I grew up in the era of malls.

Malls and all the stores around them were the cultural epicenter of my day. When I was a younger lad, every important thing happened there. We didn't just go to the mall for utilitarian reasons, but more often than not, just to hang out. All the cool kids went to the mall. If you didn't have a ride, you hopped the bus. Those were the rules.


First dates happened at the mall. First kisses were had there. Break ups happened there too. Teens didn't have many places to go back then. It was the roller rink or the mall. With an occasional movie thrown there too. But everything started there.

The shopping bags told the story of your day's activities.

There were two kinds of people at the mall back then. There were the ones that had no real reason to be there, other than to hang out. I was usually one of them. Boredom got me out of the house, and for some time on the bus, I could fill my day with excitement. The others actually used the mall for its intended purpose.

Wynn Red
Wynn Red

Those folks did their shopping. Whether it was blowing birthday money, or back-to-school shopping, or Christmas shopping... whatever. These days, most folks do their Christmas shopping right from the toilet while they scroll through Amazon. So as useless in some way as malls have become, I'll always kind of miss what they were.

So let's take a walk down Memory Lane and scope some of the bags we used to see all the time. Toys R Us, Ames, Record Town, Ormond's, The Limited... All the best from our childhoods. Let's look at an impressive collection of the bags thanks to Wynn Red. The memories I sifted through today were worth every minute.

Stunning Old School Shopping Bags...

Stunning Old School Shopping Bags

This is a huge chunk of Maine's past.

Gallery Credit: Jason Stewart

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