I was looking through my phone this morning and I stumbled across this picture. This is the last (and possibly only) photograph of me inside Surplus City before they shuttered the doors for good. When my family moved to Springfield from Branson in 1986, there wasn't too much out on the West side of town. One bright shining beacon (that my friend Michael lived walking distance from), Surplus City.
It wasn't just a military surplus store. It was a straight up...surplus store. Where else could you get an American flag bandanna with Yosemite Sam on it, a pair of chemically resistant rubber boots, a hanger for your garden hose, 28' of 8-gauge chain, a US Army cold weather flight suit, a roll of Dora The Explorer duct tape, a replacement ribbon for you Army Good Conduct Award, an 11-drawer file cabinet, a US Navy Officers hat, a 28" crescent wrench (pictured), a camp stove, a mirror with Dale Earnhardt's face emblazoned on it so it looks like he's there with you (creepy as hell), a replacement screw for that desk you bought at Walmart 3 years ago, WWII USMC mess kit, 20sq ft of foam rubber padding, and a roll of grape bubble tape (my most common purchase from 1986-1989), and a functioning M-2 gas mask....ALL IN THE SAME PLACE??
I know there are other gems like this in the world. Let's make sure we cherish those places while they're still around. When they're gone, all we'll have are the pictures of us holding giant crescent wrenches. -Dave