AUGUSTA — Some original employees of Sears at the Turnpike Mall are planning a wake Wednesday to mark the closing of their former workplace.
The event, organized by Cal Brown of Litchfield, who worked in sales there for more than 21 years, and several other longtime employees, begins with a noon walkabout.
They plan to walk through the store, reminisce a bit about ‘them good ol’ days’ and have a good look around, the organizers say.
The closing of the Augusta Sears store was announced Dec. 27, by Sears Holdings, the parent company. The closure of more than 40 other Sears and Kmart stores nationwide were announced in the same round by the troubled national retailer. The Augusta store is to close by the end of March.
Brown, 70, said he’s heard from about three dozen people who plan to attend.
In the event of bad weather, it will be Thursday instead.
Sears relocated from the east side of Water Street – where it had been since 1939 – to the mall in October 1967.
Brown worked at Sears as a salesman in the hardware and lawn and garden department, earning straight commission. He was there the day the store opened, having done a week or so of training at the Water Street store.
“I was 20 years old,” Brown said. “I was working out of state, and my father knew the manager of the department and I came up for an interview. He said, ‘You can have the job if you want it. You have to be here next Monday.’ ”
Since it was Tuesday, Brown said he needed to give more notice to his current employer in Springfield, Massachusetts.
“How much notice do you think they’d give you if they wanted to get rid of you?” the manager asked.
Brown took the job.
“It was wonderful,” he said. “It was really, truly the good old days of working. We had the greatest group of employees. That’s why we still stick together.”
Anyone wanting more information can contact Brown at [email protected]
Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at: