March 10, 2010

New Jersey Memories

Two Guys Department Store

Did you grow up in New Jersey? Do you have memories of places that no longer exist?
I grew up in the 1970's in Morris County, New Jersey. I practically grew up on Brookdale Soda. I hardly knew that Coke and Pepsi even existed! 

Farms still existed in East Hanover! I remember my mother buying milk at Lone Pine Farms in their little shop. I don't think I ever even went into the shop. I would go out to pet the horse.

We would also go to the Two Guys on Route 10 in East Hanover. Route 10 didn't have 1 million stores like it does now. I remember Two Guys, Capitol Lighting (which is still there), a miniature golf course, and a few other shops.

When I was very young, Two Guys still had a full-fledged grocery section, where my mother would shop. However, I would run around my favorite part of the store -- the toy section! (this was when mothers didn't panic if you lost sight of your kids for a little while). 

I would roam around the toy section, and of course being a devoted reader would always go to the paperbook section, too. I collected the little Peanuts paperbacks. I loved Charlie Brown and Snoopy. When I got a little older, I would buy 45s in the record section, and felt very old when I graduated to buying the whole albums.

Everything was so inexpensive! Here is a reminder:

The East Hanover Two Guys also had a tiny little section with a minature bowling alley for kids! I loved to play there, even though I wasn't very good. The bowling balls were child-sized and easy to pick up and throw. There were also pinball machines.

I loved going to Two Guys for Christmas to pick out the Christmas tree! They had a section in the back for garden supplies, and the trees would be there. My mother remembers the price as being very reasonable for a pretty nice tree.

Also, outside the store was a liquor store (I can't remember the name, or if it was part of Two Guys?), where my father would buy cases of Brookdale Soda. We would always get a variety, and I loved the orange, the lemon-lime and the half-and-half flavors!

I dream very vividly at night (I'm dreaming within seconds of falling asleep!) and sometimes I'll wake up and think about the dream I just had. I'll feel that I've been to the place in my dreams before. Then I'll realize that it is Two Guys that I was dreaming about.

March 04, 2010

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