When I moved here in 1992 there was a Montgomery Ward at the north end of De Vargas Center. It was demolished to make way for the expansion of the Alberston’s grocery, which used to be in the space now occupied by Sunflower Market. A boutique called Surrender Dorothy replaced the antique consignment shop where I purchased a windup Victrola phonograph. Across from the Baskin Robbins was a telescope store. I remember when my wife and I bought and lugged home our 10″ Meade reflector, powerful enough to see the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter, even through the glare of the streetlights on Camino Cabra and Canyon Road.
During those years the Furr’s Cafeteria was supplanted by Santa Fe Bar & Grill and the Dairy Queen by a post office. Until very recently a locally owned game store, something like the Android’s Dungeon in the Simpsons, sat across from the Outdoorsman, which sells weaponry. Posters in the window currently offer a special on assault rifles and compare how badly you can damage another human being with a .45 or a .410 revolver. “You be the judge.” And the jury. Just down the corridor is the dais where Santa Claus is now receiving visitors.
It’s a strange world we live in.