As I mentioned in a previous post, the very first place I ever bought gaming supplies from was the Sears mail order catalog. I bought the AD&D 1st edition Monster Manual, Player's Handbook, and Deities and Demigods books from there. It wasn't until college that I found an actual game store. At the start of my college career, the nearest game store was in a nearby town about 30 miles away. I looked up the address in the phone book and started on my way. Fortunately for me it was located in a part of town that I was somewhat familiar with. When I arrived, however, the store was gone! Unhappily, I started back to college. I had traveled less than a block when I happened to look to my right and saw it. "The Rusty Scabbard". As it turns out, the store had just finished moving around the corner only a few weeks before I had come looking for it.
It is fair to say that I bought the majority of my gaming supplies from the 'Scabbard from the early 80s through the early 2000s. The store is still in business, though with different owners than when I shopped there.