Christmas Eve at the Five and Dime

A story from my retail past.

Red's Wrap

How much longer is he going to stay open, she wondered. It was already after seven and they’d opened at 9 that morning, Christmas Eve Day. Probably the biggest shopping day of the year at their Ben Franklin Store. Sometimes she thought her dad wanted to wrestle every last penny out of customers before he’d call it quits, tell the cashiers to pull their drawers, and start switching off the lights, one at a time, starting from the front of the store to the back, and finally turn off the record player sitting on the high shelf that had been playing Johnny Mathis and Big Crosby Christmas albums non-stop all day. She was absolutely dog tired, her 16-year old self as tired as a traffic cop finishing a 12-hour shift in Manhattan during a black-out.

He’d let a couple of the ‘girls’, as he called them, go home because they…

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