It was almost four years ago when U.S. Senator Jerry Moran said he couldn’t buy a tie from a local clothing store in Kansas anymore.

That was about the time Headley’s Clothing in Salina closed its doors and left all of the stores offering clothing part of national chains.

Shopping as my generation knew it is disappearing.

In a college marketing class our assignment was to draw up an advertising campaign for a new light cheese to hit stores. Television advertisements were out of our price range as we were only given $1 million to work with. That was in college in the ‘70s!

We designed a coupon campaign to run in newspapers in major markets. The Abilene Reflector-Chronicle was not one of them.

Clipping coupons from newspapers and magazines used to be a big thing. A family could almost eat for free if they bought the right products with coupons.

Now if I want coupons, I go to the phone and tap on the Honey app.

Banker Dan Coup recently talked about counter checks at grocery stories. I’m not even sure where my checkbook is right now. These days I only write a check when I have to pay the government which is the only entity allowed to charge for using a debit card or credit card.

Recently I made my grandson Hayden proud. The last time he visited he was training me on how to use my Apple Pay app.

On Monday of this week I actually used it.

The idea for Apple Pay was so that I didn’t have to enter a debit card or enter my PIN number. One opens the app and scans the price.  It didn’t quite work out that way but apparently I was successful in using it.

The year my wife and I got married there were at least seven clothing stores in Abilene: Beauty Den, Hamburg’s, Hines-Roth, Royer’s Ladies and Men’s Wear, Pinkham’s, Asling’s Mens Clothing Store and Rittel’s Western Wear.

Ben Franklin’s, Alco,  Gibson’s, Montgomery Ward, J.C. Penny and Sears were also open for business.

And let’s not forget the Jack and Jill Shop.

Date night in high school was often just walking around the Alco store.

I’m pretty sure I purchased my going away suit for my wedding at sidewalk sales in downtown Abilene that year.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, we shoppers are adding to the wealth of  Jeff Bezos and Amazon.

My son-in-law that delivers for UPS in Kansas City has been swamped. He says it is similar to the Christmas season.

Box stores are now advertising that they now deliver.

But when shopping online you might see a message that says “due to high demand, some items have extended delivery dates.”

I’m pretty sure that most stores in Abilene would be delighted to deliver or provide curb-side service during this time of social distancing.

Give them a call.

My father-in-law Joe often used home shopping networks to buy Christmas gifts and other goods in his later years. I have never bought anything off the television but judging from the number of home shopping channels there are, many other people must.

There are some Abilene businesses now using social media to tender their goods. 

Maybe the reality of drones delivering our products to our front doorsteps isn’t that far off.

Contact Tim Horan at

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