Most people I know shop at Walmart consistently. No other brick-and-mortar store has such a large and broad customer base.
Before moving to Kansas in 1990, Sterling didn’t have a Walmart. We shopped at Gibson and Kmart.
When Walmart first opened in our area, Ben and I compared the prices of items like toilet paper, cleaning products, laundry soap, and shampoo to what we used to pay at the grocery store. found out that they were selling those items at a low price. So we started going to Walmart or Wally World.
After Walmart added a grocery line to its stores, I rarely went to that section. It seemed natural to me to continue buying groceries at the grocery store as usual.
When Ben and I were at work, we would go out to eat on Friday nights and then shop for “Walmart supplies.” It was my routine on Saturday mornings to go to the grocery store for the groceries I needed.
Ben and I are retired, so we like going to Walmart early in the morning. Because it’s not very busy. With inflation coming, Ben and I do about 99% of our shopping there. Now, the only items I buy at the grocery store are my favorite items that aren’t on Wally World.
When Walmart introduced self-checkout, Ben refused to use it. His reason was, “Why should an employee do a paid job?” I tried to find the register with the shortest line, but ended up lining up for a while.
I was the one who decided to try self-checkout. I soon found that scanning items wasn’t hard, it was faster, and it was fun.
For years we paid our bills by check or cash. Now pay with your debit card fast and easy. Finally caught up with the times!
Another business essential to our society is McDonald’s. I think most people ate there.
When McDonald’s was about to open in Stirling, my late uncle owned a gas station across the street. I remember him telling my family that he brought a lot of hamburger buns to the restaurant before the grand opening.
Our 3 children loved eating there. She loved the cute boxed Happy Meals and eagerly opened the free toys inside. They enjoyed their food, especially the Chicken McNuggets. Plus they had an indoor playground which our kids had fun playing.
Whenever Ben and I eat at McDonald’s these days, we go through the drive-thru. Cars are lined up, but you can order right away. You don’t have to wait long to get your drink and food bags. How easy it is!
Almost every city or big town has these two businesses. If they closed their doors across America, I can’t imagine what it would feel like without them.Walmart and McDonald’s have become staples of our society. We will certainly miss them.
Susan Davis is a former Stirling resident and author of “Small Farm & Big Family,” “Ancestry’s Journey,” “Bushels of Nostalgia,” and “Lovebirds for Life.”