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Before there was Walmart and Amazon

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The Sears Christmas Book of 1968

by Larry Chowning

The year was 1968 and hardly anyone in Middlesex except the well-traveled had heard of an artificial Christmas tree.

Perhaps the first sighting of an artificial Christmas tree for most Middlesex folks was in the “Sears Christmas Book— America’s favorite Wish Book.”

Elta and Hobb Shores moved to Urbanna from Tangier island right after the August Storm of 1933 and settled on “Cottage Row.” They had lived there for 35 years when, during the Christmas season of 1968, their grandson, Jimmy Neal, recalled visiting them and experiencing for the first time “America’s Favorite Wish Book.” His grandmother had it sitting on the kitchen table.

“It was a lot better than Walmart,” said Jimmy. “There was everything and anything that I wanted for Christmas in that book. It was a big deal for us children to sit around, flip the pages and dream of what we might get for Christmas.”

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 12.19.2018

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