Black Friday here: Not California craziness

Customers at JCPenney wait in line to purchase their Black Friday items.

Customers at JCPenney wait in line to purchase their Black Friday items.

Two Carson City shoppers with California experience in the black art of Black Friday’s gig voiced their preference for taking on the task here.

Amy Sweikar of Carson City, at her fourth store Friday afternoon and loaded down with clothing choices at Bealls, said she was a semi-serious Black Friday shopper but not the kind to fight crowds to ace out competitors.

Curtis Park, a Minden resident browsing the men’s department at JC Penney, said his wife, Jaime, was the serious one in their family and he was just looking for a pair of jeans while she trolled for gifts elsewhere in the store.

“We did Black Friday down there,” Park said of a California stab at the Friday after Thanksgiving shop-til-you-drop day prior to moving to Nevada. “I would never do that again.”

He said he and Jaime were enjoying time off and spending it looking for gifts for their children.

Sweikar had much the same take on the differences between the large state to the west and Nevada.

“I’d rather shop here than in California,” she said, where “it’s just crazy to buy there.” Sweikar characterized herself as semi-serious on Black Friday, yet she sounded like she was near the serious end of that spectrum by ticking off the stores she had been to before Bealls: Target, Kohls and JC Penney.

“I’m mainly getting clothes, small kitchen appliances and other small things,” she said. “They’re typically half off now.”

Neither Sweikar nor Park seemed nearly as serious as Lesley Goldwater, who staked out a spot Wednesday and Thursday at the head of the line for her chance to shop at Best Buy even before Black Friday was officially under way. Best Buy and JC Penney jumped the gun, along with a couple of other area stores, opening late Thanksgiving Day for their pre-Black Friday chance to lure shoppers.

Goldwater, a Gardnerville resident, voiced a good reason to join the jump-the-gun holiday season crowd. She’s general manager at Carson City’s Courtyard Marriott and sought gifts for 30 employees because they are loyal and service-oriented. “My husband ended up meeting me and we tag-teamed and I got everything on my list,” she said Friday.

In other words, she said, the wait from Wednesday until Thursday afternoon was worth it. “I got an item for each of my employees.”

She not only went to Best Buy, but also to the nearby WalMart and said she only had a couple of more gifts to pick up Friday at Kohls.

Goldwater didn’t share what items she’s buying because they are surprise gifts she wraps for a party in December to show her hospitality workers her appreciation for their commitment.

Waiting right behind Goldwater at Best Buy on Thanksgiving Day were Isay Lamas and Karla Mariscal, who hoped to get a 50-inch Panasonic television on sale for $199. Lamas said Friday they were successful and also picked up a “sound bar” to make certain the TV sound system worked well. Asked if this would mean the holiday season will be a good one, he sounded enthusiastic. “Oh, yeah,” he said. “You bet.”


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