The Latitude Mall was Small with 2 Anchor Stores

I’m getting a late start today because Mom and I went shopping in Huntsville. We both live a bit out from the city (yeah, I know… the city), but we live in what’s considered the Huntsville metro area. I love to claim it. It’s very neat and clean, and it’s a great place to raise a family.

Anyway, at one point during today, Mom said, “It surely is nice to live close to everything for once.” ‘Deed it is. When I was growing up in rural south Alabama, we had to travel an hour over bumpy roads to get to Latitude, MS.

It was exciting to go to Latitude. When we were really little kids and would drive into the city limits, Ben and I would start chanting interminably, “We’re at La–ti–tude! We’re at La–ti–tude!” I think Mom said that she and her sisters used to do the same thing when they were little. It was because Latitude was a real town with a “skyscraper.” The tall, old Marks-Rothenberg clothing store was 16 stories high. Now it’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

Most of all we loved to go to McDonald’s. I remember getting a Coke, fries, and a hamburger from there. Yum, yum!

Latitude had a bitty mall with only two anchor stores. Yeah… I know. But back then it was like, “Wow! Shopping!” (Now it seems funny after going to college close enough for me to skip off to Birmingham’s Galleria.)

If it were a bright, sunny day, I would get carsick riding home from Latitude. The sun, shining in the west, would slant through the trees with a whip, whip, whip as Mom would drive by. All of that whipping acted like a strobe light… We would go past pines, then sun, then pines, then sun. By the time we made it back to Gihon Springs, I would have a headache and then the queasies after bumping over the road patches.

Worth it all to go to McDonald’s, McRae’s, Wilson’s, Gaylord’s, and Woolsworth’s.

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