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Random Thoughts of Wendell Smith
Random Thoughts by Wendell Smith
Another Easter shopping has season has come and gone and maybe some of us have complained about the cost of groceries, Easter finery, candy, etc., including shoes. I recall when Nordehl Reetz operated Reetz Shoe Store on Wisconsin Avenue in Muscoda.
Back in those 1960 days, new shoes were often something parents purchased for their young family and “New Shoes for Easter!” was often a goal. Easter dates change and Nordy preferred a late Easter Sunday. If Easter came too early, the kids were probably still wearing overshoes so new shoes would not be considered a necessity – they could wait and were then often forgotten.
When considering footwear, especially for men – do you remember “spats?” They were pieces of cloth and soft leather worn over the shoestring area of oxford dress shoes, often for special dress-up events. I am not certain about the purpose of spats – unless it was for a bit more warmth? However, I do remember my dad always put on spats before attending church.
I noticed in a 1966 pre-Easter advertisement for Walsh’s Store in Muscoda, in the clothing department, men’s “never-press neck-ties were going for 97 cents each. That would not  have helped me as I have never been a “tie wearer”- my neck doesn’t get cold.
Other Easter specials included seasonal candy, Easter green grass and novelties galore!
If a lady needed a “beautiful Easter hat” it was going to cost her at least $1.57. New handbags cost $2.98 each and dress gloves 77 cents. Seamless  nylon hose were priced at 99 cents a pair and little girl purses cost 88 cents and up.
Walsh’s Store also had a complete grocery department, including fresh meat. For the 1966 Easter meal, steak prices ranged from 73 to 77 cents per pound with Easter hams priced at 53 cents a pound. Two pounds of 100% pure beef hamburger were priced at $1.29.
Another special was a 5-pound box of Ripon Good Cookies selling for $1.29.
Of course, the amount of money made by working folks was also far less than is the case now, but even so it’s fun to look back – and remember!