Kmart & El Cue & Warehouse Groceries on SPIDWhile K-Mart has pulled out of Texas, there used to be a great location on SPID at Everhart. At the time, not much out there, was Warehouse Foods grocery next to it novel concept they cut open boxes and palates of stuff, you take shopping cart, fill up, sort of like a Sams or Costco now. K-Mart had the BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL, where if not careful my mom Sarah, all 5'8" of her and 220 lbs, would run your slow moving ass over to go get those 15 minute blue light specials, those roamed from area to area, sometimes 2 or 3 a hour. Garden, bras & panties, kids clothes, automotive, you name it. ATTENTION K MART SHOPPERS it would blare over speakers! How many of you remember that?
I do not remember when K-Mart opened down there, but we were loyal Woolco and Atlantic Thrift shoppers and momma could make my dad's skimpy 1960s paycheck last from week to week. K-Mart was more of what a Wal Mart is now (at least to me) but only hop, skip across SPID from where Woolco & Atlantic Thrift was on Staples near Everhart.
And place was relatively new back then, so had to check it out. Good toy section got mine and brother Tommy's approval, he was into building models then, I was into Hot Wheels & Matchbox. Like Woolco, my dad usually remained in the car and watched people. Rarely would he go in unless needed some auto stuff.
My aunt Barbara Brister who was a good looking woman with big red beehive hairdo (think Marge Simpson but bright red hair) the Bristers lived across SPID on I believe Mildred street, so would give us a excuse to stop in say hi, to Ronnie, Allen, Terry, Linda and Lori, I hope I got all the names right, but their mom worked for many years at K-Mart. And when I started driving as a teen, I bought some great stuff (what ya'll think I just stole everything?) at K-Mart, Krako radios and Cobra CB decks, was the "Pinball Wizard" on CB down there in 1970s. And aunt Barbara hooked me up with HER employee prices! At a later date I was dating a girl named Beckie Cross who lived near there.
And some of you might remember El Cue, right behind Pelican's Wharf seafood restaurant. We played a LOT of pinball there and the owner, Fred Soward (who was murdered at his house on Denver street off Ocean drive, I never learned what happened there, yet his son, Fred Soward Jr sat in front of me at W. B. Ray homeroom, I just never had balls to ASK him) but one night my brother Tommy & crew from the old Mai Tai restaurant which was on a pier over on North Beach, well he/them were supposed to come pick me up, so he could take me back home, I buy him a beer, they play some pool, we go home to crappy house on Doss & Antelope with no electricity. He would usually give Beckie a ride home or before he came by, and that is a long drive, I would walk her home and we would smooch, then I go back to El Cue.On this night Tommy was NO SHOW. I am maybe 15-18 miles from home, no money, so bar closed, and well, we didn't have damned phone either except the pay one in front of Hasty Tasty restaurant near house, so I laid down on one of the cement benches in front of Pelican Wharf. They closed too, now about 2:30am, would have to wait until my dad Homer came to work 8:00am at George Young Toyota next door next morning and sponge bus fare to go home. Ironically it was cooler outside on cement bench than inside our old home with no fans or air condition!
With the lull of the passing South Padre Island traffic I was out, was not drinking booze just long day. Woke up about 4:30am, sat up, and bummed out was forgotten. Near one of my slaps was what looked like a $20 bill. I reached down and was a MONEY CLIP! Had $120 in it! I looked around thinking I was being pranked in time that word didn't exist. No, no one around just occasional car passing on SPID. I put my slaps on and hiked my rich ass to Warehouse Foods next to K-Mart, they open 24 hours you know, got me a 32 oz bottle of Mott's Apple Juice & called me a Yellow Cab.
Was $13 fare & I gave him $20 keep the change, he probably thought I was going to cap his ass taking me to 723 Doss in old, nasty ghetto! To this day I still have that lucky money clip, I have often thought (besides God smiling on me) that someone saw my plight and left it there either from El Cue or Pelicans Wharf, but needness to say Beckie & me got lotta pinball out of that even some grub for week. I also bought some parts for my 70 Javelin which if was running, would not have been stranded to begin with. I saw a story on news about K-Marts closing down, which made me sad, thanks to all the great memories from aunt Barbara, and those nice employees who worked at the SPID & Everhart location in 1970s.