The last day of business for the Hannibal Kroger store is this Saturday, October 27th. This obviously is very sad news for the many employees who were affected. When we learned about the closing about three weeks ago, my first thought was for the people who were losing their jobs. The next thing that came to my mind was my own personal connection to the store which goes all the way back to my childhood.

I grew up in Hannibal as a kid.  Well, let's put it this way.  I got biologically older.  Not sure I can prove that I actually "grew up".  But, back in 1974, as a spry 8-year-old, I used to walk through a corn field that bordered the Indian Mound area so that I could get to the Huck Finn Shopping Center (without my parents knowing of course) and buy baseball cards.  The only place back in that day that had baseball cards was the Hannibal Kroger.  This lucky kid found a pack of 1974 Topps cards and posted the video to YouTube just to taunt me. (including a real sweet Ted Simmons card)

Over the years, other memories were created at this grocery store.  My parents and I bought the cake mix that we used to make a cake for a 6th grade fund raiser.  I also remember getting meat there that we took out on Boy Scout camping trips.  Gee whiz, can someone please just cue up the movie trailer for "Stand By Me" and get this over with?

Thanks.  I know it probably sounds tremendously hokey to you, but a lot of my childhood memories are tied to this store.  After watching the original Mark Twain Elementary School torn down earlier this year, I'm pretty sure that the city of Hannibal is just trying to demolish any evidence that I spent my childhood in Hannibal.  (Who would blame them?)

In all seriousness, our thoughts are with the people who lost their jobs.  That's what is really important about this closure.  But, forgive me if I also add that I'll feel a sense of loss when those doors finally close this weekend.  It's no consolation to those who have been displaced, but a part of me will be closing this weekend also.

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