Monday, June 4, 2012
WESTGATE SHOPPING CENTER
It's been years since I walked or rode along its length, I dunno if there's even any stores left open; the picture I have posted looks like a derelict. It's hard to imagine Westgate as a bustling shopping center, but that's exactly what it was in my childhood. We shopped for groceries at Pick-N-Pay, bought our school clothes at W.T. Grant, did laundry at the all night Laundromat. For about a year, we lived across the street from Westgate, and it became, among other things, our playground- I learned to ride a bike in its parking lot, ate cookies and candy pilfered from Lawson's and Fisher Foods, and had my first-ever employment carrying bags of groceries for Pick-N-Pay patrons, or gathering carts for the store manager-I still carry a scar on my right thumb from where I smashed it between two carts one afternoon. My Ma would collect "LET'S GO TO THE RACES" cards from Pick-N-Pay, and tune into the program on Wednesday nights to see if she had a winning race.....she never did. I loved going grocery shopping with her, especially as we only had to cross the street to get home. The last time I was there was about '81 or so....a friend wanted to stop at the Westgate Grille, so we did, and had a couple beers. To Pick-N-Pay, Marshall Drug (site of my first sundae), Hough Bakeries, Nobil Shoes, W.T. Grant, Lawsons, Fisher Foods, and all the other stores and shops of Westgate, SALUTE!