Nostalgia. What a wonderful thing to hear a song and remember a significant, or minor incident, and smile. I can hear certain songs and remember that my mom or dad liked it, that it created a great memory or sometimes a sad memory.
One of the reasons I enjoy the beach so much is so many of my childhood memories were from the beach. We had a routine each day: someone was in charge of making the drinks, someone made the sandwiches and someone made sure we had snacks. Now we did not have juice boxes back in the 1970s and 1980s. We did not even have Hi-C or Kool-Aid in my family as they were expensive. We had red drink mix, orange drink mix or grape drink mix. Once in a while, if Nestea was on sale, we had brand name iced tea. Of course, when I was in charge, I made the drinks extra sweet! The snacks were not of the gourmet variety either. We had generic cookies such as vanilla cream, chocolate cream or the best was the assorted brand. I never knew what I was missing as I loved our generic brands.
Another place that holds a nostalgic feeling for me is the department store, Lord and Taylor. Not the flagship store in Manhattan, the Garden City location. This was a magical place for me as a child whenever my grandmother, Mary Walsh, brought me there for significant events. I clearly remember trying on junior prom dresses and her telling me I was too young to wear black! If she could only see what some people wear today!
I also remember her always asking me how much something cost as her eyesight was giving her trouble. I would often tease her and she would reply that I should just wait as it would happen to me one day. Well, Nan that day is here. I am slowly going blind. After we purchased the necessities such as a gown or shoes, we always went to Sara Beth’s, the café located on the second floor. I remember feeling so special that Nan and I could enjoy a meal together. It was always just us, even when my mother was alive, it was an event that just Nan and I shared together. Nan and I would always talk about various things such as my school, her job or what was going on in the family.
I continued this tradition with my daughters and we even tried Lord and Taylor’s flagship store once to be a little but more fancy. I did not like it at all and the selection was not as good as Garden City’s. We left Manhattan and immediately drove to Garden City and there is where we found the prom dress, the Arianna Papell red carpet dress, which was, in fact, black. I hope Nan would have approved. It was a senior prom instead of a junior prom!
I do not know where I will go for my “mother of the bride” gowns one day. I am not a big fan of Roosevelt Field, I always liked my department store alone.
RIP Lord and Taylor. I will remember you fondly. Thank you Nan for the great memories.
By Beth Hanning