Store of Yesteryear – T G & Y

August 19, 2008 at 12:14 pm 18 comments

Genea-Bloggers is hosting an event where we think of a store we went to that is no longer in business.

One of the first stores I thought of was one in Memphis called T G & Y.  As a kid we always said we were going to the “turtles, girdles & yoyo” store.  After a while we actually believed it.  I just knew as a kid, Mom would always get us a toy when shopping there.  LOL

I googled T G & Y and here is what wikipedia said:  “TG&Y was a five and dime, or variety store, chain in the United States. The chain was named for its three founders: Rawdon E. Tomlinson, Enoch L. “Les” Gosselin, and Raymond A. Young. The initials were ordered according to the age of the three, with Tomlinson being the oldest. Founded in 1935, the chain was headquartered in Oklahoma City. At its peak, there were more than 900 stores.

In 2001, the chain filed bankruptcy and eventually all stores were closed. Among consumers, it often had the nickname of “Turtles, Girdles, and Yo-Yos” (alternately: “Tulsa, Garden & Yard”), referring to one of the first stores in which a consumer could get products of various varieties.

In the final years of the chain and as the stores deteriorated in both appearance and cleanliness, shoppers sometimes referred to the chain as “Tacky, Gross and Yucky.” It was also known to kids as “Toys, Games, and Yo Yo’s.”


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18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Debra Osborne Spindle  |  August 20, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Interesting. I went to college in OKC, and sure enough, there was a bit TG&Y right across the street–we furnished our first dorm room from that store. I miss them.

  • 2. pboggs  |  February 5, 2009 at 2:48 am

    Yepo good ol TG&Y. I used to get my Halloween costume there every year. You know the kind that cane in a box and was a plastic outfit and has a severe tear in it by the time tricke or treating was over.

  • 3. Cindy Ladd  |  June 1, 2009 at 7:19 am

    I remember going to the TG&Y store on Lamar Ave in the 60’s. I was in elementary school. On Friday’s after school my mom would sometimes take us up there. My brother liked model cars and planes and I usually got paper dolls or coloring books, jacks, Silly Putty etc. Always had to check out the”jewelry”. The store was right by the Farmers Market and in front of Rainbow Skating Rink.

  • 4. shelly  |  July 13, 2009 at 2:35 am


  • 5. Rhonda  |  October 5, 2009 at 10:29 am

    I worked for T.G.&Y. for 13 years… started when I was in high school and stayed with them until things started going down hill. In the town I lived in; St. Cloud, FL, it started out as a 5 & dime and then became a Family Center similar to Target. It was enjoyable to work there and I must say I made friends that I still have to this day… some 30 years later.

  • 6. Joyce  |  October 10, 2009 at 10:05 am

    I worked for T.G.&Y. for 23 1/2 years. I started in the small variety store in Lakeland, FL, then worked as an office trainer for the district and later the region…then moved to Oklahoma City where I worked at HQ office for the Aim for the Best stores. During the conversion to McCrory…I was on the conversion team for Florida Region. I sure do miss those days…I met a lot of wonderful people and made a lot of friends.

    • 7. larry  |  October 28, 2010 at 2:07 pm

      i worked at the T&Y,… St Pete Beach store in Florida.

      ended up a DOLLAR TREE STORE…

      The largest $ Tree store.

      It was a fun trip

      Larry in FL.

  • 8. Hummer, V.  |  November 12, 2009 at 8:00 am

    I worked for T.G.& Y from 1964 to 1970 at which time I was asked to transfer to the Ben Franklin Division to Manage the Crafts and Fabric section , and then transfered back to the Dallas Office and stayed till I left and went with A new Chain as in charge of Operations of Old America Stores which was Art,s and Crafts.

  • 9. don  |  March 25, 2010 at 12:43 am

    i worked for t.g.&y. stores in the 60’s and 70’s as a store manager in the tulsa, area. what a great compny!!!!

  • 10. stan  |  April 21, 2010 at 5:20 am

    i use to work tgy i was there for six years it was in muskogee in the mall. it was in the early 80s . did i did every thing there. it had become aim at the time i was there. had good managers.

  • 11. Jess russell  |  February 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I am trying to locate bob turner,vp main office at time of shut down..I was vp of Dallas div. Anyone that worked with or in my div. Would like yo hear from you..

  • 12. Laura T  |  June 11, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    My first job was at the T.G.& Y in Lakeland Fl. in 1979. I worked there in the back office for 6 years until it closed. I loved that job! I woke up yesterday thinking about it – remembered everyone’s name I worked with! It was a great store.

    • 13. Joyce Bryant Kendrick  |  June 15, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Laura, I remember that store. Actually, my first job was at the small store in Lakeland…I started in 1969 as a cashier. Later on, I worked in the office and then I started working for the District Manager as an office trainer. I helped with the training of personnel in the new family center in Lakeland. Later on, I went to the Regional Office and then Headquarters. It was the best job I had, ever!

      • 14. kd  |  September 21, 2014 at 2:44 pm

        Joyce or Laura, can you tell me where the store was in Lakeland, FL? I remember it being at Market Square with Winn Dixie at the corner of Griffin & 98N in the mid ’80s. Do you recall it being anywhere else in that area?

      • 15. Joyce Bryant Kendrick  |  September 22, 2014 at 4:34 am

        Yes, the small store was located down the street, still on 98 (just south of the family center location) in the shopping center between Hwy 98 and N FL Ave., near Calvary Baptist Church. Winn Dixie was in the shopping center along with a beauty shop and there was a restaurant and a clothing store at the end. There is a car dealer next to the property. Hope this is helpful. The building still exists, I just don’t recall the occupants now.

    • 16. Joyce Bryant Kendrick  |  September 22, 2014 at 4:35 am

      Laura T., Do you recall Pat C. That worked in the Moneyroom?

  • 17. jackson  |  June 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I feel bad im one reason tg&y went broke I stole a lot of stuff from them in my early teen years from one of there stores in Tulsa Oklahoma………………

  • 18. Larry  |  July 20, 2017 at 6:53 am

    T oys G ames & Y ou Name it.


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