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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Le Bistro

This little story may need to go into my Shoes & Sweaters series (yet to be posted here), but for now, I'd like to share this one about an old memory.

While looking for some specific photographs, I delighted myself by “finding” other framed photos tucked away and not seen for a while. One of them is Le Bistro, a B&W photo not taken by me, which was a chic lunch place located in the Parmatown (Ohio) mall in one of its anchor department stores, Higbee’s.

I started working at Higbee’s as a retail associate in the clothing department fresh after graduation from college and returning from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games that summer.

Two things brought me right back to that iconic department store when I look at it with reverence and nostalgia cursing through my veins. One was when I met a young lady who worked in the Bistro, but for the life of me, I cannot remember her name! We became fast friends because I chose to eat in the Bistro during my lunch/dinner hour, mainly after the rush, and we had time to talk and get to know each other without a care in the world.

Remember those halcyon days?

The second thing that swirled around my head was the loss of those types of department stores. They were the anchors to the retail landscape that shaped our youth when we had the chance to go. We’d save up our "allowance and babysitting money to buy those special shoes for a dance or prom or something very special, and probably not for ourselves except on a rare occasion.

I think it’s impressive that one photograph could conjure so many lost memories. As they say, a photo is worth a thousand words; believe it!

Now, if I could only remember that friend’s name since we lost touch after I was promoted to store security; heck, I had a newly minted Criminal Justice degree to exercise as I began working in the Higbee’s Parmatown location some days, and the much larger downtown Cleveland location on Public Square the rest of my time working at Higbee's chasing thieves.




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