Tuesday, February 21, 2017

February 21, 2007 -- Carson, Pirie, Scott Leaves State Street

February 21, 2007 – On this day ten years ago Carson, Pirie, Scott closed its State Street store, and 84-year-old Virginia Connor, who has worked in the men’s department for 46 years, the last four of which were in “Men’s Basics,” bids farewell to her fellow clerks. “The mind of men is extremely interesting,” Connor says.  “Men are extremely vain.   Men always say they’re smaller than they really are, in the waist.  They don’t really mean to lie, they just believe it, in their minds.  And so, you have to be very patient with them.”  [Chicago Tribune, February 22, 2007] When Connor began her career at Carsons she was required to wear white gloves, a suit or a skirt and blouse and a jacket.  As of this day she will be dressing up to look for another job.  One of her last interactions with a customer is with a man who comes up to her, asking to exchange an item.  “Exchange what,” she asks him.  “There’s nothing in the department to exchange.  It’s gone.” 

Also on this date from an earlier blog entry . . .

February 21, 1912 -- The worst February storm in 18 years brings business in Chicago to a standstill. Service on the Illinois Central suburban line is shut down at 1:30 p.m. after a northbound train crashes into the rear of a milk train, leaving stations crowded with passengers. The downtown hotels do a brisk business, taking in workers who are unable to find a train home. For the first time in the city's history the street cleaning bureau gives up the fight in the face of 52-m.p.h. winds that left workers lost in white-out conditions and horses wandering around in Grant Park. Policemen at crossings in the Loop are kept busy picking up people who have fallen or been blown into drifts. Members of a funeral party for 12-year-old Rose Myrtle Drautzburg, with her schoolmates acting as pallbearers, start for the Grand Trunk station at Forty-Seventh Street at 9:30 in the morning and wait for a train until 4:30 p.n. when they are informed that the train is cancelled. The estimate is that over 30,000 men are temporarily thrown out of work because of the weather.

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