I was recently looking back on the past 30 years and the height of the modern American mall. I have to admit, I was was a little bit of what we call a "Mallrat." When I found myself with nothing to do, I would just wander around the mall with friends. We would spend time at the arcade. Shop for cool t-shirts or wallets with chains. We would suck down an Orange Julius and almost die of brain freeze. It was a fun way to spend part of the day just hanging out with friends. I also have fond memories of the mall going even further back than that. I remember the mall being someplace we would go when the playground was filled with snow, or it was a rainy day. Mom, Grandma or even the babysitter would pack me up and take me to the mall just to let me wear myself out on the giant padded train.

You remember the TRAIN? The play area that would make you cringe by today's health standards. The giant train that was crawling with kids ages 2 and up. Kids with noticeable snot streaming out of their noses. Kids who clearly needed a diaper change. And the occasional future stunt man jumping from the highest point of the play area.

Well it looks like the classic train play area at Southgate Mall is now just a memory for most of us. If you have been to the mall lately, you may have noticed that the play area is now gone.

As much as I am not a fan of boogers, drooling and high pitch screaming. I got to say that a part of me is sad to see it go.


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