Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Joys #4 - A Holiday Memory from the Court Square

This 1950's photograph is from a Christmas party at James Kahn's Department Store in Kennett, Missouri.  Two of the ladies pictured here have been very precious to me during my life; on the far left is my Aunt Ann, who was like my grandmother, and in the middle (third from the right) is my stepmother, Jo Ann, who married my dad in 1985.

That both of them were employed by James Kahn's has special significance to me at Christmas, because it takes me back to my childhood when I bought gifts for friends and family.  That always meant a trip to the town square, where I did most of my shopping at Kahn's and Blakemore Drug Store, just a few steps away.  My Aunt Ann always took a few minutes to help and advise me on my purchases, and I would usually stop by the office to say hello to Jo Ann.  Later, when I was a teenager, I got a job at Kahn's wrapping gifts during the school Christmas break.  (I was one of dozens of girls, including Sheryl Crow, who were lucky enough to get a Christmas job at Kahns through the years.)

Both Ann and Jo Ann are gone now (Jo Ann left us November 7), but they will always be in my heart and in my Christmas memories.

James Kahn's closed its doors several years ago, but the building is enjoying a new life (or should I say, a renewed one).  The building first opened as an opera house, and is again "The Opera House", a venue for special events in town.  I understand that a small part of the department store was maintained when the remodeling was done. 

Gift-wrapper Sheryl Crow returned to Kennett to give a special benefit concert at the Opera House to an audience of 250 the day after Thanksgiving.  And tomorrow, December 5, the Opera House will open its doors from 1:00 until 3:00 to welcome in the holiday season and continue the tradition of Christmas on the court quare.

I know that Ann and Jo Ann would love that!

I hope that you will join me throughout the month of December as I post about some special decorations, traditions, collections and memories that bring the joy of the season to our house. Perhaps you will want to respond with your own story or comment about what brings happiness to your heart at Christmas. I would love to hear from you and look forward to sharing a bit of Christmas! Annie


Brenda Kula said...

What wonderful memories! I'm sure both of them would have loved that concert. Yes, my husband and I both went to the University of Oklahoma.

sissie said...

Hi Annie Joy!
Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment.
I am going to be following you and will be back often.

I loved reading about your childhood memories. I once giftwrapped in a department store and it was so much fun. The old fashioned way of shopping is long gone, but the memories will be with us forever.


valthepal said...

I am a huge Sheryl Crow fan and so knew of the concert and that is how I stumbled upon your blog. My husband works for a department store here in Pennsylvania now called the BonTon but it was formerly Hess Department Store of Allentown, PA. Hess' was very well known around here and most patrons fondly remember it's famous strawberry pie at the restaurant inside the store. Your story made me think of his store. He has been with the company for over 30 years despite the change of ownership. SUre do wish I could have made it to Kennett for the show! Regards, Valerie Umstead

A Hint of Home said...

Memories are so special!
Thanks for stopping by ealier and for you sweet comment.
I love seeing all the decorations that are being posted.


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