I’m sure these guys are still big and still standing guard somewhere. Maybe individually or paired up in peoples’ yards? As a kid, they were EnORmous and a little scary. They stood out in the bitter wind and snow up on that hill guarding the North Shore Shopping Center. I was afraid that if I was standing out alone with them, especially at night, they might come to life. I liked Babes in Toyland but these guys were a bit more sharp edged and their rifles were giGANtic. They did not say “Merry Christmas” as much as “Don’t steal anything.” I guess they were more festive than commandos.
A trip to the shopping center was totally cool back then. Not to hang out with other kids but just to go for a ride and get out of town and actually to shop for clothes because we still had lots made by hand. Many of my clothes were lovingly made by my mother and her friend Mrs. T. When we did get to shop we went to only select stores due to height issues. The queen of tall gal stores was Lane Bryant. It was quite fancy having a store with a section just for me. Do you remember the other stores at The North Shore? Maybe this will remind you.
Sometimes we would shop at Almy’s, the toys were in the basement with the hardware department.
Oooh, The big letters could be seen blinking while driving by on 128. Z–A–Y–R–E ZAYRE! Zayre had two for a dollar jewelry, big bins of it. Very shiny.
Marshall’s always seemed more chain like to me. Not a North Shore special. Now if I want to go back really far I can remember the lovely staircase in Brown’s of Gloucester, festooned for Christmas.
There is actually a blogger who has gone and done historical research on many of these stores.
I just remember the slushy parking lots, the ornaments, the lovely possibility of presents. Today I went to a thrift store in Anchorage and got some of those little houses you put a candle in and have been admiring them all evening. They are shiny even though they’re old.