It looks nothing as it did 35 years ago.
But then again, very few things do.
And, it was only a brief stretch in my life, in our lives, that I have forgotten about most of it.
I found out that a place that we lived for every Friday night, every Friday night, could be shutting down for good.
Word got out this week that Macy’s at Rivergate Mall will be closing their doors and with a main anchor store leaving, would this signify the end of the Mall?
If you ever saw the movie American Graffiti, the mall was our drive in.
Where the gang on Happy Days hung out at Arnold’s, this was our Arnold’s.
That is all we did there.
Every Friday night after the football season ended, we would head to the mall and just cruise around. Hot. Cold. Raining. Snowing. We didn’t care, nothing would stop us from cruising.
I don’t recall anyone getting into trouble and there were words said here and there and it was all a combination of every character in the book, “The Outsiders,” but there was no greasers trying to fight the socs.
Sure, there was some “tough” guys in their new camaro’s flexing their muscle and more tough guys in their low-riding trucks but in the end, all harmless. I remember we used to drive around in Barry Barnes’ parents station wagon, which might have been the main reason no girls ever stopped to talk to us. I am going to use that as an excuse for now.
The mall has been fading away for years, and as with many things, has taken a life of it’s own. The “path” we would take around the mall has changed dramatically, but I could drive the old one, with my eyes closed.
It was a special time for all of us. We had no worries. Zero. The way every kid should be able to live.
We have all grown up now and all that is left, are the memories and I thank God we have that. Some of us stay in touch, some I haven’t seen in decades and some have passed away.
As we get older, I often reflect back on certain moments in my life and ask, if one was to write a book on your life, would this adventure in your life be in it? Would you include a chapter on cruising Rivergate Mall?
I think we know the answer.
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