Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The light is right, but the weather is too warm.

When I was a little girl, before going to school, this is the season that Mrs. Green, who lived next door, and my mother would go shopping.

Mother had hardly a cent to spend, but after coffee in the morning the girls would pack me up and set out in Mrs. Green's finned Chrysler.

Mrs. Green was a craftswoman. If you've ever seen a felt Christmas tree skirt with sequinned and beaded figures, or a cheap bird cage bronzed and filled with plastic greenery and not-very-authentic fake birds, or a Barbie dressed in a pyramidal pile of gathered net, you have a window into my young world.

Her house was cluttered with stuff.

I loved it, and I loved shopping with them.

I don't know where she picked up her ideas, maybe Good Housekeeping or some other magazine, but we would search through piles of fripperies and bolts of fabric.

Mother didn't have a car. Mrs. Green would take us to what they called the A. Harris shopping center which was down around Polk St., so Mother could trade stamps in at the S&H Green Stamp store.

When Patricia and I broke down our Mother's house in Dallas, the tacky fake brass umbrella stand that we sold came from there.

A. Harris? Who was A. Harris? Many Dallasites grew up with Sanger-Harris, and I miss it still, but who was A. Harris?

I did a little research, and the best I can do in a short time is this.

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