Happy 80th Birthday! What Are Your Best Lewis Memories?
If you've lived in Sioux Falls for at least a decade or more, you're very familiar with the Lewis name. Lewis Drug, Lewis Family Drug, or just Lewis, no matter what moniker we use to refer to it, it has an iconic presence in our city.
If you've been here even longer you'll have great memories of the store at 35th & Minnesota, better known as Lewis Southgate, back then.
To celebrate the 80th birthday of this longtime, "one-stop", Sioux Falls inhabitant, we asked our listeners what their memories are. And, they have a LOT of them!
Believe it or not, these are just a few of the memories people shared with us:
- Pam Jorgensen-I was a checker there during my sophomore & junior years at Augie. Mark Griffin worked in the Camera Dept when home from college and his sister, Sue, was a checker with me. Now, Mark is the head honcho and very deserving. So many memories.
- Lisa Archambeau- It had stairs & the clothing was on the lower level. They had their own bakery in a big building right by the store, my mom & some of her friends worked in the bakery. It was fun to go help on Saturdays.
- Wendy Stubbs-I was there once around 1971 during a Tornado. We moved towards inside and a large window up front broke.
- Krystine Reavis -I remember going downstairs to get gym uniforms. I REALLY hated those things!
- Diana Ingram- I have memories of the one on 10th and Cliff. My Mom sent me and my cousin there to buy Christmas presents. I had $5 to buy for 5 people. I was able to find something for each of them and I didn't go over budget. I loved it when they had their ice cream counter. I got rainbow sherbet in a sugar cone every time!
- Mickey Bevers- I loved playing on the stairs and if I was good, I usually coaxed mom into an ice cream cone or a hot dog!
- Laurie Townsend -I remember going there and renting VHS tapes and then eventually DVDs. They were cheap to rent compared to blockbuster or the other video stores.
- Kimberely Muchow-Profitt -My Great grandparents used to live on a farm on this property before it became a Lewis. Does this count?
- Shane Pike- I was the easter bunny when I was 14 maybe 15, also worked baling boxes. Plus the suicides (all flavor sodas) they would make from the fountain pops.
- Danielle Rowland- My grandparents lived on 33rd and Hawthorne. When we visited them, we would walk to Lewis and Hy-Vee!
- Chris Berg- A blast from the past. I remember going into this store with my parents as a small kid and the store being on multiple levels. The store seemed huge as a kid. When I was eight, the Lewis moved down to the 41st and Minnesota corner and was next to EconoFoods (where Billion Buick GMC is now).
- Scott Leu- I used to clean it with the cleaning outfit I worked for and I think the thing I remember most is being down in the lower level in lawn and garden, and it being super creepy down there amongst all the mannequins!!
- Jason McCloud- Looking at Playboy magazine that was on the news rack when I was like 8-9 years old.
- Lisa DeSchepper- The painted footprints on the floor.
- Rhonda Hubers- One time when I went downstairs at the old store on Minnesota avenue, they just put up a huge round rack of clearance winter sweaters and they were only $0.25 each. Yep. I got a bunch.
- Saundra Larson- Meeting my best friend and working there during high school and college. All the different departments on all floors. Great concessions stand!
- Reid Holsen - A lot of nooks and crannies there, and the toy section at Christmas was epic!! I got my first cassette recorder from there in 1967, which began the love affair with broadcasting. Best camera counter ever, and snack bar! Loved the smell when you walked in.
- Dave Baumeister - I loved this store, I always enjoyed exploring the several floors in the way the place was spread out. But I have three main memories:
I vividly remember the large magazine section in the back of the store. As a kid in the 60s, I would spend a lot of time there perusing the many comic books they had. Unlike other places that squeezed them into spinner racks, at Lewis, they spread them out with the other magazines, much like the way Barnes and Noble display their magazines today, except Lewis and many more comic books, and unlike today, they were affordable for kids to buy.
My second special memory was seeing Kolonel Ked there. Kolonel Ked was a character in commercials for Ked's tennis shoes. He flew around with one of those jet backpacks that James Bond used at the beginning of Thunderball. I recall being in the crowd when Kolonel Ked flew around the parking lot.
But my final memory is the best. I am guessing Ben and Patty remember some talk about this. In 1989, Adam West made one of his last appearances dressed as Batman at that store, and I had the honor of helping with the event and sitting at the table with him as he signed 7,000 autographs for free. I mention Ben and Patty, as Adam had to make a "Bat-pit-stop" at the old KSOO/KPAT studios before we went to Lewis.
Thank you to everyone who shared these wonderful memories!