If you have ever ridden on the Boston Store’s elevators, shopped at Grants or purchased groceries in the Liberty Plaza Loblaws, it’s time to put on your best Erieiffic thinking cap and see how many of these old-timey memories you can conjure up. The answers are presented beneath the quiz, and there is a scoring guide under the answers. Good luck and have fun!
1. “…Mother knows for all their clothes it’s back to _________ __________ again.” This frequently played radio jingle from the 1960s attempted to entice seasonal shoppers to visit which store?
a. Super Duper
c. Public Dock Express
d. Robert Halls
2. Which store offered visits with Santa on the 5th floor for many years?
b. Baldwin Building Christmas Shoppe
c. Boston Store
d. Grant City
3. While holiday shopping in downtown Erie, in which store could you and your friends squeeze into a photo booth and take a strip of black-and-white pictures in the 60s and 70s?
c. Park Place
4. What notice appeared daily on the front pages of the Erie Times News during Christmas season, in both the morning and afternoon editions?
a. When the street lights come on, do you know where your children are?
b. The Times Newsies Love Erie!
c. _____ shopping days until Christmas
d. Tune into the Erie Daily Times holiday music radio on FM 97.1
5. Which local car dealer used to wear a Santa hat and run TV ads that promised “good prices, good service and no baloney” during the holidays?
a. Big Joe Boomer
b. Dave Hallman
c. Tony Orlando
d. Ben Fresch
6. What was the name of the store where shoppers could sit at the counter on a metal stool with a cushion top and enjoy a Murphyburger after a long day of Christmas shopping?
c. West End Hardware
d. Commodore Downs Bar & Grille
7. Which housing entity ran ads that featured a jingle sung to the melody of “Carol of the Bells” during the holidays?
a. Baldwin Brothers Apartments
b. Amish Builders Association
d. Star Mobile Homes
8. Which store on West 26th Street, where Champion Ford is presently located, offered great deals on wrapping paper, bows and other holiday-esque decorations?
b. Candy World/Book City
c. D & K
d. Route 20 Discount Emporium
9. Which local banks offered Christmas Club saving accounts for as little as $1 a week in the mid-20th century?
a. Security Peoples Trust
b. Marine Bank
c. Union Bank
d. All of the above
10. What was the name of the store where Christmas music was sometimes played while shoppers enjoyed selecting albums and 45s in the Liberty Plaza during the 1970s?
a. Large Lion
b. Record Country
c. The Record Bar
d. Wolfman Jack’s Hi-Fi Store
11. Which West 38th Street “low-cost living, anti-inflation department store” provided local residents an alternative to mall shopping during the holidays?
12. If someone wanted to purchase a gag gift before Spencers and the Millcreek Mall existed, at which downtown store might they have ended up shopping?
1. D – Robert Halls, which was located near E. 26th and Parade Streets
2. C – Boston Store. The fifth floor of the Boston Store was a dreamy, wondrous place for children because it was the floor where all the toys were located. Movie showings, gifts and visits with Santa were among the various holiday activities offered there.
3. A – Kresge’s. The ground-floor restaurant in the back of the store served hot, greasy fries and had a photo booth in the corner.
4. C – _____ shopping days until Christmas. This was relevant because a few decades ago, stores tended to be closed on Sundays, so the daily notice in the newspaper served as an at-a-glance reminder.
5. B – Dave Hallman
6. B – Murphy’s. This all-encompassing department store had two locations in Erie, one downtown on the west side of State Street between 8th and 9th, and another in the West Erie Plaza. Both locations offered the famous Murphyburger, which was served on a grilled bun.
7. D – Star Mobile Homes. Unfortunately, anyone who ever heard this ad probably still remembers and can sing it perfectly due to its unfaltering catchiness.
8. A – Miller’s. After Miller’s closed, the store was transformed into Super Duper West prior to becoming a car dealership.
9. D – All of the above
10. C – The Record Bar, which had another location downtown at 917 State Street.
11. A – Hills. After Hills closed, West Corporation operated a telemarketing center there as of 2000. It presently houses Agility.
12. C – Weber’s. This novelty store was situated in a brick building, somewhere south of 10th Street on the east side of State. Although the author cannot remember the exact location, she did purchase fake vomit and breaking wind bags there several times, much to the chagrin of her allowance-paying parents.
8-12 correct – TeERIEiffically filled with hometown knowledge
5-7 correct – MarvelERIEously informed
1-4 correct – HistoERIEcally decent
0 correct – MystERIEously unlucky at guessing multiple-choice questions
Christine Lorraine, author of the ongoing series,
“Xtine’s 20 Questions,” all of which are published on this website.
Photo by Michael L. Morgan