Last holiday season, my fiancée, Seleen, and I took the day off from our jobs to finish up our Christmas
shopping. We started early in the morning and finished late in the afternoon. At one point, our travels found us about 50 miles from home in a shopping mall I used to frequent in the 80’s: Forest Village Park Mall.

I remember visiting my Grandparents in the summer of 1979, when the big news was a brand new shopping mall being built a few miles away. My grandmother and I would drive by to see how the mall was coming along; the skeletal girders hinting at something fantastic to come. By the time the brickwork was climbing to the roof, we knew a Mecca of consumer bliss was not too far away.

My Grandmother and I were among the throng of people attending the grand opening, and I was able to peruse the record store (remember records?), the bookstore, and of course, Kay Bee. Initially, I was disappointed when I discovered there was no arcade anywhere. How could this be??? After feeling a little disheartened, I saw it. Well, the beginnings of it, anyway. A store space that hadn’t opened yet had a giant white plaster wall proclaiming “Coming Soon: Time Out Family Fun Center.” I was relieved.

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