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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Going to miss the Giant in Del Ray

Posted on Delray Citizens List serve by


"Richard LeBaron" richardindelray

Too good not to share!

Although I now live in Alexandria part-time, I am still fond of the smallest Giant in the chain and I’ll regret the day its doors close, as early as September. My off and on romance with the store started around 1978, but I can’t imagine that it had changed much in the ten years previous.

— I’ll miss the total lack of new investment by corporate Giant that gave the place a tawdry charm all of its own. Of course didn’t have to be that way; they could have turned it into a great little specialty food store. And growing incomes in the once not so wealthy Del Ray would have supported it.

— I’ll miss the diversity of clientele — race, age, gender, class. We were there together; that’s rare. The talking drunks are fewer than they used to be, improbably replaced by the fit young things from the Y with their water bottles and rather limited appetites for real food. (Things got interesting during the overlap period.)

— I’ll miss a staff that seemed to fit the place and be proud to it. My own fault that I don’t know their names very well, but some of you do, and you should thank them for the time they gave to our neighborhood. I remember the tall skinny ageless manager who was there for many years — seemed part of the store’s soul.

— I’ll miss those great overhead light boards that tell you where everything is. Why don’t all stores have that? Are we supposed to memorize the canned tuna aisle?

— I’ll miss seeing people I haven’t seen in years. A carpenter/builder who endured the “encouragement” my spouse can provide generously especially when a job is not quite finished. I’ll miss seeing a work colleague in the parking lot I hadn’t seen since 1995 or so. I’ll miss the familiar faces of people I don’t know.

— I’ll miss walking to the store. Sure I have a car, but not everyone should have to own one just to go to the grocer. And walking is a good thing.

— I’ll miss that dreadful salad and soup bar, placed so that it was sort of like a welcome mat soaking up the grime from the outside. I know I’m being picky, but apparently others enjoyed its selections.

— I’ll miss the friendly size of the store. Big enough for any normal human beings needs. I don’t recall ever not finding what I needed, except when they had sales on Ben and Jerry’s in the middle of Summer. They may not have Icelandic yogurt, but who really needs it?

— I’ll miss telling people at our parties that the food was catered by the “Petit Giant.”

Times change. Our Giant didn’t. I’ll miss it.

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