Last weekend, my lovely wife (that is how I will eternally refer to her in this blog) and I were sitting in the Wausau Center Mall, watching our 2 kids run around in the play area. I love the play area in the mall. The flooring is the softest ever, and I love to watch my kids run around, finding new and innovative ways to fall off of things. It really is a simple pleasure, and a cool alternative if the weather doesn’t lend itself to outside play.
I don’t spend a whole lot of time in the mall these days, but I’ve been thinking about how much time I spent there in my youth. In fact, I remember riding my bike down Grand Ave. on opening day in August, 1983 with my friend Bill, not really knowing what to expect. The city was abuzz and I remember that Mayor John Kannenberg was supposed to open Good Morning America that day, which was pretty cool.
I did a lot of living downtown. I bought my first pair of “Jam” shorts by OP from Prange’s, discovered comic books at a cool 2nd floor shop in the Pedestrian Mall (can’t remember the name for the life of me) and saw my first “R” rated movie at the Rogers (they SO didn’t card).
Eventually, the novelty wore off and shoppers began to go elsewhere to meet their shopping needs. Now, the mall is undergoing a much-needed face-lift. The plans look cool and the possibilities are exciting. Thankfully, the play area will be retained.
I love to bring my family downtown for summer kick-offs, concerts, Frisbee dogs, and hot-air balloons. Perhaps, the renovation, in conjunction with the other changes downtown, will result in the area becoming a destination once again.
I sure hope so, even if it means I have to share the play area with other people…I guess I’ll make the sacrifice 🙂