Friday, November 28, 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

Giving thanks, ‘even in this broken world,’ on Thursday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Solano Turkey Trot draws 2,600 to college

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Il Fiorello schedules olive milling day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Early Black Friday shoppers take advantage of deals

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Eagle Scout project adds floating docks at Rockville Park

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
.

US / World

‘Guardian angel,’ community join to give man home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US celebrates Thanksgiving with parades, turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Tons of marijuana seized in Central California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Gorilla death prompts San Francisco Zoo changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Health agents still unpaid after plan’s rollout

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
California Burger King employee finds $100,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

At 1 month, US Ebola monitors finding no cases

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Families asked to host visitors for pope’s US trip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Researchers discover ‘pre-cancers’ in blood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
35 arrested in Oakland after protest march

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

A glance at Ferguson: Then, now and the future

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
For some, location of Brown’s hands irrelevant

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Ferguson gives thanks after a quiet night

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Colorado mastodon bones show ancient warmer Earth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Queen of crime writing PD James dies aged 94

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ebola aid dogged by coordination lags in Guinea

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Taliban attack rocks upscale Kabul district

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Small quake rattles California wine country

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Harvard admissions, then and now

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
 
What it costs to fight the Islamic State

By Walter Pincus | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Movies just another course on Thanksgiving

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Poor health is no excuse for not behaving like a caring person

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

Horoscope for Nov. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

Week in preview: Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Prison theater transforms Colombian inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Singer John Mayer among ‘Late Late Show’ subs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: ‘Horrible Bosses 2′ doesn’t work

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2

Review: ‘Madagascar’ spin-off hatches family fun

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Reading Harry Potter gives clues to brain activity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Talking songs with She & Him

By Kim Durbin | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Nov. 28, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B4

 
Cosby testimony describes accuser’s spiked story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Sports

College notebook: Many happy returns for Arizona’s Bondurant

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Sherman’s big night leads Seattle past 49ers again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Rookie quarterback Carr is Raiders’ silver lining

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
US cities urged to keep price tags down for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Eagles roll over Cowboys 33-10 for NFC East lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
5 investigated in FIFA WCup bid corruption probe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Johnson shines in Detroit’s 34-17 win over Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Signups for Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

No. 9 UCLA must overcome Stanford for Pac-12 title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Kia’s ‘Soulful’ first electric car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Automakers aim to drive away car computer hackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

3 Reasons holiday shoppers will spend cautiously

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
OPEC keeps oil output on hold despite low prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Deanna L. Haines

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Esther Ringler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

‘Chipper’ Douglas Lee Anderson Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

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

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

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

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9