Here's two words from your childhood (if your childhood was back in the 'old days'):

Monkey Ward.

Oh I know, technically it was Montgomery Ward, but back there on that little Minnesota farm we called it 'Monkey Ward'...and it was a great day when the Monkey Ward Christmas catalog arrived! As I recall (and I may be, seems that memories bend a bit with age) it would be around Thanksgiving when it arrived. We didn't start thinking Christmas in October back in those days.

There would be two Christmas catalogs in the mail actually, Monkey Ward and Sears. And yes, they came in the mail. And these weren't little flyers or pamphlets, no sir, these were full-blown hundreds of pages long catalogs.

And they had everything...I mean everything! But as a kid, of course, mostly what they had was toys of every size, shape and price range. I remember spending hours...hours!...just looking through those pages and dreaming of getting that tractor or that fire truck. Of course the first thing I'd look at was the price (gee, I still do that in a store all these years later) and realize...'Yeah, Dad isn't ever go for that at $20.00'!

So whatever happened to Monkey Ward?

Well I did some checking on Wikipedia and found out that this retail giant which was begun in 1872 went through the ups and downs that a lot of retail stores do, and finally was liquidated in 2001 after 130 or so years.

But what a great memory.

'Hey, here comes Mom from the mailbox and look what she's got in her hand! Its the Monkey Ward Christmas catalog!'

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