01 December, 2011

{this memory} 28

That's a lot of bear for such a little girl.

I'm thinking this was about 1982. My daughter looks to be about one, and if my memory isn't too feeble I bought this bear for her on her first birthday.

In 1980 a new mall - Sangertown Square - opened in my area, although after a very contentious construction since it was built on former wetlands. One of the anchor stores was a Hess's department store - where they have "the best of everything." In addition, one of the things they prided themselves on was that everything was for sale, even items that were essentially fixtures.

That's where the bear comes into play. I had noticed it in the store where it was used to draw attention to the children's section. It was certainly the largest stuffed animal I had ever seen, and I had to have it for my daughter. I asked for a price, and after a while, they managed to come up with one. It was acceptable, so I bought the bear. Simple.

That's when the real fun began. First, I had to carry that humongous bear out of the store and to my car. I did get a few odd stares, but who cares, really? Second, I had to wedge it into the passenger seat of the Datsun 280Z I was driving at that time. It was not an easy fit to say the least, and I somehow managed the 25 mile drive home without having to look out of the passenger window. He didn't say a word the whole way.

My daughter loved it. You can see that in her face, and although she is gone most of the year, the bear still lives upstairs in this home.

I can look back on many happy memories. I am truly a fortunate man.

PS: Hess's closed in 1994 and was replaced by a Kaufmann's. Today it is a Macy's.