This "Story About Me" would often come about as we approached the holiday season....
When I was a kid, living in Cedartown, Georgia, our family always seemed to manage to fit in one or two trips to Atlanta for Christmas Shopping each year. These occasions were pretty memorable, sometimes they might include some "pre-gift" purchases like a fancy pair of cowboy boots (the pointy toes of which exactly matched the indentations in my big sister's shins), a coat or maybe a book.
On a typical shopping day, we would split up with a plan to meet back at a certain time. At some point early on I wanted to be with Dad because he would typically work his way over to the "Nut Center" and buy a bag of chocolate covered peanuts.
These visits would aways include a visit to the pinnacle of retail department stores in the south: Rich's. Many times the one at the Greenbriar Mall in Marietta...
...I am pretty sure I remember riding the Pink Pig at least once when it soared (soared?) above the heads of shoppers in the toy department. I know I rode it at least once when it was stationed outside on the roof of Rich's (for another -more detailed- description of the experience read Chris Queen's post from last year).
On some of these trips, I might end up hanging around with my much older brother and sister - I was under the impression that they didn't want me around, but perhaps that wasn't really the case. They liked to pick on me and of course, I enjoyed being obnoxious; but they also served as a buffer between me and the disappointments of growing up.
On one particular trip while I was in the company of my siblings, I saw my Dad taking a scooter across the parking lot. I knew it was mine, my brother and sister were too old for scooters, they tried to convince me that Dad was probably just helping the people at the store. Despite my childish naivete, I didn't buy it. I think I began to doubt Santa Claus at that point.
|My scooter was not quite this vintage - picture a trimmed |
down 1960's version in powder blue without the fins
Those shopping trips would usually run late into the evening and if I played my cards right, I could go to sleep in the back seat (sometimes in the floorboard - an unheard of luxury today) and if I remained asleep when we got home (or was able to mount a convincing performance) - I could get carried into the house.
I remember one weeknight trip, my sister and I took with Mom after school, we did some quick shopping in Cobb County. On our return trip, I remember how thrilled I was to see snowflakes - LARGE, fluffy snowflakes - peppering the windshield in a mesmerizing fashion. As the glorious white substance accumulated, we barely made it over the arching railroad bridge on East Avenue. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I later learned that school was cancelled for the next day.
What a magical Season, indeed!