I worked at the Memorial one, on Westheimer and Fonden when I was in high school. It is now a video store I believe. The one on Katy and Bingle is the first "big" store. Before it just happened to burn down, that place was so cramped, two people had to turn sideways to get down an isle. I remember the local police telling us about how big the explosions were when that store"accidentally" burned down. They said they closed I-10 due to all the ammo and white gas cooking off. I bet it was a thing to see. Our business really picked up afetr that. lol
I hated the worm bar! I was the guy in charge of the hunting, fishing, and camping, ect. what they called hard goods, so I had to seperate the stuff!! Nothing like seperating 1/4oz forn 3/8oz jig heads. And the people that would pull out all the sleeping bags and leave them on the floor. And the kids that would open the camping food, and put the worms from the worm bar in the styrofaom cooler and they would melt through the coolers all the way to the grond.lol Arthur use to come in once a week late in the evenings, just walked around and complianed about everything, pleasant guy, lol.
I liked working there, it was a differnt time then, it was more of a Cut Rate on I-10 attmosphere. We(I got my buddy a job there with me) knew our regular customers by name and enjoyed working there. It was the days of LGI rods being "the" rod, shrimptails were still the preferred plastic(pink and white and red and white), 51 and 52m's and broken backs were the "big" trout lure of choice, the #1 color for 51 &52m's was red/gold/yellow and pink/silver/yellow, and the broken backs #1 was gold and black. Topwaters were not used much and no one knew what braided line was, well except for that giant spool of blue and white heavy duty stuff for catfishers. Ambassador 4600's were cutting edge, since they were smaller and had a thumb bar! lol. No wadeaids, quick-dry fishing shirts, and Everlast ray boots, and asking for a 1/16oz jig head got you a "what" look, and ask us about modulous of the blank and you would get a blank stare. 12lb Trilene XL was THE line we put on 9 out of 10 reels we spooled. When someone bought a bay reel over $100 it was not the norm, but the exception.
I met alot of great poeple(customers) there and learned alot from some of them. The Academy now is nothing like what it use to be like. Now I ask one of the people in the fishing section for a certain lure and most of the time I get a confused look," uh, oh, I usually work in shoes". Back then we were hired for what we knew and that is where you worked. It took some people some time to trust a younger kid when it came to advice and tips, but we fished and hunted more than most when we weren't working(and when we were supposed to be in class sometimes,lol) we got to talk to alot of top notch fisherman and guides so we always had a line on the fish and knew when and what we could say to who.. It isn't like that now, due to a lot of factors.
Sorry for the long winded post, just made me remember some good times.