

Sports

For MLB, changes in Cuba will take time to sort out

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Falcons cruise by crushers in girls basketball

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

49ers release McDonald amid further legal trouble

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Carr faces another tough test in rookie season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Painkillers lawsuit against NFL dismissed; may be appealed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Garcia resigns as FIFA prosecutor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chattanooga women stun No. 7 Stanford 54-46

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Track coach Drummond gets 8-year doping suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Warriors’ Bogut out with knee injury vs. Thunder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP source: Romo close to $15M, 2-year deal with Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Baseball monitoring White House Cuba decision

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
APNewsBreak: Judge rejects NCAA concussions deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Health care exchange sign-ups exceeding last year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Fed to be ‘patient’ about a rate hike; stocks soar

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

McDonald’s in Japan limits orders of fries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Amid scrutiny, Uber says it will focus more on safety

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jennie Ponce Reyes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Marian L. “Chicki” Downs

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9