I have lived in Lafayette for more than fifty years, and there have been many changes to the retail landscape even in that amount of time.

I was sitting around with coworkers when one of them suggested I do a post about stores that our parents used to shop at but that is gone now. I loved the idea, and that is when my journey began to find old pictures. I need to thank Craig Zimmerman from the Lafayette Memories Facebook page for all of his contributions. He was able to help me navigate around the many submissions he has made to the page so that I was able to find the pictures I was looking for that would be used for this story.


It was great to be able to look at the variety of pictures on that site. I was also reminded of how quickly time passed since I had been in some of these stores with my family. It seems just like yesterday that I was in Weingarten's Grocery store shopping with my mom, but it was forty-five years ago. Some of the other stores I was able to find brought out so many wonderful memories including Dronet's Shoe Store in the Grande Marche Shopping Center. I completely forgot the sign on the outside of the store had a big red parrot on it. I remember so many happy times in that store with Mr. Paul Dronet. He was also super kind. He would let me try on the shoes, I know my mom wouldn't get for me, but it was fun to try on the shoes!

I think those trips to his store for shoes ended up revealing plenty about my personality. I always remember wanting fancy shoes or shoes that were red. Invariably, my mom only purchased shoes that were practical for school at Our Lady of Fatima. I was never disappointed because Mr. Dronet always made the school-buying process easy and fun. And back in those days, little things were a big deal. We didn't get candy really ever, that was for special occasions, but we were always able to get gum from the gumball machine. Can you imagine that being the highlight of a six-year-old kid's day today? Nope!


As I was walking down memory lane, this song came into my mind. I've always loved Petula Clark's, "Downtown". There were so many marvels downtown and across Lafayette.

Do you remember the one or maybe a handful of stores that you shopped at with your parents that aren't there anymore? I wonder if your places are some of my places? Let's take a look. Also, if you have pictures of stores that are gone now that I should include in my story, would email them to me? bernie.lee@townsquaremedia.com

More From 99.9 KTDY