This "getting ready for school" time of year reminnds me of our shopping trips to Cleveland, Ohio when we were young. My mom and dad and two sisters would get up before dawn and head out for the freeway. Soon, we were sure to see an amazing sunrise. Once in Cleveland, we parked and came out underground into the Terminal Tower, a skyscraper of sorts. I thought the the place was magical. There in the bowels of the building were newsstands, candy stores, and novelty tables.
When the stores opened, my dad headed to teachers meetings while we ladies shopped. The first stop was to go up a ramp and enter The May Company. One trip, I remember a hat table with a mirror and little doughnut shaped feather circles in variour colors. You pulled them apart and stretched them on like earmufs. How much I wanted one! They were so plum cute sitting there. Since I was a teen at the time, my mom said, "no." Another year that same table had something called wighats. You pulled them on and they fit tightly. They were covered with fake spiky hair. Then you "styled" them with a brush. My little sister actually got one of those.
At noon, we headed out of the building and around the corner to The Mills Restaurant. This was cafeteria style. There weren't many of those then. I always got macaroni and cheese and a bowl of those big green or red chunks of gelatin with whipped cream. Round tables covered the first floor and balcony. A windmill stamp adorned each pat of butter in our small dish. Such a treat.
Back at the stores, Mom always let us choose several matching outfits. I remember a rust colored sweater with a plaid skirt that I loved. When we got home, we laid out all of our tresures on our large bed and Dad got to inspect and approve our purchases.
Since those days, I have always loved cities. I've been to New York City, Pittsburgh, Chicago, San Diego, Amsterdam, Munich, London, Paris, Lucerne, Venice, Florence, and a few others. These may have been more glorious, but my little girl heart will never forget her first adventures in The Big City.