Al Shank Sez…….A Local Legacy
I was thinking about the local businesses that are no longer here and am so glad Al Shank Insurance is still here. If you’ve been here for a generation or two then you can remember the stores that were around too. During the summers, on the weekdays, I would go to the show in the afternoon. Dad would take me to the Tucker Theater on Kansas Avenue and then I would walk back to the office, then at 1014 N Kansas, where he would either he take me home or Mom would come pick me up. It was an 8 block walk to the office and I can remember the locally owned businesses as well as some others that were downtown. You went by Kelly’s and Tucker’s, both men’s clothing stores, Woods which was fashion store for the ladies. All locally owned, all gone now. Citizens State Bank and 1st National Bank were both downtown and both still around now at other locations but not with local ownership or their old familiar names, as was People’s National Bank, of course, which has gone through some transitions, but the local ownership group broke away and started Community Bank still here today. Duckwall’s was downtown and always good for a visit for either the candy or the toys as was Woolworth’s. Neither was locally owned but neither are here anymore. As you got closer to the library you came across Dave Bowman’s record shop. What of my leftover show money didn’t get spent at Woolworth’s or Duckwall’s got spent at Bowman’s on the latest Beatle’s record. Then in the next block you had the north Ideal Food Store which of course was owned locally by the Blakemore’s. They had two in Liberal and others around the area as well. I have good memories of all of those businesses and the people who worked there or their owners. By the time I hit block 7 or 8 I was ready to sit in the air conditioning at 1014 and cool off. It is nostalgic and sad all at once to remember what is not here anymore. It use to just be the smaller businesses in the smaller towns that were effected, but look at what has happened to retailers like JC Penney’s, Duckwall’s and Woolworth’s and no business or place is immune to the changes a foot.