Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sam Walton and My Dad

My dad despises Sam Walton. Some would say he despised Sam Walton since Sam Walton has been dead for  a few years, but my dad's utter abhorrence for some of Sam Walton's  business practices (in particular, underpaying employees and driving out small businesses)  is immortal.   I know other people who aren't crazy about such things, and even a few people who boycott Walmart, but I don't think anyone feels as strongly about it as my dad does. He has multiple T-shirts, which he actually wears in public,  with anti-Walmart sentiments. Once we went to dinner at my grandparents' house, and when my dad found out that they had purchased most of the food they served us at a Walmart (they probably did it on purpose; they know how much my dad hates Walmart; everyone who knows my dad knows how much he hates Walmart), he wouldn't eat  the meal.  I shudder  to think of what might have happened if they had told him they bought their toilet paper at WalMart.

Several years ago my mom, my  brother, and I were driving with my mom's sister totally in the sticks in  Oklahoma for some reason that I can't quite recall when we came to a sign that said, "Birthplace of Sam Walton."  We stopped, and my aunt took a picture of my mom, my brother, and me posed right in front of the infamous Sam Walton  sign. My aunt had the picture made into Christmas cards and sent them to my dad as a favor. He threw them en masse into our fireplace.

I've never been inside a Walmart.  If someone took a picture of me when I went inside a Walmart and showed it to my dad, I would probably be disinherited, not that my parents own anything  anyone would want to inherit.

I don't have a copy of the actual picture with my mom, my brother, and myself in front of the sign. No one  bothered to keep a copy. 


  1. I try to buy at other stores, local grocery stores by us. I even try to go to the organic store 30 minutes away at least once a month, and really wished it was closer.

    However, we go to Sam's club every other week and Wal-Mart maybe every 3rd week or so. Some things, with our budget, just means we need the cheapest we can get it. Also, some things my local stores don't carry certain items, when I need it.

    I understand where you're Dad is coming from though. I wish we had more local stores instead of the giant Superstores we have now. They are crowded, noisy and annoying in many ways. But, alas, cheaper...

  2. There's a town maybe 80 miles north of where I am in my county that has maybe 50,000 people (I'm just guessing off the top of my head) and I have no clue what businesses are there, but my city has one K-mart and a Costco, but no Target and no Walmart. (I've grown to somewhat like Target, and it makes me sad to have to travel quite some distance to get to one.) My guess is that local business owners have for quite some time dominated or have had connections with the city council and with both city and county planning commissions.

    My dad has the luxury of choosing where he will shop, but there's no reason to believe my financial situation will be anything like his for a long time once I'm all the way on my own. I'll need to shop at places I can afford.

  3. I hate WalMart with a passion. Years ago, I read a very good book about how WalMart is ruining business in America. It made some very good points about how big box stores, WalMart in particular, ruin small businesses in America and strip small towns of their charm. I haven't shopped at a WalMart in over a decade.