In my teen years, the cultural epicenter of the Bangor area was the mall.

A trip to the mall was like a trip to Oz. There were always tons of people, tons of stores. It was just go, go, go all the time. Even as a teenager, it was still the spot. No Friday or Saturday night was complete without at least popping into the mall. And usually losing a roll of quarters at Space Port arcade.

It was the common ground for all young people within 50 miles. It was the place where Hampden kids could run into their Brewer friends. Or Hermon kids could run into their Bangor friends. Or worse, sometimes that spilled out into the parking lot, and not in a good way. Mall "security" didn't really exist back then either.

Of course, there was the good old Airport Mall as well.

By the time I got into my teens, it didn't have the luster that the Bangor Mall had. Even then it was where my Grandma shopped. We'd go to Woolco, or when it was Rich's after that. It was a bit more utilitarian by then, but still a place with lots of hustle and bustle.

I'm not 100% sure where I came across this video, but I think partly I had to check it out because of the poster's name... Doomie Grunt - Dead Malls & Derelict Digs. That was enough to catch my attention anyway. But next thing I knew, I had just watched a 16-minute video about Bangor's two malls that had me completely transfixed.

Obviously, this guy has done his homework.

He knew everything about the history of our malls. When they were built, what all the past anchor stores were, etc. This is funny because all I saw were the big round spots on the floor of each mall where the old smoking areas used to be.

Remember the big cement pits that had benches attached to them? I remember my mom would make me sit there forever while she went into some store I hated. I'd sit there taking in 15 times the level of secondhand smoke that anyone ever should. But hey, that's when everyone smoked indoors, wherever they wanted pretty much.

At any rate, while it's sad to see the malls in their current state as Doomie Grunt meanders his way through our mall's halls, I kept seeing them the way I remembered them. And that is what had me hooked until the very end. I got to go back to the good old days for a bit. And that was worth the 16 minutes out of my day.

The little Mom & Pop spots really are the best...

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