Friday, April 27, 2012

Preserving the Past

This week in the Greenville Daily Advocate was an article about tours in the old historical buildings of downtown Greenville. The tours will be of the upper floors of the old buildings. Wow, how I was there.

I love going home. Home being Neff Road. My trips to Greenville are special, because I am catapulted once more into my childhood memories. Okay, I know, I am easily catapulted, but I think it is important to remember those places which could so easily be replaced by something 'new and better'.

Mom, Peg, June and I walked into the Palace Department Store almost every Saturday. It was on the corner across from Gray's Jewelers. Across the street was the movie theatre. The Palace had jewelry in the front cases. We walked past the cases to the back of the store to look at shoes. We didn't buy much when we went to town, but Mom loved to shop. Sometimes she had to take her small daughter to the restroom which was up a small flight of stairs. It was a rather remarkable set up. A place to powder your nose and a place another couple of steps up to......well, you get the picture. We rode the elevator to the second floor. Mirrors, rounders and rows of clothing lined the walls. The Palace was a marvelous place for a little girl's memories.

We parked at the end of the street walking up one side then down the other. Always we stopped at the music store for a new piece of sheet music or a new reed for my saxophone. Concerts at Memorial Hall. A new book from the library. The fountain. City Hall. History everywhere we looked.

My cousin Sue and I sat in the Montage Cafe last summer. The store I remember in this spot was where our neighbor Lois had a flower shop. The stores look the same on the outside. The names and businesses change. Still those old buildings hold the memories of generations of shoppers who went downtown or into town to shop. Memories that might just still reside in the upper floors of old buildings.

Hm. Wishing I was on a tour....or maybe I just took one.

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