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December 9th, 2008

RIP: Jim’s News Agency

As far back as I can remember into my childhood, two stores in my hometown existed: Binkley’s 5 & 10 and, right next door, Jim’s News Agency. And up until just recently, both were still around.

Sadly, on a visit home last month (and, oddly, during a trip to Binkley’s), I saw that even though Jim’s sign was still up, the store was completely gutted and had a FOR LEASE sign in the window. I remember that Jim’s (whose owner wasn’t actually named Jim, at least not as far as I can remember) was a popular destination for smokers and lottery players. In fact, the last time I visited Jim’s, a few years ago, my wife and I played three scratch-off lottery tickets in a row that were winners.

But what I remember Jim’s for was their great selection of magazines. They were, after all, a “News Agency.” Their long, skinny shop made browsing those magazines difficult, but they always had the latest issue of Computer Shopper as well as a good lineup of comic books and any variation of Mad or Cracked that you could want. And, I can’t talk about Jim’s without acknowledging the uncomfortably close placement of their dozens of nudie mags to their sports magazines. It was hard to look at the latest Pro Wrestling Illustrated without accidentally (I swear!) glancing at the covers of Playboy, Hustler, or 50 Plus.

Jim’s, I will miss you and your smoky store. Where will I purchase my lottery tickets and the latest issue of Hot and Hairy?

(A free additional link: Someone else with similar memories of Jim’s.)

Posted in Childhood Memories

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