View Full Version : John A Brown



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CuatrodeMayo
10-21-2008, 08:56 AM
Great article, Doug.

I only wish I was old enough to have experienced Brown's/

ddavidson8
10-21-2008, 03:53 PM
Great job Doug. You're an asset to this board and the City in general. I really respect your love and hard work.

Doug Loudenback
10-21-2008, 04:22 PM
Thanks, everyone.

rondvu
11-09-2008, 10:14 AM
The old John A Brown estate is on the market for $3,6500.000. Doug will you buy it and make it the OKCTalk clubhouse?

Featured Homes for Sale in Oklahoma City (http://www.marilyntorbett.net/listings.asp?listing_id=1101162163)

Doug Loudenback
11-09-2008, 10:25 AM
No problem. Let me see how much is in my pocket ... uh oh ...

sgray
11-09-2008, 10:59 AM
I've noticed okc's trademark parking meters in these photos...ha ha!

No really, it is cool to look at all of this. Wish we had a site where it could be sorted on a timeline for people to look at. All that i've seen are a few old city shots from back in the day.

ddavidson8
11-09-2008, 11:30 AM
Holy crap that house is beautiful.

redcup
11-09-2008, 12:32 PM
My best friend and I spent almost every Saturday downtown when we were in High School.
We went to Harding. We would take the bus that stopped at NW 34th and Shartel on Sat. morning. We would start our day at JAB's. It was esp. great around the holidays. We would check out the sales in the basement. We then walked to Anna Maude's for lunch and then on to the library. That always included a stop at Jerry's used book store that was catty corner from the library. Jerry was a blast. She had great stories and really knew her books. She moved the bookstore to Mayfair (Aladdin's). I was surprised to see her there when visited there a few years ago. Occasionally we would take in a movie at the many theatres there and then take the bus home. All in all it was a full day.

jbrown84
11-09-2008, 01:56 PM
The old John A Brown estate is on the market for $3,6500.000. Doug will you buy it and make it the OKCTalk clubhouse?

Featured Homes for Sale in Oklahoma City (http://www.marilyntorbett.net/listings.asp?listing_id=1101162163)

The OKCMOA should buy it and make it a branch museum, like the Austin Museum of Art has a branch at a suburban estate.

Austin Museum of Art: AMOA Visitor Information (http://www.amoa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_aboutamoa)

southernskye
11-09-2008, 04:30 PM
The OKCMOA should buy it and make it a branch museum, like the Austin Museum of Art has a branch at a suburban estate.

Austin Museum of Art: AMOA Visitor Information (http://www.amoa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_aboutamoa)


Laguna Gloria is the Museumís original home not the other way around.

Generals64
11-09-2008, 04:35 PM
Hey guys:...don't forget the John A Brown's in Capitol Hill. Cub Scout/Boy Scout heaven.
Stairway and all along with an elevator and operator.....

jbrown84
11-09-2008, 08:10 PM
Laguna Gloria is the Museumís original home not the other way around.

So...?

I'm aware of that, but I don't know why it matters.

Generals64
12-26-2008, 06:32 PM
I know this is an old thread but, I bought some fixtures from the Crossroads Dillards last week only to find John. a. Brown on the bottom of the fixture....thought that was pretty cool....there are still memories of JAB in OKC>>>>

The Old Downtown Guy
12-27-2008, 01:36 PM
One of my memories of the downtown JAB was their Christmas window trimming. Around 1962, their windows on Main Street all had bare tree branches in them covered with christmas lights and the branch was cut to come into contact with the store front glass. The branch began again on the outside of the window glass suspended from the overhead canopy forming a lighted arch along the sidewalk . . . simply beautiful.

Michael

Pray For World Peace . . . pass it on

USG '60
12-27-2008, 02:56 PM
As was mentioned earlier in the thread, JAB was involved in the sit-in movement. My mom worked in personnel so I always got to work there holidays, summers, etc. One day I heard about what was going on at Katz and Kresses or Kresges (which ever it was) so before going to the Lunchonette in the basement to eat I walked through those two wiggling my way through the crowds gathered. On the 2nd day to do it, when I got back to eat I saw the black kids in line, but not being served. While still approaching the line from a side angle and trying to decide what to do, the check out lady saw me and signaled me to come on by the line and get in. I nearly felt like I was defying and order but would have been embarrassed to eat if they weren't so I very shyly got to the back of the line and just stood there. No one. white or black spoke to me and I felt as conspicuous as hell and was glad when my lunch hour was over so I could get back to work and out of a spotlight. I don't remember where I ate after that but I only did that once. At the time, at 16, I was without moral outrage, I was just doing what I thought was right. In retrospect I think it was all quite honorable of me, and a part of me feels slighted by history since nowhere in the literature (so to speak) have I ever seen my presence acknowledged. Oh well, I've lived this long without it so I specks I'll do just fine in the future. Or, just maybe, THIS has registered it in the history that there was this little white kid who only looked about 12 taking and embarrassing stand. A few years later I got REALLY active in the movement and THAT is a matter of record. :tiphat: And that is the rest of the story.

NativeOkie
12-28-2008, 03:18 AM
Wasn't here a Kambers in Penn Square. And I had forgotten all about CR Anthony.
Wow. One of the Anthony's went in to Politics?

Doug Loudenback
12-28-2008, 12:21 PM
Wasn't here a Kambers in Penn Square. And I had forgotten all about CR Anthony.
Wow. One of the Anthony's went in to Politics?
Yes. I think that it was the only Kamber's location, but, if not, it was certainly its main place of business.

MikeOKC
12-28-2008, 03:55 PM
Wasn't here a Kambers in Penn Square. And I had forgotten all about CR Anthony.
Wow. One of the Anthony's went in to Politics?

Yes, Kambers was in Penn Square where Cantina Laredo is now.

Bob Anthony has been on the Corporation Commission since 1988. He's the one the crooks know to stay away from. He's not for sale. In fact, he wore a wire for the FBI and exposed corruption back around 1990. The same one that got JC Watts caught on tape accepting $$$$$. Of course, he got off on a technicality and was elected to Congress, until Tom Cole came to him and said the Dems were going to field a strong candidate to run against him and they planned to use the tapes against him and - step aside. He did, for Tom Cole! That's why JC never ran for Governor and was never serious at the national level. Corruption caught on tape and kept pretty quiet. Yet, he would show up for book signings at religious book stores for his book about faith and values. Go figure.

Bob Anthony ended up going to Washington to pick up the highest civilian award handed out by the Justice Department. (http://www.bobanthony.com/bob/awards.htm)

Debsgig
03-04-2009, 12:32 PM
I worked at Capitol Hill Brown's in the mid 70's, in the basement. I remember trying to work those cash registers! I don't know if I ever rang anything up correct or not, but they were beautiful. JAB's name was marbled in the sidewalk in front of the entrance doors.

grantgeneral78
03-04-2009, 05:32 PM
I worked at Capitol Hill Brown's in the mid 70's, in the basement. I remember trying to work those cash registers! I don't know if I ever rang anything up correct or not, but they were beautiful. JAB's name was marbled in the sidewalk in front of the entrance doors.

That is cool I have never noticed that.

Generals64
03-04-2009, 05:48 PM
That is cool I have never noticed that.
================================================== ===========
Most of the old chain type stores put their name in front as a symbol of prosperity. Plsu, they intended to stay in that location forever....

grantgeneral78
03-08-2009, 03:02 PM
I have a old John -A Brown sign probably not many of thos around anymore.

That was the first escalator I ever got to ride on it was fantastic!

Generals64
03-08-2009, 03:03 PM
I have a old John -A Brown sign probably not many of thos around anymore.

That was the first escalator I ever got to ride on it was fantastic!
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When Dillard's closed in Crossroads, i bouth out quite a few of their fixtures...up in the money room I found some of the old John A. Browns Bank bags....If I can find them I'll give you one...no money in them though....kinda neat though.

grantgeneral78
03-08-2009, 06:08 PM
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When Dillard's closed in Crossroads, i bouth out quite a few of their fixtures...up in the money room I found some of the old John A. Browns Bank bags....If I can find them I'll give you one...no money in them though....kinda neat though.

THAT WOULD BE AWESUM MAYBE YOU COULD FIND A OLD GYROSCOPE TO THROW IN IT..........:LolLolLol

It would look good by the sign.

Generals64
03-08-2009, 06:15 PM
THAT WOULD BE AWESUM MAYBE YOU COULD FIND A OLD GYROSCOPE TO THROW IN IT..........:LolLolLol

It would look good by the sign.
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If I'm in my pick-up remind me about the gyroscope at the next hoe-down....

grantgeneral78
03-08-2009, 07:53 PM
I was just razzin yuh.......it is so much funnnnn.

Prunepicker
03-09-2009, 12:21 AM
Every time Prunette and I take the escalator at Dillard's, in Penn Square,
we say, almost simultaneously, "John A. Brown's!"

That was a great store.

Prunepicker
03-09-2009, 12:23 AM
What are some of the sights and smells you remember about John A. Brown's?

Generals64
03-09-2009, 02:12 PM
What are some of the sights and smells you remember about John A. Brown's?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~
"musty" old wooden floors on the Mezzanine.... You know, where the ladies lingerie and other sundry items were. "please step forward to exit the car". Elevator Operator.....Cub Scout things under the stairway...Pine box derby kits, Pocket Knives:...oooooooh look out Camp Kickapoo we will kill all the mean varmits for you with our hands....

USG '60
03-09-2009, 02:43 PM
Got my crystal set from the Cub Scouts dept. Hello KOMA.

grantgeneral78
03-09-2009, 05:51 PM
what year did they close down?

Prunepicker
03-09-2009, 05:57 PM
what year did they close down?

Around 1985.

BajaOklahoma
03-09-2009, 07:53 PM
I can't beleive no one has mentioned the frequent bell sounds that you would hear at JABs. The pattern of the rings would determine who had to call the operator.

My great-uncle repaired watches in the downtown store. It was fascinating to watch him work with the delicate tools, the glasses with the multiple small magnifying glasses and the rush of people by. I remember crossing the alley and the sounds on the wooden ramps as we hurried from one area to another.

I wonder if my mother has her JAB "dogtag."

Doug Loudenback
03-09-2009, 08:01 PM
This was covered in my John A. Brown's blog article ... Doug Dawgz Blog: John A. Brown's (http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2008/10/john-browns.html)


Crossroads and Quail Springs. Under Dayton Hudson's ownership, Brown's expanded to Crossroads Mall at the intersection of Interstates 35 and 240 in the south part of town. The Mall opened on February 17, 1974 with Governor David Hall cutting the ribbon, and the new Brown's store opened in August.


Crossroads Mall in 1974 looking northeast

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/browns/crossroadslookingne1974.jpg

Coinciding with this event was the closing of the downtown and Capitol Hill Brown's stores. A February 1, 1974, Oklahoman article reported that Dayton Hudson was hopeful that a return to downtown would occur when the pieces for the proposed Galleria fell into place -- which, of course, they never did. The same article reported that Dayton Hudson was looking further ahead to include a Brown's in the then proposed Quail Springs Mall in far northwest Oklahoma City.

grantgeneral78
03-12-2009, 05:55 PM
This was covered in my John A. Brown's blog article ... Doug Dawgz Blog: John A. Brown's (http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2008/10/john-browns.html)

Great find! It seems weird to see all that empty land around crossroads.

USG '60
03-12-2009, 06:01 PM
Seems weird to see all thos cars in the parking lot.

grantgeneral78
03-12-2009, 06:13 PM
Seems weird to see all thos cars in the parking lot.

What is more weird I remember when you could not beg for a parking place!

Generals64
03-12-2009, 06:14 PM
What is more weird I remember when you could not beg for a parking place!

__________________________________________________ ______________
All things come to pass.....

SE-76
03-25-2009, 01:53 AM
What is more weird I remember when you could not beg for a parking place!

Brought back a memory, My mom would drive around what seemed like hours to find just right parking space in front or near JAB. My job as a kid was to make a mad dash, nickle in hand, to go plug the neter at the appoiunted time.

Neuron fired off... remeber entrance to TOYLAND was just north of the
Green Stamps booth. thinking back to 65 or 66 big dispaly of Troll
dolls and austin healy matchbox cars aka James bond and Thunderball

MikeOKC
03-25-2009, 07:38 PM
What are some of the sights and smells you remember about John A. Brown's?

Popcorn/candy and a smell that was probably associated with the hardwood floors.

striipidy
03-25-2009, 09:59 PM
Did they sell popcorn in the store?
I keep hearing stories about the downtown location being described as a maze, rabbit den, or fire hazard. Why is that?

striipidy
03-25-2009, 10:01 PM
I worked at Capitol Hill Brown's in the mid 70's, in the basement. I remember trying to work those cash registers! I don't know if I ever rang anything up correct or not, but they were beautiful. JAB's name was marbled in the sidewalk in front of the entrance doors.

I never went in while it was an actual store, only corporate offices. What were the registers like?
Do you have any pics that were taken inside of the store, by chance?

Prunepicker
03-25-2009, 10:14 PM
I never went in while it was an actual store, only corporate offices. What
were the registers like?
Do you have any pics that were taken inside of the store, by chance?


Prunette worked at Brown's for a summer job. Each employee went to
workshops in order to learn how to address the public, how to dress,
hygiene and any specifics about the department they were to work in.

She worked in the China department and was instructed to wear black, so
when she held the plate up the customer wouldn't be distracted. They
had to know the stock. This was a high schooler on a part time job.

There's hardly a place in town that has standards like that. BC Clark's
is one.

striipidy
03-25-2009, 11:03 PM
I was told that Della had a strict dress code. Was it black bottoms, white tops??? Something like that.

So...did you or Prunella ever venture to the Kerr's ("Miracle Center") in Reding Shopping Center where the TG&Y at later on?

striipidy
03-25-2009, 11:05 PM
And where in the world would there be room for all the dishes, washing machines, etc? The JAB looks so small to my mall-accustomed eyes. :)

Prunepicker
03-25-2009, 11:08 PM
So... did you or Prunella ever venture to the Kerr's ("Miracle Center") in
Redding Shopping Center where the TG&Y at later on?

Firstly, Prunette is the wife and Prunerella is the daughter. :lol2:

I don't remember Kerr's in Redding, but I do remember the TG&Y. What was
Kerr's Miracle Center?

striipidy
03-25-2009, 11:23 PM
Sorry about that name mix-up. I will remember that in the future. Good names all around, though! :yourock:

Kerr's Miracle Centers, as I understand it, was kind of an outlet store for the fancier downtown Kerr's (which was a major Brown's competitor for decades) They must have not done too well since the Shepherd Mall location closed in 1966 and left just the Reding location, which shut in May 1967. TG&Y moved in right after that.

Prunepicker
03-25-2009, 11:30 PM
And where in the world would there be room for all the dishes, washing
machines, etc? The JAB looks so small to my mall-accustomed eyes. :)

It was on the second floor. By the way, Prunette worked there during
Christmas.

Generals64
03-26-2009, 07:22 AM
Sorry about that name mix-up. I will remember that in the future. Good names all around, though! :yourock:

Kerr's Miracle Centers, as I understand it, was kind of an outlet store for the fancier downtown Kerr's (which was a major Brown's competitor for decades) They must have not done too well since the Shepherd Mall location closed in 1966 and left just the Reding location, which shut in May 1967. TG&Y moved in right after that.
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TG&Y moved into the location in '67, while leaving the old TG&Y opened through the Christmas Rush....Was a fast remodel and store set as we were running out of time. Ernie Kitsmiller was the store manager....

Prunepicker
03-27-2009, 12:05 AM
TG&Y moved into the location in '67, while leaving the old TG&Y opened
through the Christmas Rush... Was a fast remodel and store set as we were
running out of time. Ernie Kitsmiller was the store manager...

Generals64, I remember being at the Redding Shopping Center when Santa
Claus came in a helicopter. I know you were probably close to 70 years old
at the time... well maybe close. Was TG&Why there?

I was so excited. I was only 35 or 40, but you're a lot older...

Generals64
03-27-2009, 09:22 AM
Generals64, I remember being at the Redding Shopping Center when Santa
Claus came in a helicopter. I know you were probably close to 70 years old
at the time... well maybe close. Was TG&Why there?

I was so excited. I was only 35 or 40, but you're a lot older...
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Yep, TG&Y was ther just in a different location. TG&Y was an original Anchor store along with Humpty Dumpty. The Helicopter landed in the back area of the center and he came through a Hallway that divided some of the stores....Then later on in years, TG&Y took over the old Kerrs building and was there until the demise....

striipidy
03-27-2009, 10:42 AM
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TG&Y moved into the location in '67, while leaving the old TG&Y opened through the Christmas Rush....Was a fast remodel and store set as we were running out of time. Ernie Kitsmiller was the store manager....

Good info. I remember seeing the Kerr's name painted on the back exterior wall into the 90's.
Did you ever go in when it was a Kerr's?

Generals64
03-27-2009, 11:04 AM
Good info. I remember seeing the Kerr's name painted on the back exterior wall into the 90's.
Did you ever go in when it was a Kerr's?
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Yes, I did...It was a place where they tried to send all of their out of season goods and yet, they tried to keep the Ker's atmosphere of an upscale Department store....

striipidy
03-27-2009, 11:19 AM
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Yes, I did...It was a place where they tried to send all of their out of season goods and yet, they tried to keep the Ker's atmosphere of an upscale Department store....

I know the out of state owners owned several expensive department stores in other states, so maybe they funneled all the stock to Reding and Shepherd Mall.
It's funny that the owners blamed the smaller TG&Y in Shepherd Mall for their failure to be successful there.
I have a thread for Kerr's & Halliburton's running. Any memories or comparisons you'd like to share? I am especially curious about Halliburton's and Kerr's Uptown location.

Generals64
03-27-2009, 02:43 PM
I know the out of state owners owned several expensive department stores in other states, so maybe they funneled all the stock to Reding and Shepherd Mall.
It's funny that the owners blamed the smaller TG&Y in Shepherd Mall for their failure to be successful there.
I have a thread for Kerr's & Halliburton's running. Any memories or comparisons you'd like to share? I am especially curious about Halliburton's and Kerr's Uptown location.
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When you are talking about the smaller TG&Y at Shepherd Mall who are you saying that they were not successful? The Number ONE Cubic Ft. in sales store in the TG&Y Chain was Shepherd Mall. There was no where for the store to expand in that mall so they (TG&Y) sent a bunch of US Assistants (at the time) in there to completely remodel the store and we built the counters Up to the ceiling so they could get MORE merchandise on the counters....I can't remember the store managers name right now but it was one of the best stores in the chain. All stores were judged by the Sq. Foot in sales except Shepherd Mall due to the amount of sales they were judged by the Cubic ft. The small store was put in because the owners of the mall were trying to get Ben Franklin in there and Ben Franklin wanted a toe hold in OKC even though there was an agreement they could not come into OKC....

CarltonsKeeper
03-27-2009, 03:39 PM
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When you are talking about the smaller TG&Y at Shepherd Mall who are you saying that they were not successful? The Number ONE Cubic Ft. in sales store in the TG&Y Chain was Shepherd Mall. There was no where for the store to expand in that mall so they (TG&Y) sent a bunch of US Assistants (at the time) in there to completely remodel the store and we built the counters Up to the ceiling so they could get MORE merchandise on the counters....I can't remember the store managers name right now but it was one of the best stores in the chain. All stores were judged by the Sq. Foot in sales except Shepherd Mall due to the amount of sales they were judged by the Cubic ft. The small store was put in because the owners of the mall were trying to get Ben Franklin in there and Ben Franklin wanted a toe hold in OKC even though there was an agreement they could not come into OKC....
Sometimes I almost think you might have worked for TG&Y; I wonder what prompts me to have such thoughts?

Prunepicker
03-27-2009, 04:46 PM
Sometimes I almost think you might have worked for TG&Y; I wonder what
prompts me to have such thoughts?

You're old, maybe as old as Gen64, ergo (therefore, wherefore, to wit
etc...) that's REAL old and you must be suffering from Oldtimers or
something like it.

I've seen him on the street corners, since the 1930's... LET ME REPHRASE
THAT! My great grandmother told my grandmother who told my extremely
young mother that she saw him with a sign that says...
WILL COMPLAIN FOR CASH!
NO CHECKS!
He's very good at it... complaining that is. I hear he has a Swiss Bank
account that's out of this world... He could start his own country.


:lol2:

striipidy
03-27-2009, 08:01 PM
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When you are talking about the smaller TG&Y at Shepherd Mall who are you saying that they were not successful? The Number ONE Cubic Ft. in sales store in the TG&Y Chain was Shepherd Mall. There was no where for the store to expand in that mall so they (TG&Y) sent a bunch of US Assistants (at the time) in there to completely remodel the store and we built the counters Up to the ceiling so they could get MORE merchandise on the counters....I can't remember the store managers name right now but it was one of the best stores in the chain. All stores were judged by the Sq. Foot in sales except Shepherd Mall due to the amount of sales they were judged by the Cubic ft. The small store was put in because the owners of the mall were trying to get Ben Franklin in there and Ben Franklin wanted a toe hold in OKC even though there was an agreement they could not come into OKC....

No no. When Kerr's was fighting their Shepherd Mall eviction, Kerr's, Inc. blamed the small TG&Y (Kerr's was where Dillards took over) as bringing down the classiness in that wing. Shepherd Mall proved otherwise in court, though.

Generals64
03-27-2009, 08:34 PM
No no. When Kerr's was fighting their Shepherd Mall eviction, Kerr's, Inc. blamed the small TG&Y (Kerr's was where Dillards took over) as bringing down the classiness in that wing. Shepherd Mall proved otherwise in court, though.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That store was a training ground store for some of the best Store Managers TG&Y ever had. The managers had the advantage of having a larger store for a close at hand warehouse as well as having access to the new merchandise before the regular Variety Stores. There used to be a tremendous hobby shop directly across from the Small store and it was there that many of the managers learned the importance of watching Toy Trends as whoever owned the hobby shop was a great merchant. You know,the little store was quite a ways down from the old Kerr's store. It was there that I bought my wife her wedding present....43 years ago...Just thought about that....

striipidy
03-27-2009, 08:36 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That store was a training ground store for some of the best Store Managers TG&Y ever had. The managers had the advantage of having a larger store for a close at hand warehouse as well as having access to the new merchandise before the regular Variety Stores. There used to be a tremendous hobby shop directly across from the Small store and it was there that many of the managers learned the importance of watching Toy Trends as whoever owned the hobby shop was a great merchant. You know,the little store was quite a ways down from the old Kerr's store. It was there that I bought my wife her wedding present....43 years ago...Just thought about that....

I hope you're talking about a gift from Kerr's, not TG&Y. :)