Twenty years ago I was in a camera shop when I heard that Elvis was dead.
My first reaction was stunned disbelief. Twenty years (and one visit to
Graceland) later I still find it hard to believe.
Today I was in a Woolworth store that, like all the other Woolworths, was
going out of business. For some reason that I've yet to discover,
Woolworth stores always had pet departments. Pet departments that featured
actual live animals: fish, birds, turtles, guinea pigs and, yes, hamsters.
For me, visiting the little Woolworth pet department was like visiting an
extremely tiny zoo. Whenever I shopped at Woolworth, I would visit the pet
department and ponder why the hamsters and such were there. But there they
Today I went to my local Woolworth and the hamsters were gone. As were all
the other little beasties that used to live there with them. All the fish
tanks and the
hamster cages were empty. What had become of them, I wondered? Had they
been sold and taken to welcoming homes? I hoped that they had. No more
fish, fowl or hamsters would be*** out at the Woolworths. And in a
little while, Woolworths would close and I wouldn't be*** out there
Elvis is gone and now so are the hamsters at Woolworth.
I miss them.
Do you remember where you were and what you felt when you heard that Elvis
was dead? And did you ever visit the extremely tiny zoos that once could
found inside Woolworths?