Monday, September 14, 2009

The Good Old Days (you know, the 80s?)

Being a child of the 80’s, some of my favorite recollections are of the times I spent at THE place to see and be seen, the mall. Specifically, Indian Springs Mall. I was a huge mall rat, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

In high school, my mom and I would go to the mall to buy school clothes. I got jeans at Dillard’s and one year, I got a pair of parachute pants at J.C. Penney. Tennis shoes were almost always purchased at Foot Locker. Dress shoes were bought at Kinney’s or Baker’s, but the really cool shoes were at The Wild Pair. To go with those cool Wild Pair shoes, you needed to head up to Merry Go-Round for some clothes, maybe a puffy Prince shirt or a Michael Jackson ‘Beat It’ jacket. Musicland had a better selection of records than Camelot did, and supposedly it was easier to shoplift from there.

The main places to hang at Indian Springs were at the arcade, Fun Factory, the movie theaters and locally owned Mexican restaurant, Taco Via. Man, I loved me some Taco Via! I could go for a sancho right about now…Oh! And Italian Delight. My friend Rhonda and I would go there to look at the cute Italian boys working behind the counter.

She got to work at Topsy’s Ice Cream and Popcorn shop next door. I bet she was checking out those guys all day!

I got my first job at the mall, working at Orange Julius. The uniforms were hideous- orange and brown double-knit polyester tops that were hot and itchy. Right after I quit, they switched to polo shirts. Figures. But that’s ok, because my next job at the mall was probably one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had. I worked at Spencer Gifts. Spencer’s had everything your parents didn’t want you to know about. I learned how to pierce ears there and seemed to spend most of my Saturdays ‘stapling’ people’s ears. The managers, Paula and Dave, were funny, and the other assistant manager, Yvonne and I would take total control of the store when they weren’t around. It was a blast.

I wish I could find more pictures of the mall back in its heyday, but I can’t. Sadly, malls are becoming a relic of the past. Indian Springs is facing the wrecking ball and then possible redevelopment. Three other malls in the Kansas City area have been torn down over the last few years. I get a little sad thinking that kids now won’t get to have that mall experience, although as a parent, the thought of my child spending all day at the mall doing God knows what is scary! I’m glad I got to experience it, though!

What about you, do you have any mall stories?


Lola said...

We used to go to Southridge Mall in Greenfield, WI. We went to Wooden Nickel for our jeans and begged our Mom for Orange Julius's. My sister and I weren't mall rats. The mall was a bit far for that and our Dad wouldn't drop us off. When I was 17 and had my own car, it was all about my job at the gas station. Earning money for a better car.

Lurker Girl said...

My God! I had forgotten all about Foxmoor! Oh the Mall memories!! I worked at The ID (not I.D.--id!--the relm in your mind that creates desire) I hated it when people said is this the i.d. store?

I digress. Anyway--any boy worth a grain of salt bought their clothes at Chess King and we hung out at the food court and raised all kinds of hell.

I too think kids are going to miss out on the experience of just "hanging out" due to all the "enclosed" malls going to their death. I love the outdoor shopping concept and we have 2 of those malls here that are great--EXCEPT--Hi--it's NorthWest Ohio and WINTER kinda makes shopping suck at those places.

Kelley said...

Amy, we've got two of those open malls here, too. They're nice, but what you said. Winter in KC is not your friend, and one of the great things about going to the mall was it was enclosed! Away from the elements! You could shop to your heart's content without trudging through blistering heat, rain, ice, snow, hail and all the other weather we get around here. There's a shopping mall near our house that's quite large, but all the shops are so upscale, that there's very few that are really affordable. The few kids that do hang out at the food court there are the goth kids and the emos. Where did all the metalheads and the skaters and the stoners disappear to?