I will start this series of posts by explaining that I am on a vacation with my family to the lovely city of St. Louis. Laugh if you will, but St. Louis is actually a great town, and where I spent many of my deeply formative younger years. While I am here, instead of clothing, I will post mostly about places that I grew up, and that have influenced the person I am today. In a way, these are also things handed down to me from my mother and father. In this picture I am standing outside a Saks Fifth Avenue store in St. louis MO. It is located in a very tony shopping center called Plaza Frontenac. My father oversaw the building and opened this store in the mid 70's, and managed it until the late 70's. Other than the brands carried, there is almost nothing that has changed about the store itself. It has the same facade, the same layout, the same travertine stone on the floors. It was such a memory jog to walk in there, The smell was amazing, exactly the same. There is a universal smell to all cosmetics departments, (which I really believe doesn't change that much over the years.) The mall itself, except for the stores, has remained in the same layout. My family and I ate in a southwestern restaurant in what used to be the old Kay Bee Toy store. This Saks Fifth Avenue always loomed large in my life, it was where I would visit my father, where my mom would shop with us, and where we spent a great deal of our time. There was an incredible woman named Anne Corkery, that worked alongside my father at Saks, even though she had eight kids of her own, she used to take me into her her home every weekend because my father usually had to work then, (one of the banes of a retail executives life). Like all childhood memories, this place is laced with misty thoughts of playing in the clothing racks, and having a great wardrobe for my stuffed Snoopy Doll, but it also jogs memories of times that things started to fall apart. That may mom started getting sicker, that things began to change.