In the middle of the World Series, you want to talk baseball with George F. Will. You want to talk baseball with him anytime, actually, and a number of other subjects, too. In this “Q&A,” Will speaks of the “angelic, superb Mookie Betts,” of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also talks about the presidential campaign, the Supreme Court, and the Republican Party. There’s Big Tech, too. Is it to be feared? Well, one behemoth replaces another. A&P had thousands of stores in the middle of town; then Piggly Wiggly set up stores on the outskirts of town, which was bad news for the other guys. Jay asks Will some personal questions: about David Brinkley and Sam Donaldson, for example. He also asks him about Lincoln (whom Will values highly, as does Jay): What might Lincoln have to say to us today? A well-rounded, invigorating conversation.

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  1. Gary Robbins Reagan

    An outstanding conversation!

    • #1
    • October 25, 2020, at 1:26 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. James Lileks Contributor

    I’m skeptical about the Piggly Wiggly stuff. They didn’t bring down A&P. Their innovation wasn’t location as much as it was the Self-Serve model, which A&P eventually adapted, and far from coming after A&P’s mid-30s peak, they were growing in the 20s.

    A&P didn’t ignore the burbs – they made a big push into the ‘burbs as early as the late 30s. A&P faded away because they were outdone by newer chains (or smarter, older ones) that didn’t have so much institutional deadweight, and their stores and brands began to look outdated. Even so, A&P remained as a corporate entity long after Piggly Wiggly had been busted up, the name licensed to other chains. 

    • #2
    • October 25, 2020, at 7:59 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Architectus Coolidge

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    I’m skeptical about the Piggly Wiggly stuff. They didn’t bring down A&P. Their innovation wasn’t location as much as it was the Self-Serve model, which A&P eventually adapted, and far from coming after A&P’s mid-30s peak, they were growing in the 20s.

    A&P didn’t ignore the burbs – they made a big push into the ‘burbs as early as the late 30s. A&P faded away because they were outdone by newer chains (or smarter, older ones) that didn’t have so much institutional deadweight, and their stores and brands began to look outdated. Even so, A&P remained as a corporate entity long after Piggly Wiggly had been busted up, the name licensed to other chains.

    Ahhh, memories of visits to my grandparents in Mississippi, where we would run down to the Piggly Wiggly for a few items (not many, most was grown on the farm), and hopefully drop by the Western Auto Store on the way…

    • #3
    • October 27, 2020, at 6:03 PM PDT
    • Like