Nancy Fletcher still remembers the large window fronts adorned with Christmas decorations in the latter months of the year.
People would take a stroll by the windows at night just to see the dancing characters lit up.
And then there was the clothing department that stuffed the first floor.
The candy department, full of handmade treats.
And all the large carpets, patterned draperies (fourth floor) and delicate china (fifth floor).
One time, Fletcher even packaged and shipped china to the White House.
Fletcher has spent the past 30 years reminiscing about her gift-wrapping days at the glitzy Diamond Department Store with other former employees.
Come September, those stories will only remain memories.
When the Diamond Department Store in downtown Charleston closed in 1983, Fletcher and other former employees gathered on the second Sunday in September for a reunion. But they're getting older now and many have died. Fletcher said Monday she can't see continuing the reunion much longer.
At 1 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Rand Community Center, the 30th - and final - Diamond Department Store reunion will take place.
"So many people are getting older. A lot of people who worked there a long time ago are in nursing homes," said Fletcher, 79, of Parkersburg. "We maybe had not even 38 people come to it last year."
Fletcher has organized the reunion for the past 23 years. Former employees gather, share covered dishes and recall memories of the store in its heyday.
The Diamond Department Store was six floors and carried everything from clothing and linens to shoes and lawn mowers.
Fletcher recalled employees making trips to homes to custom-measure carpets or drapes. The luncheonette produced cinnamon rolls so big that it could be split three ways, Fletcher said, forming her hands in the shape of a large circle.