Feeling Nostalgic and Sad

When I was a teenager, Madison Square Mall was the best place to hang out with friends.  It was the largest mall in the Huntsville area.  It also had all sorts of cool stores and restaurants.

One of my favorite memories, involves me and my cousins hanging out on the second floor next to the railing that overlooked a water fountain on the first floor.  We were talking with a friend and just being goofy.

The friend was wearing a clip-on tie, because he had an interview with one of the stores.  My cousin Kay didn’t know it was a clip-on, so when she grabbed his tie it popped off and went flying over the railing.  The tie landed in the water fountain below us.

The young man was really upset, because he had borrowed his father’s tie clip and he didn’t want to lose it.

My cousin Dee and I came up with a plan to fix the problem.  We went down stairs, took off our shoes, and climbed into the water fountain to get the tie.

A security guard approached us and demanded to know what we were doing in the fountain.  I tried to explain the situation, but that just made him even angrier at us.

Dee and I were escorted out of the mall and warned not to return.

Over the years, new malls and shopping centers have come to Huntsville, Alabama.  Unfortunately, Madison Square never changed or made any significant improvements.  They still have a lot of the 80’s colors and decretive styles through out the building.

People drifted to the more modern malls that are better able to meet their needs and Madison Square Mall continued to deteriorate.

Madison Squire Mall recently closed and all the stores have now relocated.  The local news (WHNT.com)  was showing pictures of the empty mall and talking about future plans for the building and the land.  Looking at the pictures made me feel nostalgic and a bit sad.

My First Car

My first car was a 1979 Ford Fairmont.  It was already ten years old when I was learning how to drive, so my parents thought it would be a good car for me.  If I wrecked the car, it wouldn’t be a great loss.

It had a standard transmission, which I appreciate now.  I can still drive a standard, since I learned how to drive with one and drove standards for years.

The car didn’t have power steering.  If you wanted to make a u-turn or a 3-way turn, you really had to work for it.

It didn’t have power brakes either.  To stop the car, you had to use those leg muscles and put a good bit of pressure on the brake peddle.

Actually, nothing was considered “power.”  The windows had hand cranks and the seat adjustment was stiff and difficult to move into position.

It had a radio, but the speakers were awful.  There was always a loud crackling noise in the background, so you couldn’t make out what song was being played.

Last of all, the car didn’t have air conditioning.

In spite of all the negatives, I was proud to have that car.  I loved to drive it around town or just drive aimlessly for hours on end.

While it is true I have found memories of that old car, I don’t actually miss it.


A Blast From the Past

The U.G. White Mercantile Store has been serving Athens, Alabama, since 1917.  The store was founded by Ulysses Grant (U.G.) White and has been passed down to his descendants for generations.

It is a very unique store filled with old style toys and household items.

When you walk through the store you will probably feel nostalgic or may even feel like you are in a museum.

If you are ever in Athens, Alabama, take a minute and check out U.G. White.  You will not be disappointed.