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Unexpected things…

August 16, 2004, 8:57 PM

First of all, I did not expect for one of the nose pads on my glasses to give out on me while I was at work. So after work I went to LensCrafters to get my glasses adjusted. That took me to Staunton Mall.

After I got my glasses worked on, I decided I wasn’t ready to leave quite yet, and so I decided to walk a lap around the mall. So I headed towards the JCPenney end of the mall. So who did I run into near Penney’s? Marie (a coworker) and her significant other (I want to say he’s her fiance, but I’m not for certain). The two of them were enjoying a massage in these automated massage chairs. $1.00 buys you three minutes. They told me that it was really good. So we got to talking while they got the massage done. Talked about the massage, and how nice it would be to have this at home. I chimed in that as nice as it would be, the really good massage chairs are pricey. At Brookstone at Pentagon City near DC, they sell the high-end models, and they cost a few thousand bucks. A little out of range.

Then when they finished, I parked myself in one of the chairs and gave it a whirl. It was a pretty good massage. Not the best I’ve had, but pretty good. It uses vibration, heat, and something that goes up and down your back in a few different motions. Pretty good massage. The only downside to it was when the back massager got down low on its track. There instead of working my back it was working my hip-bone. And that massager rubbing against bone is not comfortable. But usually on its first cycle, once you figure out where the uncomfortable zone is, you can adjust to avoid it.

Still, it did feel good as it vibrated and heated, and as the back thing pressed, kneaded, and pulsated. And it’s surprisingly addictive. I got the three-minute massage, and then the 15-minute massage. The 15-minute massage was SO good… so relaxing that I actually fell asleep in the chair! That was an odd experience, to wake up in the middle of Staunton Mall. I hope no one saw me napping in the mall…

From there, though, I walked the length of the mall, from JCPenney to Belk. Found out that they’re putting some new clothing store in the old Montgomery Ward store, which closed in the late 1990s, right as Wards was making its final plunges. Since then, part of it had been used as a temporary showroom for Paul Obaugh Ford until a real tenant could be found. I recall that before Goody’s was built in the mall, that space was also a temporary showroom for Paul Obaugh Ford. So it must be a good business move to have a showroom in Staunton Mall.

So this new place is a clothing store. In the process of fitting out the new store, it seems that they didn’t do a total rebuild on the space as I’d hoped (it was an old store), as the original ceiling remains, and the walls look like they are original. They did put a new floor down, though, and spruce the place up. So they didn’t really renovate, but they at least did refurbish the place. I’ll be the judge of goodness when they open. It will be nice to have that anchor store space filled, though. A mall with an empty anchor store is never a good thing, especially after reading deadmalls.com.

Funny, though is when Mom and I used to go to Montgomery Ward (later Wards) in Staunton, even though the store was signed “FOCUS Montgomery Ward” (the FOCUS meant it was just home and electronics – no clothing), she called it “Jefferson Ward”. Even though the concept was discontinued in 1985, Mom would still call the place Jefferson Ward, which was Montgomery Ward’s spin on a discount store chain like Wal-Mart or Kmart. Jefferson Ward was a short-lived concept, and was discontinued in 1985. So I am really too young to remember Jefferson Ward, and for the longest time couldn’t figure out why Mom always called it Jefferson Ward when it was quite obviously Montgomery Ward. And as I researched things online, I soon learned why. And Mom even had a Jefferson Ward credit card, wouldn’t you know. And it worked in regular Montgomery Ward stores, if I recall.

Of course, Wards, either as Jefferson Ward or Montgomery Ward, is now deep in the cold, cold ground, as the whole company finally folded in 2000 or so after a very long decline.

Okay, now what were we talking about? Oh, yes. So after going to the Belk end of the mall, where I ran into Marie and her fiance again, I turned around and headed back around and then went home, going about every back way I could find.

Seriously, for those of you familiar with Stuarts Draft, I left Staunton Mall using the back entrance on Barterbrook Road. Took Barterbrook Road to Ramsey Road. Ramsey Road turns into Augusta Farms Road where it crosses Route 608. So I took Augusta Farms Road past the middle and high school (the latter where work on a new fieldhouse is underway), and then hit US 340. Rode it for a mile or so, and then turned onto Gloucester Road next to Broadmoor Plaza. Gloucester Road turns into Cambridge Drive, which I then took until I reached Stuart Avenue… you get the point. I took just about every off-the-beaten-path road I could find between the mall and the house.

And then on Wednesday… Washington! I’m going to be visiting a few areas I’d not been to in a while, and scoping out some areas in Washington I’ve never visited before. These bi-weekly trips have evolved a bit, now becoming get-to-know-you trips, as I’ve been trying to get to know the area, and where things are and such, since I am currently looking for employment in Washington, and want to move there.

And lastly, an update – I’m not going to do a journal entry on my Virginia Beach trip. Instead, I’m going to try something new as a Life and Times photo set.