Sunday, February 1, 2015
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 [email protected]

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

Fire Department honors top firefighters

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Police make 2nd arrest in deadly Thanksgiving Day shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Everything you need to know about Super Bowl

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
4th annual Health and Wellness Fair a big success

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
$340,688 brick replacement for Texas Street complete

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
 
Banish dry skin this winter

By Sarah Porkka | From Page: C4

Chocolate: A long journey to deliciousness

By Karen Metz | From Page: C4

 
County board to consider DA reorganization plan

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Eurozone offers lesson in debt

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7

 
Rodriguez graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

From ocean to ocean, through the Panama Canal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Video: Islamic State group beheads Japanese journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California health care contract fight resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man arrested after body parts found in suitcase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Scientist considered father of birth control pill dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Rolled Sleeves Bandit’ tied to 7 bank robberies in custody

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Bay Area agency accuses former official of embezzling $1.3M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Los Angeles female-only mosque may be first in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Letter with suspicious powder received at Samaritan’s Purse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Snails slither into spa scene in Thailand and around world

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Not so ‘Good to Go’ when man gets $18,000 toll bridge bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Balloon pilots make history with trans-Pacific flight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Whitney Houston’s daughter found unresponsive in tub

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Drivers: Return to your dealers for a 2nd air bag recall fix

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Hatfields, McCoys make moonshine legally in southern W.Va.

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Airport authorities: Traveler beats homeless man with chair

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kerry: ‘Enormous interest in new relationship with Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Africa agrees to send 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
5 given preliminary charges over jihadi network in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Fire devastates major Russian library, threatens rare texts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Swiss police: 4 dead after avalanche hits group of skiers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Fire at Bangladesh plastics factory kills at least 13

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Vatican investigates 2 cases of child porn possession

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Islamic State fighters admit defeat in Syrian town of Kobani

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

From car lots to city budgets, cheap oil means change

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
British actress Geraldine McEwan dies at age 82

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Greek leader tamps down rhetoric, vows to pay off debts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Civilians flee east Ukraine town as fighting intensifies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

 
Good old days weren’t as good as we remember

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Feb. 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Feb. 1, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Prayer, commonly misunderstood

By The Rev. Rick L. Stonestreet | From Page: C3

 
Mormon leaders call for measures protecting gay rights

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Sundance doc pulls back curtain on Scientology

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Feb. 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Volunteer or visit because February is National Salute to Veteran Patients

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Review: ‘First Bad Man’ is Miranda July’s debut novel

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Lorrie Moore nominated for short story prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book to feature unpublished Hemingway conversations

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Mustangs win the whole Encalada

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Super Bowl the final act of the NFL’s worst season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lowest prices on last-minute Super Bowl tickets near $9,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Seau, Bettis, Brown, Haley, Shields voted into Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Rodgers wins MVP, Watt unanimous top AP defensive player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Lydia Ko takes No. 1 spot at 17, Na Yeon Choi wins opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Laird takes a 3-shot lead in Phoenix Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

On the money: Low gas prices, incentives change math for electric cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Small talk: NFL players find second careers as entrepreneurs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Recalls this week: space heaters, orbital sanders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Sumptuous seaside hotel sells for record-shattering $360M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Review: Open e-book format comes with headaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Obituaries

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joe Lambert Robinson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Flora Mae Brooks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Otilia (Tela) Quinn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Lester Singer

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
WillIiam “Bill” Hunter

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Garry A. Britton

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics