Sunday, July 15, 2007


..... and grow old wanting to get back to”
John Ed Pearce quote

Yesterday I went "home" to visit with Mom and Dad and help get the house in order for the big family reunion next month to celebrate my Mom's 80th birthday. Before heading to the house, I took a trip into Lexington because....I miss it.

Now I did not really "grow-up" in Lexington, though it was the big city we always went to for serious shopping. The Sears store use to be in downtown Lex and that was usually a destination. As was the Stewards, Wool Worth's, Wennekers Shoes , Wolfe Wiles. There were numerous movie theatres in downtown, and the McCory's, the music shop, the record shop, the bakery, art shop. You get the idea, this was the pre-Mall period.

Since I was sent to the Catholic High in Lexington (and not allowed to go to school with all my friends!)I went to the downtown area every afternoon to catch the Greyhound Bus for the ride home every afternoon for several years. I spent a lot of time hanging out downtown.

When I return, especially after this several year absence, the feeling of peace that comes over me is surprising. I think it is the most beautiful place on the face of the earth. All is right with the world. All the planets are aligned. All the little marbles are nestled in the holes.

The Malls did arrive in Lexington and the stores fled to survive.
Yet, what remained survived and today the downtown area is vibrant and always a destination for me when given the chance. I visit my favorite bookstore, the Friends of the Library Cellar, where books are donated in droves, as well as discarded library books. Years (and years) ago I felt this store was my private treasure, but now a days, every body knows and goes. Still, I can lay my hands on most everything. Yesterday I ran across "West with the Night" by Beryl Markham. I read this book earlier this year from the public library in Ft Wayne and I have to confess, I was tempted to not return it, claim I lost it, and pay the penalty. Now for $2.50 she is mine.

I timed it so I would arrive when the farmer Market would be in full swing. What started as a handful of local farmers and vendors on the intersection of Vine and Limestone has grown to two solid city blocks.

I went for the flowers.


Josie Two Shoes said...

What a delightful day full of memories that you have shared with us, Alpha! I love the pix too! How wonderful that you can still return to downtown Lexington and find the city center still a vibrant place. I want that bookstore!! :-)

Chris said...

Bah....who says you can't go home again:)

Alexis loves going to the farmers market here but it's not the same to me. When I was a kid there was a little produce store called Penny Patch. I loved going there with my mom and can still remember that smell to this day. Sigh....

Have a great weekend!
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Annie said...

oh, i know exactly what you mean. I've moved back home to care for my father. everyone knows me here. i can't go to the grocery store without running into someone who knew me when I was a kid.

when i was young i couldn't wait to move away, but now i'm relishing all the things i took for granted back then. i loved the quote -
"Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to."

that's part of the human experience, isn't it.

enjoyable read. thanks!

Nelle said...

OH how I envy you, you CAN go home again. I remember the books I most treasured as a teen but cannot for the life of me remember the author. One had a poem which mentioned watermelon rinds. They were paperbacks. I love books and have started reading the ones by Jodi Picoult which are excellent.

Lisa :-] said...

I told a couple of the girls who work for me that I had honed my shopping skills in some of the first indoor malls in the country, and their eyes got big as baseballs. And I felt like a relic...

Lexington sounds beautiful. One of these days, I'm going to get down to that part of the country.

AC said...

In planning our trip to Cincinnati, I was thinking of stopping a night in Lexington. I need sight-seeing & entertainment suggestions though. Like this bookstore and the antiques store you mentioned before (Louisville, though, right?)