So, a few days ago in this post, Russ from Springfield Rewind provided us with a fantastic list of some of the stores that debuted in the 1977 Grand Opening of White Oaks Mall. I thought I'd share some "fond" memories ...
Aladdin's Castle - You have no idea how badly I wanted to go into this arcade. It was dark ... and noisy ... and teenagers were just hanging out in it. My brother RUINED this for me by finding his "source" at Aladdin's ... therefore, my Mom assumed everyone who stepped foot inside was handed a complimentary dime bag. What she didn't realize is that my brother could've found a dealer at Blessed Sacrament's 10 a.m. mass. Finding one at Aladdin's simply meant that he could get a buzz on and play Donkey Kong. Thanks, Bro ... I owe you one.
Buster Brown Shoes - If I remember this story correctly ... I had fallen arches as a child. Or maybe no arches? Who the hell knows at this point. In any case, because my feet were so screwed, my Mom had to buy my shoes at Buster Brown. Which means that I was the DORKIEST kid in grade school. In second grade, when all the girls were wearing tennis shoes with Scooby Doo on them ... I was wearing special leather "saddle shoes" which "supported my arches." I ... was ... in ... hell.
Byerly Music - Since I wore those gawd-awful shoes and had no freakin friends to speak of, I spent a lot of time playing piano. You couldn't tell it now, but at one point I was pretty good. Anyway, as a kid, I spent every dime of my allowance on sheet music at Byerly ... until my feet recovered, at which point I started hanging out at Musicland ... but we'll cover that later.
IPCO Optical - Oh yes ... along with the shoes from hell, they found out I was half blind in grade school. So, my happy ass wound up at IPCO Optical where I "helped" pick out, what I imagined were, pretty cool frames. Every school picture for the next ten years shows a child who looks like she borrowed her eyewear from Larry King. What the hell was my mom thinking? It's a wonder I didn't end up in a bell tower somewhere ...
So, I think we've walked far enough down memory lane for now. We'll revisit these years of emotional scarring ... er ... treasured childhood memories again soon. Maybe after I find a good therapist ...
Where do the young kids go?
What's America - what's America turning into?
Mojo Nixon - Burn Down The Malls