Saturday, June 16, 2007

Searching for Webb's City

I grew up hearing about Webb's City in St. Petersburg, but I never had a chance to visit that famed shopper's paradise. The so-called "World's Most Unusual Drug Store" had already closed in 1979. But during its heyday, Webb's City was renowned (and attacked) for its "stack it high and sell it cheap" philosophy and its fearlessly tacky gimmicks that included dancing chickens, mermaids, and dollar bill-sales (95 cents per buck). Webb's City was a southern tradition.

Launched as a cut-rate drug store in 1925, Webb's City grew fast during the Depression thanks to "Doc" Webb's willingness to do anything to attract customers. He was particularly beloved for his two-cent breakfasts in those early days, when anyone who could scrounge up some pennies got an egg, a bacon strip, and a side of buttered toast, along with a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice. Thus fortified, anyone could go shopping at Webb's.


Webb fashioned himself as a man of the little people, selling goods below prices set by their producers and fighting lawsuits that challenged his cut-rate tactics. In St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream: 1888-1950, Raymond Arsenault quotes Webb's philosophy, "I don't care a damn about money . . . I wanted customers."

At its zenith, Webb's City included 77 stores covering seven city blocks, selling groceries, hardware, surgical supplies, electronics, clothes and, of course, drugs. Webb's City offered a combination of history, hucksterism, and value that can only now be experienced, I suppose, in South Dakota's Wall Drug. I'd love to learn more about Webb's City, so if you ever visited "Doc" Webb's beloved xanadu of values, please leave a comment.



Learn More

  • Crazed Fanboy, A profile of J.E. "Doc" Webb - - Florida Folk Hero and Entrepreneur Extraordinaire

  • St. Petersburg Times, Follow the dancing chicken
  • 47 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    Webb's City cafeteria was a mainstay of our family's diet on Wednesday nights, when a chicken pot pie in a ceramic bowl, vegetable or salad, beverage, and dessert was 39 cents late "40s to mid/late '50s.

    My mother would give my sister and I bus fare to get to town to meet her there after she got off work, but I would usually hitchhike so I could save the 10 cent bus fare. I did this from about age 8 to around age 14 or so. G. Carl

    Andrew Wood said...

    What cool memories!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Bob in St Pete said...

    Hmmm, a comment about Webb's? What would you like to know? I moved to St Pete in 1954, when I was 3 years old. We shopped at all of Webb's stores for my entire youth. I loved the always warm Dawn Donuts. My dad and I went for haircuts at Webb's - cost was twenty five cents, and they tossed in a coupon for a free ice cream cone! Later, when I was twelve or thirteen, my friends and I would ride the bus to Webb's and head up to the 4th floor lunch counter, where we'd buy nickel cokes and 9 cent hot dogs, and they were great! Then we'd toss our money into the slots of the animal feeding machines -- drop in the coin, a chicken would dance and then peck a button that would release food. Wouldn't fly in today's world, but we liked watching it! I also remember my dad driving us into the gas lanes at the 'Webb's Trading Post' and telling the attendant, 'Fill 'er up with No-Nox'. It was a great place...

    Andrew Wood said...

    Bob, thanks for your willingness to share your recollections of Webb's!

    Anonymous said...

    I grew up in St Pete and remember going to Webb's grocery store on Saturday mornings with Mom. If we were good, we were treated to what seemed like to me GIANT soft ice cream cones. I also remember the mermaid show and how sometimes they would talk to you even though they were obviously not "live". I liked the ship sailing in the background the best. I also enjoyed the dancing chickens and bunnies. When we were a little "older" (say 10 or 11!) my brother and I were allowed to take the city bus downtown together to go to Webb's. What a time! I am glad I lived in a town in a time when kids had such safe freedom. Today's kids are gypped despite all the new fangled electronics. Give me a Saturday in old downtown St. Pete any day! Thanks for allowing the fond recollections!

    Andrew Wood said...

    Thanks so much for your willingness to share your memories!

    Anonymous said...

    Ohhh...The memory of my visit to Webb's City. Our family was visiting relatives that owned a now, also, defunct beachside motel on St Petersburg Beach, FL. Dad decided we all take an excursion to Webb's City. There, he bought the one and ONLY bikini swimsuit that I ever wore in my life. Of course we toured all the stores and had to view the "Mermaids".

    Andrew Wood said...

    "Mermaids" - nice!

    Thanks for sharing your recollections.

    Paula said...

    When I visited my grandparents back in the 50s we always made a pilgrimage to Webb's City-the most marvelous thing ever for a girl from the sticks in Lawrence County Ohio. I loved the creaky wood floors and the fact that every inch was stuffed with goodies. Paula

    Andrew Wood said...

    Cool. I can imagine those wooden floors :-)

    Mike said...

    St Pete was my early childhood home. My father worked at Webb's, in the produce department. I recall that the fourth floor was where the toys were... and that on one occasion, a curious child pushed a button on the escalators and shut them down, lol! I got in trouble for that one!

    It was one of the first 'everything' store. It just happened that old Doc Webb started it all as a drug store.

    Andrew Wood said...

    Awesome story about the escalators! Thanks...

    Anonymous said...

    When i was a kid every summer we went to florida and of course webbs city.In 1972 we moved to st pete every week it was a trip to webb city to shop.I loved that place it was so cool warm donuts
    great ice cream.I moved back to st pete in 2006 webb city was gone
    and just was not the same after webbs was torn down.I still miss
    webbs its great to hear everyone remembering the past.

    Anonymous said...

    When i was a kid every summer we went to florida and of course webbs city.In 1972 we moved to st pete every week it was a trip to webb city to shop.I loved that place it was so cool warm donuts
    great ice cream.I moved back to st pete in 2006 webb city was gone
    and just was not the same after webbs was torn down.I still miss
    webbs its great to hear everyone remembering the past.

    Ed Koon said...

    I was born in 1952 and grew up in St Petersburg. Webb's City was the place to go on Saturday.

    I remember the 26 Barbers, and that free double header ice cream cone you got with a hair cut. Mom, I think i need a haircut! LOL :)

    We had tough times in the 60's when my dad got sick, Doc Webb gave my mom a hand written note telling his cashiers to take 10% off our groceries. He was a good man that cared for his customers.

    It's sad to think about what happened to downtown St Petersburg, and even sadder remembering when the city tore down the main Webb's building.

    Andrew Wood said...

    Thanks, Ed. I appreciate your sharing of memories!

    Anonymous said...

    Greetings from south Georgia.
    For a college kid with little money, Webb's City was a life-saver. I'd ride my Honda 50 scooter from Florida Presbyterian College to Webbs. When I got my first apartment on 4th St South, I calculated that my average cost per paper bag full of Webbs groceries was $5 ... but that WAS in 1969 ...
    Sad to hear that they pulled the place down. And that the college changed its name.

    Anonymous said...

    We spent many vacations in the St. Petersburg area, Treasure Island, Clearwater... with fondness I remember Webb;s City. Mostly the ice cream, the mermaids, and the chicken, rabbits and pinball baseball games. It is a true shame that Webb;s gave way to malls and other sanitized experiences. I would like to hear from anyone who remembers other area attractions like the Aquatarium, Madam Tussauds, Six Gun Territory (Ocala)...Some of the happiest memories of my childhood were from St. Pete.

    Troy Webb said...

    I am Troy Webb 4th child of James Earl Webb Jr. Doc Webb's son. J.E Doc Webb was my grandfather. I was moved to write some of my memoirs after reading these stories. I was 10 years old and living life large at the height of Webb’s City popularity.

    Where do you begin when you grew up in a three ring circus? My Father and Grandfather where marketing genius. I enjoyed listing to their stories about how to bet out the local Publix. I went shopping with my dad 5 times a week at Publix but we never bought more than a piece of gum. I always wonder why.

    My first career move was working at Webb’s City loading chickens into the bins on 5 cent chicken day. That was crazy fun because I would load only 5 or 10 chickens into the bids with 30 ladies waiting to grab them up. Craziness would breakout and I laugh until I tuned red until one day I got a tap on the shoulder and it was my dad, the laughing stop. Ouch! I was relieved of my duties as a chicken loading expert and move on to the Watermelon patch where I could cause no harm.

    My career continues and at age 12 I was pumping gas at the Webb’s City Trading Post for 17 cents a gallon. Some days the cars would line up ½ a mile long. Doc would stop by to get gas in his very large 1967 Lincoln (which was raffled of every year to some lucky shopper). He would stay “Troy Boy” on your way in did you notice any other gas station with prices lower than mine. I would say yes once in a while just to see him get after my Dad to see where and who could sell gas lower that Doc! I then thought I need to move on to a bigger and better career than pumping gas with 75 year old gas jockeys.

    Now at 14 years old I was a tire selling guru in the auto parts department! Now who’s the man! I quickly found out that Doc had the same stack’em high sell’em low mentality and it simple worked. I sold more Copper tires than Carter had pills. That was not the job for me. More later if Andrew will let me continue..

    Andrew Wood said...

    Please do, Troy!

    And thank you so very much...

    If you wish, you might email me at

    wooda@email.sjsu.edu

    with the entire text of what you have in mind - I'll set up a post that will be dedicated to your contribution as a guest-blogger.

    Also, if you have any pics you'd like me to add to that post - which I can't do in a "comments section" - let me know!

    John (Jack) Fisher said...

    WOW! What memories! I worked in the delicatessen in '49 and '50 right across from the barber shop and the Coke counter. Never saw so many bottles of Coke in one place! I remember the "medicine" shows in the parking lot - Charles Antell and his lanolin stuff for the hair, the Indian "chief" who was an ace with the bow and arrow, etc. etc. Incidentally, the mermaids were live.
    Then there were Doc's girls, the models, I used to give one of them a ride to work!
    In 1962 when I came back to St. Pete to work at Honeywell I met a man who used to be asst. Manager of deli, now manager of supermarket who offered me a job. I told Doc's sister Alene (my mother-in-law's best friend) and she said "You know us, honey, we don't pay nothin'" Doc never gave us discounts - he'd already cut the price as far as he could, but we were treated like we were friends.

    Anonymous said...

    Webb's City was the most unique shopping destination that ever existed in the South. It was like Walmart on steroids, long before anyone ever heard of Walmart, and much more. I grew up in St. Pete during the 60s. What a time. Whenever my mom said we were going to Webb's City, I was the first in the car. As a kid of 6 in 1964, I could get lost for hours in that place. I loved the doughnut shop where I could watch the doughnuts being made. I fondly remember the magazine rack in the pharmacy. I used to plant myself there and read all the comic books I could. At the lunch counter on the fourth floor, you could get a great tasting hamburger real cheap, and watch a chicken peck a ping pong ball, suspended in air by an air pump, into a basket for feed. I remember, back in 1964 I think, they brought the Aston Martin that James Bond used in Goldfinger to the store and parked it outside the entrance by the barbershop. It was awesome to look at. I wonder where it is today. The main building had four stories and included a clothing department, a furniture/appliance department (a bigger one was built next door), a grocery and, of course, a pharmacy. And the large gas station next door had a large bait and tackle shop where you could go over and see live bait in a large tank. Pure fun for a small kid. The store's closing left a void in downtown that is felt to this day. From Atlanta.

    Anonymous said...

    As a child growing up in St.Pete in the early 60's I have the same fond memories of Webb's City, but what I looked forward to the most was driving by Doc Webbs house in December, not the usual Christmas decorations by a long shot, his front yard transformed into a LIFE SIZE THREE RING CIRCUS complete with life size elephants, zebras, clowns & high wire acts...that was amazing... I only wish I had photos from those days...

    Andrew Wood said...

    Of all the posts on this blog, "Searching for Webb's City" has generated the most response! I so enjoy reading y'all's recollections.

    andy

    Ed Koon said...

    Troy Webb, I seem to recall you changing radio station preset buttons on a T-Bird in for an oil change at Webb's Auto Center.. LOL!

    Man that was a long time ago, think i was around 15yo back then before i started driving, I hung around the auto center after school some times.

    Doc Webb's Special gasoline 19.9 and it drew a line around the block onto 1st ave south. Soft water laundry had to hire a guy to keep the cars in line from blocking their driveway..

    I'm 57 now but can remember Webb's City like it was yesterday.

    Andrew, thanks for providing the blog and photos.

    Tiffany Lettelleir said...

    Hi! I am Tiffany Treadwell Lettelleir, my mother is Sherry Webb Treadwell, "Doc" was my Great Grandfather. My memory of "Doc" was when he gave me a handful of candy everytime I visited him. I love reading all of your comments and memories of Webb's City.

    bruce said...

    Its makes you want to cry to go back to the good days when Webb's City was the talk of the town. Walmart couldn't touch Webb's City.

    Anonymous said...

    My grandparents brought me to Webb's in the late 1960s. What a crazy place. The trained animals were great; I recall a rabbit that would kiss a plastic bunny until it "blushed". There were other small animals that did tricks like walking a tightrope, putting out a "fire", and dancing. I wanted to talk to the mermaid everyday, never did see the clerk who was the mermaid voice.

    Anonymous said...

    Webb City was my first employer. I graduated from High School in Indianapolis 1965 and my graduation gift was to spend the summer with my aunt and uncle in St. Pete. I got a job bagging groceries at Webb City. I have good memories of the group of kids I met there. It was a hugh place, very unique.

    Anonymous said...

    I lived in St. Pete for 3 years in the early '70s. My mother worked at the lunch counter in Webb's City for a short time and my father worked there briefly as a cook. I remember the small soft serve cones for 9 cents, the very large cones for 19 cents, the donuts for some ridiculous price like 19 cents a dozen, the haircuts which were very low priced (and looked it!) Yes I remember the chicken who would perform a dance or a trick for a little food inside a machine and I believe it would release a plastic egg with a little toy inside(?) Also the lame mermaid show! I was about 10 years old when I saw it. I remember watching it, telling my siblings it was just a recording, a fake, when the mermaid said something like, "We're not fake, little boy, we're real." How embarrassed was I? A very interesting place. Even by that time, the neighborhood was on the decline, not the safest place at night. But I have visited St. Pete last year and the 2 years previously and I have to say I still like this town.

    William R. Hiler said...

    I grew up in St. Pete, arriving there in 1940 at age 5. by the time that I was 8 years old I rode
    my Schwinn bicycle down to Webb's
    City every day. I would sell insect
    specimens that I would catch to the
    exterminator shop that was on the first floor, rear S.E corner as long as the insects were huge! I
    also proweled the ally ways picking
    up discarded clothes hangers, which
    I would sell to the dry cleaners
    that was next to the exterminators
    shop. I only received a few cents
    for the clothes hangers, and a nickel or dime (if the bugs were
    unusual and or huge) but with that
    money I could eat at Webb's lunch
    counter and have enough money left
    over to go to the Roxy theatre to see two movie reels Mostly cowboys
    and indians, current newsreels of
    the war scenes in europe and asia
    and half a dozen cartoons plus a
    segment of an on going serial shown
    once a week and also previews of
    coming attractions. All this for
    the princely sum of 7 cents! I
    remember that after the war they
    raised the ticket price to 9 cents,
    I almost cried. The main store of
    Webb's that faced 9th.street south
    was actually two individual stores that became one by the fact that
    Doc Webb inclosed the alley by building right across it. Because
    Doc Webb inclosed the alley by building right across it. Because
    Webb's was such a tourest draw, he
    was allowed to get away with it
    William R Hiler

    William R. Hiler said...

    I spent a lot of time looking into
    the show windows that faced into the inclosed alley, where lots of
    captured japanese war material was
    displayed. Full uniforms dressed
    on manikins even including the odd
    footwear, holstered side arms and
    rifles, canteens and sheathed bayonets. The background of the display was like jungle foliage,
    the whole display was very realistic. These displays that reflected the present state of the
    war with the japs, changed periodically showing all of the
    different implements of war. Needless to say I was mesmerized
    by it, given my age plus the fact that I saw a lot of the same things
    on the newsreels that were shown in
    the Roxy theatre. I remember 15 cent haircuts, due to my age? Huge
    ice cream cones for 5 cents. In the
    basement was a very nice cafeteria
    type of setting but with colored
    waiters that were impeccably attired in tuxedos with white shirts and black ties, also having
    a white tea towel draped over their
    left arms. They were the epitome of
    old southern politness.
    When I grew up, one job that I had was working for Scarrett
    Lincoln and Mercury and I was given the task of driving Doc Webb's Lincoln continental out to
    the 34th. st. maintenance shop that
    was owned by Scarrett motors. They
    would all have died if they had known that I opened that Lincoln
    Continental up out on 34th. street,
    The odometer registered a high of
    140 miles per hour, I pegged the
    needle on that gauge. I was in my
    early 20's and indestructible, no
    fear, no sense! Later on Doc Webb
    held an auction on that Lincoln
    Continental, I believe that you took your cash register receipt on
    which you wrote your name and phone
    number on the back of it and dropped it into some receptacle that was set up for that purpose.
    Again Doc webb showed his knowledge
    of entrepreneurship. He would say that if he could get them into the
    store, they would buy, or he would
    sell his goods. That car auction was a streak of genius, he had the biggest turn out that they ever registered for an event. And events
    he had many over the years, which
    included many carnival type events
    where Doc would suit up in his traditional white buck shoes, white
    pants and pull over shirt, and literally get involved in the routines that were performed by the
    profesional acrobats. Doc Webb was
    also a "ham", he loved to be in the lime light. There are many more
    things I could write about, when talking about that part of my life that entwined with my experiencees
    at Webb's City, maybe at another time.
    William R.Hiler

    chuck said...

    I was born (1964) and raised in St. Pete.
    moved away in 1978. Webb's City was the best! I remember going there as a kid with my Mom. She would grocery shop and the cereal isle was amazing, the meat dept had a stool in the far left corner that I would sit on and watch the butchers and ask for a sample of bologna and of coarse they would give me one. The animal acts were cool, I remember them well, the dancing chickens etc. The elevators had a colored woman as an operator,but that took the fun as a kid at getting to push the buttons and play. I got my hair cut in the barber shop, and the donuts were "the best"!
    I have so many fond memories of Webb City, it was a treat and an experience to go there as a child. I loved that place.
    The Mermaid show was most of the time closed as I remember, and when I did finally see it I was disappointed as it was not real. But oh well it was off to the toy section where I could get lost for hours!
    I was very young at the time so I don't remember the cost of items or services, all I remember is that it was such a cool place with such a variaty of products and attractions.
    My childhood growing up in St. Pete on the old north east side near coffee pot blvd. were the best times of my life, and memories that I will cherish forever!
    Thank you Doc Webb for providing my parents with such a good store and great prices and for me as a kid to be enthralled with the spectacle that you provided young imaginations.
    Chuck Rice - proud native of St. Pete Fl.

    William R. Hiler said...

    Another feature of Webb's City was the open air "south sea island pav
    ilion type of eatery" There were
    wooden benches and tables where one
    could eat watermelon and other fruits. There were also all kinds of tropical fruit drinks (that they made fresh right in front of you) if you were standing in front of the serving counter
    There was a raised stage in the rear that the patrons-who so
    desired would perform. My mother would sing on that stage, and she would embarrass me by making me accompany her. The manager of the
    place was a Mr. Roper. He was a very tall Englishman. Doc Webb had
    working for him at different times
    two sisters who were true "Lilly
    putions" fully grown they were 4 to
    4 and a half feet tall, attractive in their 24th or 25th years of age.
    Mr. Roper married one of the sisters, quit Webb's and moved out
    Central Ave. where he opened a restaurant and his wife was the
    hostess. She and her sister were
    either part owners of, or worked at
    the "wild animal ranch" that was a
    tourist attraction way out on Forth Street North. When you drove out a bit further where Gandy blvd.
    and 4th. street merged, there was
    Webb's City Outpost, how many of you remember the "outpost" I could
    tell you so much about Webb's and
    old St. Pete (the city of green benches and old people) that you
    would get bored. By the way, the
    south sea open air was directly across the street from the front of the main store, forgot to mention that when describing it in the beginning of this writing.
    William R. Hiler

    Anonymous said...

    Breakfast at the counter, the old escalators, the pet shop, and of course the fourth floor! Webbs was a wonderful place. But Webbs also gave me a dark image of the 1950's because it was there that I remember two drinking fountians of the first floor. One was
    new, modern and tall, and the water was cooled. It was labled "White". The other was old. It hung on the wall and was labled "Colored". Great as it was, Webbs was also a product of it's times. Willard Doswell

    Patti Mac said...

    I remember going to Webb's City with Mom and Dad and my 3 brothers and my 3 sisters. We spent hours there grocery shopping with Mom. Dad would take my brothers for hair cuts. I remember Dad having the car gassed up and then heading home! My parents have now passed and while going through their belongings, I came across a stack of 25 Webb's City business cards. It shows the picture of the store, a photo and signature of "Doc". If you are interested in these cards, please e-mail me at pattimac33774@yahoo.com

    DMH Sr. said...

    I also loved the hair cuts. For kid's would get a ticket for a free ice cream cone. I can remember mom going their once for a gas sale. (Now that's the good old days) In 1963 they had a sale and it was 19.9.

    william said...

    There was the Arther Murry dance studio that was basically above the
    barber shop, and you could only get
    into it by climbing a stair case
    that you accsessed from the park-
    ing lot just outside of the rear
    intrance to the main building. I
    was very well acquainted with it
    as I signed up with them to learn
    to become a dance instructor. I was
    very handsome at twenty two years
    old dressed in black shoes, pants
    and a white sports coat, black tie and a pink carnation. The big plus with this job, all the pretty girls
    and ladies that would sign up for
    dance lessons. They would come in to try out our dance floor, and the
    instructors, since I was an instructor I would earn a commision
    if I could convince them to sign up.
    This was a job that I didn't hold for very long as I had a conflict
    with the manager and I quit. Well
    this will be my third posting, and
    in all probability, my last. Let me
    say that having grown up in and at
    Webb's City, it was a great experience that has carried me through my life ( it is nearly over
    with now ) leaving me with all these wonderful memories of my
    youth in old St. pete, and Webb's.
    William R. Hiler

    Debbie said...

    I loved this place as a young girl. My Grandparents lived in St. Pete and we went every summer for a visit from North Carolina. I remember the Mermaid Grotto on a upper floor...(can't remember which one) but I so looked forward to going into the little dark cave and looking through the holes in the rocks that let you see the beautiful mermaids and they even talked to you. I also loved looking for the sailing ship in the background....I also couldn't wait for the chocolate soft serve ice cream that was the best on the planet.I remember the ice cream shop being near the barber. I had forgotten about the dancing chicken until I read some of the post but this was also a highlight of the trip. I thought this was just a magical place and was so sad when it closed. I would love to see more pics. I have a deck of playing cards with a picture of Webb's lit up at night....beautiful!

    Anonymous said...

    In 1967 I worked as a pharmacy "typist". There were usually about 4-6 pharmacists on duty there and a day shift and evening shift. A very busy place. There was a wall of prescription file cabinets. At that time paregoric and terpin hydrate with codiene were sold only on signing out for them and could only be purchased 3 oz. every 7 days or so. On Friday and Saturday evenings, many people who were addicted to these would line up and sign the book. we would have to go back through the book to make sure the writing was'nt the same within the legal time period. I remember the shows upstairs, the ice cream, the bargins. It was a very interesting place. One of the pharmacists became my first husband ! There used to be a pharmacist there who was a very good violinist and on his breaks he would step into the back room of the pharmacy and play incredible "gypsy" music ! The whole experience was a real show! I miss downtown and St. Pete in those days. Thanks for posting!

    Linda Stokes said...

    I grew up in St Pete and we went to Webb's City too many time to count. I remember all of the things everyone else does, including those drinking fountains someone else mentioned. Back then that was just the way things were every where in the south. When I was 8 I learned a very valuable life lesson because of those fountains. Having just learned to read I decided that since I had always had white water to drink, I was going to have the "colored" water that time. Needless to say, there were some very upset people, and one very disappointed child. I was so sure that water was going to be rainbow colored, and instead it was plain old white water, still makes me mad, after all isn't that false advertising? In the car on the way home my Dad just told me that the water is the same but some people are different. Even then I knew he was talking about the ones that were upset, not the ones that were supposed to drink the colored water.

    Linda Stokes said...

    I grew up in St Pete and we went to Webb's City too many time to count. I remember all of the things everyone else does, including those drinking fountains someone else mentioned. Back then that was just the way things were every where in the south. When I was 8 I learned a very valuable life lesson because of those fountains. Having just learned to read I decided that since I had always had white water to drink, I was going to have the "colored" water that time. Needless to say, there were some very upset people, and one very disappointed child. I was so sure that water was going to be rainbow colored, and instead it was plain old white water, still makes me mad, after all isn't that false advertising? In the car on the way home my Dad just told me that the water is the same but some people are different. Even then I knew he was talking about the ones that were upset, not the ones that were supposed to drink the colored water.

    Unknown said...

    Andrew Wood;
    What has happened to the comments
    about Webb's City? They appear to have just dried up. I haven't seen
    any new comments in some number of
    years now, very discouraging. If
    you think that you have an answer,
    please comment. Thanks
    Will

    Francis Archambeault said...

    Francis Archambeault (born1949)
    I was raised in St. Petersburg and Doc Webbs and his granddaughter Sherry were a part of my life. In my later teenage years along with going to NEHI I worked at Neal's restaurant and Nichols brothers Rambler just down the street from Webb City. Reading all the comments has been good for me and I remember all of the places mentioned in the blog. Every Friday I would get off work early and go to get a haircut, double ice crime cone and feed the chicken. Yes I remember the escalator, the long lines at the gas pumps and the donuts yum yum. Docs family was special to me I remember every Halloween we would catch the bus just to get a chance to go to his house I believe near allendale. Thanks to everyone for the I comments I really enjoyed them.

    Francis Archambeault said...

    Francis Archambeault (born1949)
    I was raised in St. Petersburg and Doc Webbs and his granddaughter Sherry were a part of my life. In my later teenage years along with going to NEHI I worked at Neal's restaurant and Nichols brothers Rambler just down the street from Webb City. Reading all the comments has been good for me and I remember all of the places mentioned in the blog. Every Friday I would get off work early and go to get a haircut, double ice crime cone and feed the chicken. Yes I remember the escalator, the long lines at the gas pumps and the donuts yum yum. Docs family was special to me I remember every Halloween we would catch the bus just to get a chance to go to his house I believe near allendale. Thanks to everyone for the I comments I really enjoyed them.

    Carol Heald said...

    I was born in 1952 in St Pete and still on occasion even though I've lived in the West for 38 years I have dreams where I'm riding the escalator at Webb's City looking for someone or trying to get to a certain department. It was huge!! What an amazing place!
    I remember the Roper's (earlier post) also, we went to school with their daughter. I mostly saw Mr. and Mrs. Roper at Munch's like half of everybody else and their family that I knew. I don't know how Webb's would or could fare today but I can't imagine the St. Pete I grew up in with out it.

    Mary Ann Widere said...

    My Mom is still the thriftiest grocery shopper I know but back in the 60's, she knew when and where to hit all the sales. Thursday evening, I seem to recall, was the night Dad would drive us to Webb's for Mom to shop. He would drop her off at the door then drive all around for a parking place. Everyone in town had the same idea because men in elevated towers throughout the parking lots would announce available spots through their microphones. Weren't they wearing pith helmets? What an adventure it was for little kids. I also remember that Doc's house in Allendale was THE place to drive by to see Christmas lights.