Every year at Christmas, this memory comes running over me like an 18-Wheeler. It will hit me at other times through the year, especially when school starts up but it is Christmas that puts it over the top.
It was a store. A clothing store in Donelson. If you lived in Nashville, there was a chance you shopped there but if you lived out east of the city, you definitely shopped there.
It has been gone for years now and a military store occupies the space now but the building is there and it hasn’t changed in decades.
Moskovitz. Yes, Moskovitz was the name of the store that was our Macy’s, Dillards, Nordstrom, etc., all rolled into one.
Moskovitz was not fancy but my goodness, it was perfect. Absolutely perfect. Were there prices more than those other stores? No clue and really didn’t care. Everyone that was in school with me shopped there. It was not a social meeting with parents standing in the aisles chatting but more of, let’s get in and get out.
I remember one time my mother bought me a pair of brand new Converse and a lady when we were leaving stepped on my foot, ruining the shoe. I was obviously upset, shut up, and the sweet lady working there took pity upon me, walked me to the back and said, “pick out another pair.” Could you imagine that happening today? No way.
The best part though were the hundreds of jeans that they had there. I think every pair of jeans for about 10 years in Nashville was bought at Moskovitz. I remember Levi’s and the hot item were Lee jeans. Do you remember Lee jeans? Man, they looked terrible on me but either you got Levi’s or Lee’s and my mom always made be get Lee jeans. She was paying for it so I had no where to complain.
What makes me smile when I think about that place was it was simple for all of us. You had the shoes, some shirts, 50,000 pairs of jeans but they were all in the neighborhood of simplicity. No $400 Air Jordans. No $175 pair of cut up jeans that look as if Edward Scissorhand created them and other high priced items that we all must have.
And then, it brings back wonderful memories of my mom and shopping there and the amazing amount of patience she had. Whenever I needed any type of clothing, that is where we headed. Every single time. There is no telling, no telling, how much money we spent there growing up. I never remembered her buying a single thing for herself. Maybe that is the foundation of a perfect mom. I don’t know. I just know she was perfect in my eyes.
How many Moskovitz are left in the world? I have no clue but I hope we would be surprised if we found out. Sister’s Whimzy in Mt. Juliet is pretty dang close to what Moskovitz meant to me and so many others. A locally owned place that you can shop and make memories with someone.
I drive by the building every single day and immediately, I see myself in there with my mom shopping. I pray I never lose that memory.
I had wanted to write this story about two years ago but just could never do it. Then my good friend, country singer Josh Pruno, wrote a song called “Christmas 1993.” If you have lost a parent, you will have to watch because the video is perfect and those memories come running back, not to run over you, but to hold you.
I know Christmas is quite difficult for many people, as it was for me but imagine for a moment if you did not have those memories. You are a lucky and blessed person if you do have them.
Now I am off to find that lady who stepped on my new shoes and never apologized.
(Many thanks to Cindy Pendley who provided me with the pictures of Moskovitz. God bless you, Cindy, for helping bring back these wonderful memories.)
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