Here's a quick post about some things we leave behind in '09 that I'm really gonna miss:
GM has announced (with the help of the federal government) that it's 86ing two of their brands for good. Saab is one. Yeah, yeah. Sob for Saab. Never been a big fan, but it's a historic make.
The other one--Pontiac--is a heartbreaker. If you've ever been someone who wanted the Trans Am, GTO, Firebird or (help us!) a Fiero, just know they will be part of American history. The first car I ever drove was a 1985 Grand Am and man it was a HOT ROD. That is until it THREW a rod that went through the engine block and caused the entire thing to seize up for good.
OK. So a lot of you won't even know/care anything about this. But if you're in the need of some gospel music or a Bible, you could always go to this Mecca of all things Christian (is it OK to even write that?). They had multiple locations in the Portland area, including a huge store on Division that'd been there forever. They're not gone completely, but they've scaled down to a single store on Cedar Hills Boulevard.
Harry and David
Put this in the same category as #9. H&D originated in Medford, Oregon, as a "catalog company". Over the years demand for their unique salsas, dips, fruit baskets and peppermint bark (a must at Christmastime) allowed them to open several stores around America. This year they closed many of their stores due to a shrinking demand for their products.
Blue Dot Guitars
This is even more specific to my own daily life. Blue Dot Guitars was that local guitar shop that every town in the country has. BDG started as Robert Adrian Music about 20 years ago. I took lessons there for a few months and, believe it or not, left knowing a couple dozen chords. Oregon City will never be the same.
Oden was the #1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. The Blazers drafted him in hope that he would be the big guy under the basket that they've been missing since the 70's. Before he played a single game, the cartilage under his right knee shattered and he had to have surgery that caused him to miss the entire basketball season. He came back a year later with all kinds of hopes resting on him. Unfortunately, his left kneecap split into two pieces during a game a few weeks ago. Yeah, he's gone for another season. I'm trying to figure out how to squeeze a Tonya Harding joke in right here, but I can't make it work.
This was Anne-Marie's bank until we combined accounts a little bit after we got married. They got caught up in the home loan frenzy and irresponsibly lent out a bunch of money. And that's how a 120-year-old bank suddenly died. Branches completed the changeover to Chase Bank this year.
Formerly known as G.I. JOE'S, this combo auto parts and sports equipment store was the best place ever to buy a Christmas gift card for Dad. It also was the location of the local Ticketmaster kiosk before every had them. They closed all their locations at the end of May.
These guys put out a ton of popular video games, mostly in the 80's: Spy Hunter, Galaga, Rampage, NBA Jam. Beside that, they were the distributor of a rather famous game by Namco called Pac-Man. All of Midway's holdings were either shuttered or sold off this year.
"It's in the P-I". Unlike us, our neighboring metropolis was privileged to have two major newspapers in town until this year. Seattle Post-Intelligencer ended 146 years of print circulation leaving The Seattle Times as the only paper in town. If you've been around Seattle or seen the view of the city from the Space Needle, you'll be happy to know that the P-I globe is not going anywhere.
I'll save #1 for its own special post.