AM&A’s Christmas windows, 47 years ago today

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

From the pages of the Courier-Express, holiday shopping on Main Street downtown 47 years ago today… AM&A’s windows and sidewalks jammed with shoppers.

Downtown Is Jammed by Shoppers In Traditional Post-Holiday Spree

By RAY DEARLOVE

The traditional heavy shopping downtown the day after Thanksgiving held true again Friday as pedestrians jammed stores and sidewalks and cars filled downtown streets bumper-to-bumper most of the day.

Most store officials contacted said they were pleased with what appeared to be near-record crowds and all the stores were jammed right after opening.
Total sales volume for the day wouldn’t have been known until today.

Displays Popular

Robert B. Adam, president of Adam, Meldrum & Anderson Co., said A. M. & A.’s traditional downtown store Christmas window display was viewed by the largest amount of people in the eight years the displays have been offered. He said this
year’s window display is on the history of Christmas carols.

Hens & Kelly Inc.’s downtown store also was reported jammed and Harry Blum, senior vice president, said business was very good right from the store’s opening. He said it was usually “noon before the store got that crowded.”

Lawrence R. Rose, executive director of Main Place and vice president and secretary of the Main Place Merchants Assn., described the shopping crowds as
“fantastic.” He said the day is normally a big day, but that Friday’s crowds were exceptionally heavy in all 53 stores in Main Place.
Best Day Seen

Similar observations were made by Daniel Ransom, president of the Wm. Hengerer Co., who said Friday was the best day-after-Thanksgiving in the
three years I have been here.”

Parking facilities in the downtown area were reported full most of the day.
Gerald R. Tunkey, general manager of Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps Inc. which operates five city ramps in the downtown area, said all the ramps were
full by 11 a.m. William J. Cochrane, assistant manager of the
Genesee Motor Ramp at 312 Pearl St., said business was “much heavier than normal, with almost all 300 spaces full much of the day.”

The shopping hordes meant the usual headaches for traffic police. Capt. Albert F. Saxer, head of traffic point control and radar units of the Buffalo Police
Dept., said extra patrolmen were planned both day and evening to handle the traffic.

Parking Scarce

“There are not enough parking facilities to handle the volume of vehicles that were downtown Friday,” said Saxer. “Parking facilities would have to
double to alleviate the situation.”

Saxer said traffic was slow but moving. There must have been room for sleighs, since several Santa Claus’ were spotted
downtown Friday.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and spent 20 years working in Buffalo radio and TV, climbing his way to news director at WBEN Radio. Since then, he's been an adjunct professor, produced PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.