Blog 35 September 17, 2014

Joske’s: Remember the Joske’s motto? The Biggest Store in the Biggest State” (till Alaska joined the union, when it became “The Greatest Store in the Greatest State”). It was a sad day when Joske’s was sold and then closed a few years later. Dillard’s moved in to a small portion and eventually closed; The Rivercenter Mall was created, encompassing Joske’s and other vacant space. Now they are renovating, but totally replacing the core of Joske’s, while retaining the façade. Here are a couple of photos showing the building from above with the roof removed. The store was built with timbers for support, which are being replaced with cement. Don’t know what all will go in there, but I thought maybe you all might enjoy the nostalgia. I have many memories from those good old days, particularly the windows at Christmas and the toy wonderland from the fourth floor. Who else has memories? Let’s hear them.


Construction crews Monday finished demolishing the old timber-frame structure of the historic Joske’s building as part of a renovation of the Rivercenter mall. Part of the demolition included removing the roof of the former department store at Alamo and Commerce streets so crews can begin building 75-foot concrete piers to support the new structure, which soon will house a multilevel H&M store and several other retail tenants. The mall’s grand reopening is still on schedule for spring, Manager Chris Oviatt said. The “vast majority” of the timber taken out of the Joske’s building has been reclaimed and sold to a company that plans to sell it to other businesses, Oviatt said.


Baby faces—In putting the class history project together, some classmates failed to be photographed for the yearbook, so I hit upon the idea of looking at the 1953 Monticello and found maybe a half-dozen classmates. What amazed me is how much younger we all looked in September 1952 than we did in September 1953. If you don’t believe me, just pull out the yearbooks and check out the photos. If I had enough time, I would do some comparisons, but I leave it to you. Did we grow up so much in one year, or did assuming the mantle of seniorship just increase our poise and feeling of self-confidence. The changes of the photos are amazing to me. If you all don’t have the ’53 yearbook, maybe I can scan a few of them for you.

More faces from the reunion!

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Ben Williams and Billy Dube        Bob Blake and Roselyn Mahaffey Cheline





1 thought on “Blog 35 September 17, 2014

  1. Jeanine Kliefoth Price

    First, thank you for the name of the band leader that played at our dances. Now…..Joske’s memories…..I remember as a child going up and down on the escalator. We only have one in Harlingen (at the airport) and that was installed sometime in the 80’s, i think. I also remembed the tubes on the ceilings that carried the payments to a central office and the change back to the customers. The mezzanine floor had lots of women darning stockings for the women during the war. They were sitting at some kind of sewing machines that did the repairs. Also, the ladies’ restroom had stalls that could only be opened with a dime. I think there were at least two that didn’t require the money, but they didn’t have seat covers. On the second floor (I think) was the furniture. It was arranged by rooms. My friend and I would play house while our mothers shopped. And yes, the Chrismas decorations and Wonderland was fantastic for my children later. The debutante dresses displayed yearly during the coronation were a sight to behold. Oh, such sweet memories.


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