Ghosts of Christmas Pasts

Some of my favorite Cleveland Christmas memories revolve around Public Square and the family trips we’d take to do holiday shopping at Tower City when Tower City was THE place to shop.

We’d hop on the Red Line for the trip Downtown, when riding on a train was the epitome of excitement for a little boy.  I’d stare out the window as the landscape streamed along and watch buildings and neighborhoods pass by, each one exciting and new to my young suburban eyes.  And I’d wonder.  What were they for?  Who lived there?

At Tower City, we hit all the fun shops.  Shops that were more exciting than those at our local malls.  The Warner Brothers Store and the giant Disney Store.  There was Nature Company, too, and a model train store.  We’d shop and shop, then head to Higbee’s so I could meet with Mr. Jingeling and get my key from him.

Across the square, we visited the BP Building to see their big tree and the train set-up in the building’s atrium.  Apparently trains were a big part of my childhood.

The hot air balloons over Tower City’s dancing fountain.  The wind-up toy soldier greeting the children.  Bruce the Spruce.  All of these bleed together in my memory, bits and pieces from a number of Christmases.  And together, it is to me what Christmas was, and still is.

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