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  • Betty A. Burnett

Wanna Try to Catch Up With 2 Golden Girls?

Updated: Apr 13

Traveling Down Memory Lane

My friend doesn't like to have pictures taken; sometimes we catch her off guard.

A few days ago, a friend and I decided to be adventurous, so we headed to the high Speedline (train) to go to Philly. Taking the Atlantic City train from Lindenwold to Philly would have been easier, because it was a direct route to the Amtrak station, but something was wrong with that train. So, the only option was the Speedline.

With assistance at Lindenwold and a few other attendants in different places, we kept it moving; this was a first time for the two of us. We had to change trains in Philly and this was foreign to me since, I had not been on a subway in Philly for many years. Thank the Lord for the attendants who helped us "Golden Girls" We took the Frankford train at Twelfth and Market to the Drexel station at thirtieth and Market; got off and headed to the Amtrak station across the street.

During the travels so far, we walked up a lot of steps, rode the escalator and the elevator. We went back to Center City, got off the train at Twelfth and Market and walked to the Reading Terminal and had lunch.

Walking toward Eight and Market to travel back to Jersey I asked my friend if she would like to see where I used to work. I take a lot of pride in letting people know I was once employed at such an upscale store that is now Macy’s. I was happy to share the size of John Wanamaker’s tall building; Macy’s only uses three floors.

We were looking at the columns, the stairs, and the big, sculptured decor on the wall. It was eye catching; something to behold! We took the elevator to the second floor, and Wow! We were in time just to hear that huge organ that is played at noontime.

My friend absolutely loved it! From there we went shopping on the third floor. One of the older clerks and I were conversing about the many floors and how the store had a restaurant in the basement.

Time to head back to the Jersey side before rush hour. For us to be advanced in age, we are so blessed to be able to keep it moving. We pray about these trips and the Lord protects us and He puts some of the nicest people in our paths to assist us when it comes to getting directions. 

That’s my story, now read a short history about the John Wanamaker stores.

Wanamaker's, originally known as John Wanamaker Department Store, was one of the first department stores in the United States. Founded by John Wanamaker in Philadelphia in 1861, it was influential in the development of the retail industry including as the first store to use price tags.[3]

At its zenith in the early 20th century, Wanamaker's also had a store in New York City at Broadway and 9th Street in Manhattan. Both employed extremely large staff. By the end of the 20th century, there were 16 Wanamaker's outlets. After years of change, the chain was bought by A. Alfred Taubman in late 1986.

In 2006, Macy's opened in the former Philadelphia Wanamaker's Department Store, now called Macy's Center City. The building is a National Historic Landmark. One if its expansions was designed by master architect Daniel Burnham. It contains the Wanamaker Organ, the largest functional organ in the world.

Christmas Light Show

In 1956, the Philadelphia Wanamaker's premiered a Christmas Light Show, a large musical and blinking light display several stories high, viewable from several levels of the building. Its popularity with Philadelphia parents and children, as well as tourists, ensured a continuous run, even after the building was sold to different business interests.

Love to keep it moving, and sharing my wonderfully adventurous life with others!

Betty A. Burnett ~

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