Thank You For The Memories

Word came down this week that where the old Hickory Hollow Mall sits, it will be demolished and with that, a large and very important part of many childhoods will be gone forever.  Yes, I know the mall has basically been derelict for more than 30 years or so, but still, driving by there when I do, a memory is always evoked.

I have written about my mother when she was growing up in Nashville in the 50’s how everyone went to the Hippodrome on Broadway.  Then one day, it was sold and gone and a car dealership was there.  She talked about so many fun times there in her teenage years.

Hickory Hollow Mall was that to a lot of us.

The mall had the best pizza ever made on planet earth called Picnic Pizza.  Greasy and cheesy and it was the absolute greatest thing put into slices.  I ate so much pizza from there it is wonder my arteries don’t look like 440 at rush hour.  Then, across the way was the greatest pretzel store of all time.  Swiss Pretzel was a dry pretzel that would come in last at Pretzel competitions but it was amazing.  Also helps when you have a friend who worked there that would give you all the cheese you wanted.  Again, the 440 joke applies here but this time it refers to my weight.

Record stores, boutique shops, Spencers and on and on were at our fingertips.  I tried explaining to my son how awesome Hickory Hollow Mall was and he said, “Was it better than Opry Mills?”  I immediately called a family therapist to seek help because I have done a bad job of telling my boy about how much fun we had at Hickory Hollow Mall.

The game room, called Tilt, was the best and you know why?  We had old people in there, young people, white, black, hippies, ‘jimmies,’ burners, athletes, jocks, nerds and on and on.  No one fought and we were all one in that place and everyone got along and helped each other.  A game room did that at Hickory Hollow Mall.

My favorite place though, was walking through the department stores, mainly Castner-Knott and Dillards and staring at the women working the makeup counters.  They were all absolutely beautiful and I would have put them up against any mall in the world with their beauty and their charm.  I have written about that I would buy things in there, cologne wise, that I did not need so I could nervously talk to the ladies behind the counter.  I tried on so much cologne that I would have made any landfill smell wonderful.  I had no money but when I did, I would buy something there and give it to my mom, who would say, “Stop buying me perfume.”

When I did drive by, as I mentioned earlier, that another  memory was evoked, I still laugh about walking into those stores and they all saying, “Lord, here comes that poor sad kid again.”

Weekends were amazing as well and although Rivergate Mall was known for cruising, Hickory Hollow Mall was more for perusing.  We all went inside and saw our friends, or hid from them, and just had the best time.  No one got into any trouble and we would wander around for hours and just have fun.

Christmas was the best time because we had no social media yet we knew where everyone was going to be when they came home for the break, at the mall.  Again, we would see everyone from high school during the Christmas season and that would satisfy us for a long time.

I am not surprised it will be torn down as with everything else, life moves and new memories come knocking on the door for a new generation.  There will be place these kids today love that will be knocked down and I hope they have the same wonderful and fantastic memories I have while writing this.

As I have said, they can tear down all the buildings, but they cannot take away our memories, no matter how hard they tried.

Oh I forgot, that Ruby Tuesday’s at the Mall was probably the dirtiest one of all of them, but we didn’t care because it was located in our mall and to us, everything there was perfect.

Now I want pizza and a pretzel.


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