Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Phantom Mall-Wing Syndrome at Ala Moana

A  L  O  H  A !
A Small Fruit Song by Al Stewart on Grooveshark
" The evening sings

 in a voice of amber, 

the dawn

 is surely coming. "

Al Stewart 

" Every generation laughs

 at the old fashions, 

but follows religiously 

the new. "

Henry David Thoreau

" The love we have

 in our youth 

is superficial compared 

to the love that

 an old man has

 for his old wife. "

Will Durant

><}}(°> ~

Sears came to Hawaii back in Territorial
 (pre-statehood) days,
installing the islands' first escalator
(in the 1930's)
in the building I knew
 as Honolulu Police Headquarters
where I obtained my
 taxi driving license.
(late 1980's)

Sears had left that building
in 1959
to move into the exciting 
New Shopping Center
(Mall was not a concept yet)
whose opening coincided with
S T A T E H O O D!

It was a booming hopeful time
for Hawaii, for Honolulu,
and for "Hawaii's Center"
Ala Moana Shopping Center.

As in most other cities
people stopped shopping
Downtown (Fort St; King St)
and drove to the 
exciting new big center.

Sears and Ala Moana flourished
together, creating jobs
and memories
for generations of
Island folks, and 
our visitors.

Your childhood presents,
school clothes,
prom-wear, homegoods,
all from Sears.

And your Auntie or Uncle
probably worked there.

Ala Moana 
'World's Largest Open Air Center'
has always been great 
for people watching,
and has grown in phases.

But lately locals are grumbling
that the old standards,
Like Slipper House (sandals)
that opened AMSC have
disappeared one by one.

Now there is new development.
Sears has left AMSC!
(Stores remain in two other
Oahu locations FAR from town)
No more quick appliance parts,
car brakes, or car battery installed,
no eyeglass shop,
no watch repair 
(world class, alas!).

We're all nostalgic for Sears.
That wing of the mall will become
a Bloomingdales
and lots of other
"Cool New Shops"
But right now
that Mall Wing
feels haunted.

"Sad, yeah?" local faces
reaching "The Wall"
seem to express.

Oh well.

Things that seemed
permanent when we were kids
are revealed to be changing,

People too.

Us too.

There are so many choices
on Oahu today!

But something laments
the passing of familiar things.

"Aloha, Sears;
Now we going drive
Windward or Pearl City
for buy tools!"

Thanks for Walking the Mall
With Us Today!

                              Warmly, cloudia


eViL pOp TaRt said...

I enjoyed your quotes, pictures, and reminiscencs this morning. Happy day! Aloha!

Brian Miller said...

ah i rather like hte maturity of is different than that of our youth for sure...but i think better....

aloha from va


Oh Cloudia, how sad to see an era passing! I am one of those who grew up with Sears anchoring Ala Moana (and Liberty House the other end...and now that's just generic Macy's, sigh). Thank you for posting this today.

Charles Gramlich said...

We got a lot of our clothes from J. C. Penny's when I was a kid. But also some from Sears.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love the comment about love in old age Cloudia - so true.

Adam said...

Sears has changed a lot over the decades

21 Wits said...

It is sad, Bloomingdales didn't last at our "state of the art in shopping" Mall of America. The store 21 Forever took over their old spot, and more! Silly me, I only shop the stores when I need/must buy something! Ha! Ha! But as a child I also grew up on Sears, and actually got my first driver's license by going to Sear's Driving school in St. Louis, Mo! Seriously.

TexWisGirl said...

sears represents a simpler, more secure time, for sure. and it has all but disappeared.

Akelamalu said...

" Every generation laughs

at the old fashions,

but follows religiously

the new. "

Henry David Thoreau

That is so true!

Cloudia said...

Thanks Each :-)

London- Ah Liberty House! Hawaii's own department store!

Erik Donald France said...

Beautiful and elegiac. . . 'All that (seems) solid melts into air.'

And: 'In Search of Lost Time.'

I also miss the lunch counters in stores, they were fun and some lasted well in the 1980s.

Myrna R. said...

I sure hope my husband loves hsi old wife.
I think Sears is going out of business in many places. Ours is shrinking. Know what you mean about change. Something we just have to accept.

Cloudia said...

So fine to see both of YOU!

Willow said...

Winds of change ... always seems to be the nature of things.
Thanks for sharing CLoudia :)

magiceye said...

Time to move on

Namaste /\ from Mumbai

A said...

So true about fashion :-)

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I enjoyed that trip down memory lane so much are so right, favourite shops disappear and new ones I'm not a big shopper so I tend to stick to the same old spots..but I do like a nice big department store :)

Anonymous said...

Bummer. I find it sacreligious that Sears sells other brands of appliances these days, along with Kenmore. They even had a good assortment of aloha shirts!
But an old hamburger drive-in called Charcoal Oven amazingly still exists from pre-1960s, in my home town and in spite of the chains! DrumMajor