August 28, 2007

Doug's Family and a Dead Mall

We left Worlds of Fun Village and took the RV on a short drive (20 miles) to Independence, Missouri to spend 9 days with Doug's parents (Bob and Jean).

Jean was in the midst of moving her office into a new building, so we went to see it.
On our way home, we drove by Truman High School, Home of the Patriots. Doug graduated from Truman recently in 1986.

On Monday, we decided to drive to Raytown, Missouri to visit Doug's ex-step-grandmother, Reatha. She was the second wife of Doug's paternal grandpa and the mother of his uncle, Raymond.

Before arriving at Reatha's we happened across Bannister Mall. One of the busiest malls in the Kansas City Metro Area when we moved to Colorado in 1994, Bannister Mall officially closed its doors as of May 31, 2007.

Formerly a shopping area very much like Denver's Park Meadows Mall, Bannister Mall had stores in it (like most malls) and all around it in the form of strip malls, big box stores (Walmart Supercenter, Best Buy, Circuit City, Toys R Us, Office Max, etc.) and restaurants.

The only holdout of any significant size is the Burlington Coat Factory. Note the sign proclaiming "Yes, We Are Still Open!"

You know business went south when even Saver's Thrift Store left town.

This is happening to malls all over the country. A neat website about such malls can be found at http://www.deadmalls.com/.

Finally, we made it to Reatha's and had a nice visit. She loves to tell old stories about the past and she really kept us entertained.

Marlon caught Reatha, who turned 92 years old on September 9, on camera in this short video.

Raymond showed off the newest family cat.

That night Bob, Doug's dad, made us some new wooden jack pads for the RV. The plastic ones we had bought from Camping World were bending really badly from the weight of the RV. We really appreciated it.

Tuesday, Bob and Jean took us to bargain hunt at two of their favorite stores, Cargo Largo and Dirty Don's Bargain Center. We hope we are able to find places like those with great deals everywhere we travel.

Jean stopped working her Sudoku puzzle for this shot. Doug still hasn't finished the first one she gave him to work, although he's worked many others.

Doug's aunt, Phyllis, came over for a visit. Phyllis' daughter, Lucinda, is a poker dealer in Las Vegas.

As always, at the end of every day, Sammy and Chatfield were waiting for us when we arrived back home.

More pictures of the visit so far can be found at http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2007/august/spending-the-day-wi-3/ and http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2007/august/adayinsouthkansasci/ and http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2007/august/visiting-dougs-aunt/ .

To be continued...

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