My relationship with the Target store across the street from my home, store number T-607, began when it was built over 30 years ago.
My husband and I had just gotten married, and when I became pregnant with my third and his first, he applied for any job he could get to help support us. Target was opening a store across the street and was accepting applications. He applied.
My pregnancy wasn’t the easiest, landing me in the hospital twice, but spending breaks with my husband in the Target snack bar and getting to know his co-workers was a highlight.
When I went into labor in the middle of a snowstorm on February 7, 1990, my husband first stopped at 4 am to tell his Push Crew supervisor he wouldn’t be in for work, before driving me to the hospital.
Our daughter was the first of two born that month. It had been a race, but ours was the first baby born to an employee of T-607.
After our daughter was born, I wanted to get a part-time gig, so I applied for a job at the same store.
By that time we had moved, so we were no longer across the street from the store, but it was nice to work with the people I had gotten to know during my pregnancy.
My employment there didn’t last long, as my post-partum health issues increased, but my mother soon applied for holiday work at T-607, and would spend many seasons there as a holiday cashier.
My daughter’s dad worked his way up from Push (stocking) crew to management. But to do that, we ended up moving down to Las Vegas for him to get some much needed experience. Then we moved back home to Washington when family needs demanded.
In and around all of those moves and his jobs and promotions, he ended up being diagnosed with a disability that made it impossible for him to work for an extended time.
The employees of T-607 sure came through for our family when it happened. They collected funds for gift cards for the kid’s school clothes and so much more.
I guess that’s why, thirty years later, that store holds such a dear place in my heart.
I moved back to the apartments across the street from T-607 about five years ago.
The daughter who was the first baby born to T-607 is now thirty-two and has two babies of her own.
The husband who worked for Target passed away in 2016, five years after we divorced.
My mom is still around, but stopped working holidays some time ago.
Target T-607 doesn’t look the same either. The snack bar has been replaced by the customer service and pick up desk. Where customer service used to be, there’s a Starbucks.
I still shop at T-607. I miss the employee discount, and now I actually put my life in danger to get there and back home. Allow me to explain.
Since 2018, I get around by powerchair due to my own disabilities. Because of my new mode of transportation, I’ve struggled to find a safe manner to get to my favorite store.
In 1989, when the store and its block was designed and built, the Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) had not yet been passed, and people weren’t thinking about how people using mobility devices got around, and the layout of the buildings and associated sidewalks and parking lots shows that.
But it has been thirty-three years. There have been major remodeling of Target and Joanns (started out as Ben Franklin’s), yet the sidewalks around the buildings are in poor repair and don’t actually access the stores.
The sidewalks around the Capital Mall, which is within the same block, are also broken, poorly maintained and the mall itself is difficult at best for wheelchair users to access, in an ironic twist of fate.
To help illustrate just how difficult the terrain is for a mobility aid user to navigate when attempting to reach Target from the intersection of Kenyon NW and Harrison Ave, I created a couple of videos. For my travels back, I took the alternate route which is just as dangerous.
Both routes involved crossing parking lots by powerchair, which is precarious because my sitting height isn’t tall enough to be seen well by cars either going forward or backing up.
I’ve included the three videos below. The first begins at Kenyon and Harrison, across the street from McDonald’s, and continues with the second video where I finally reach the store.
The third video below is my travels from Target towards Kenyon and Harrison, but coming the other direction out of the Target parking lot.
After I didn’t find what I went there for (really should have used the app!) I headed home:
Sometimes I wonder why I still shop at a store where I endanger my life to get to. But then I remember all of the memories created in the isles.