Winston Graham’s Marnie Survives the 21st Century

Graham, Winston, Marnie.
London: The Bodley Head, 1961.

Well, this was an unexpectedly good read! Most readers probably already are familiar with Hitchcock’s very fine film version of this novel, as it’s a piece of our English-speaking cultural literacy. When Nico Muhly’s opera Marnie premiered at the Met last year, based not on Hitchcock’s 1964 film but on Winston Graham’s 1961 novel, I knew I wanted to read the novel first, before seeing and hearing the opera. How often do we have the opportunity to read the source material before the opera? Not often. (While it’s too late to see Marnie live at the Met, I still can stream it!) I’m glad I read the novel first. While I admit to not yet having seen the opera, I understand from reading multiple reviews that the opera remains much closer to Graham’s novel than did Hitchcock’s film.

While I’m a huge fan of Hitchcock’s film, I’m also a huge fan of this novel, which is very different. I kept waiting for Marnie to go “catatonic,” as she did in the film, but that never happened — rather, she frustrated me, the reader, with her propensity to create lies and trap herself farther and deeper when the path to wholeness seemed so obvious to the outside observer. Marnie, as a very biased and somewhat untrustworthy narrator in the novel, still had me rooting for her (and long-suffering, loyal Mark) to the last page. This was a much uglier story than Hitchcock’s stylized film, and in a way, a much crueler story. At the same time, the author’s foray into mid-century psychoanalysis was realistic and effective (and Freudian).

The Washington Post’s Anne Midgette critiques Muhly’s opera rather severely, writing, “His score, to my ear, was the sound of someone holding back: creating moods and anticipation and setups, with slashing piccolos scattering ornaments and lightning bolts while the lower instruments piled up grumbling clouds of suspense, without ever actually taking hold and delivering something…”


Isabel Leonard (as Marnie) and Christopher Maltman (as Mark Rutland) in the Met Opera performance of Nico Muhly’s Marnie.

Interestingly enough, her critique describes not only Muhly’s score but the narrator (Marnie herself) in Graham’s novel, and by doing so, underscores Muhly’s (and his librettist Nicholas Wright’s) fidelity to the novel and not the film. Unlike films, novels have no need to tie up the dramatic structure in 2 hours, 10 minutes, and the novel leaves even more open ends than the film does. That said, Marnie accepts her own accountability on the final page, so the novel ends on a satisfying note of hope.

Graham was praised for this novel in 1961, and that praise was well-deserved. In 2020, the reader must suspend her disbelief a bit more willingly than one reading six decades ago, because Marnie’s type of crime has gone cyber, and repressed childhood trauma is discussed openly on talk shows and in self-help literature. What was shocking in 1961 has lost much of its psychological jolt value, but this remains a good novel with a fairly groundbreaking structure (and subject matter) for its time. Once I realized I didn’t know the story — that this was going to be quite different from Marnie the film, the book was hard to put down. Well worth reading and I think I will appreciate the opera more for having done.

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The Clarence Effect

Everyone in my neighborhood knows Clarence (and his dog Oscar). Clarence is the disabled man who lives across the street.  He possesses little, has no financial advisor, personal development plan or professional network, and owns no vehicle.  His body denies him the skill we all take for granted, but even if he could drive, he could not afford a car.  Yet every morning, in sun, rain, sleet, or hail, the entire neighborhood sees Clarence, either painstakingly walking Oscar, or more often, sitting on his porch, shouting phrases to everyone as they leave for work.  He knows each of us by name, and each of us has our custom greeting.  Mine happens to be “Good Morning, Miss Marianne, and have a blessed day!”

Until one day, it wasn’t.  Clarence spent a week in the hospital with a collapsed lung.  Something was off during that week.  Is it just magical thinking, or were my days really a little less blessed?  Clarence has one job, and while it’s just a small job, it’s the piece that transforms a block of houses into a neighborhood.  His absence made a difference, and there was no one to fill the void.  Clarence, as it turns out, is an influencer.  In capital letters: an INFLUENCER.

As Agilists, this is our goal as well.  We embrace a mindset of change.  We bring an enthusiastic willingness to do the next right thing, bringing with us a toolbox that includes transparency, honesty, and team empowerment, followed by regular inspection, adaptation, introspection, and adapting yet again.  But sometimes, if our efforts offend someone, or we identify an anti-pattern in someone with more power than we have, we meet a wall of resistance.  We discover that we work in a culture where everyone can talk Agile, but not everyone is willing to walk Agile. Changing from the status quo to the unknown is unsettling.

Fear is the greatest enemy of change.  When people fear losing something — their power, their reputation, or most frightening of all, their livelihood, they resist change.

In our Agile communities, we joyfully share our successes, and sometimes even our frustrations with impediments to our Agility, but sharing our failures comes with a touch of shame.  We try so hard to do the next right thing, but how many of us have heard variations of “You don’t have the authority to make that decision,” “You need to get this team’s velocity up by fifty percent by the end of the year,” “Don’t push back too hard,” or “The team wants to do WHAT? Absolutely not!”?  We feel discouraged.  We fear we’re doing it wrong. It’s tough to fight the “CYA, not-my-fault, look-over-there” mentality that thrives alongside fear. 

How many of us have turned to trusted advisors, because we depend on the members of our leadership teams to hear us, only to receive a stinkbug in return, turning “discouraged” into “demoralized”?  We are not alone.  There are times when it’s hard to move forward in a demoralized state, and difficult to let go and trust in the process that we all have seen succeed.  Face it, no matter how well the Agile mindset works, and no matter how well we work with our teams, we don’t all wield the authority and reputation of Ken Schwaber or Jeff Sutherland.

We can’t force change.

In Agile Heaven, all of our teams are colocated, cohesive, and sustainable. We’ve all had those teams, but at that stage, they don’t need coaches anymore.  On Agile Earth, we often have to put on our armor and go to battle, even when we know that battle may be lost because the fear of the unknown is greater than the willingness to change.  So now what?

Clarence has one job, and his job is to inspire, encourage, and motivate. He takes his role seriously and he shows up every day.  His influence may seem as fleeting as a butterfly, but it manifests a Butterfly Effect. When he isn’t there, the neighborhood reverts to its legacy state: a block of houses.  When we, as Agilists feel we have no influence, or that we are not empowered to effect change, we still need to show up.  We need to plant the seed.  Clarence may not know how large his influence is, but he plants the seed anyway.

There’s an old story about a small bird that a traveler discovered lying on its back in the road with its little claws pointing skyward. It’s been told many times, and different versions have appeared in a number of books.  My favorite is the one that Maureen McKew attributes to Msgr. Francis Costello.

The traveler looked down at the frail little bird in his path and asked, “Little bird, what are you doing?”  “Sir,” the bird responded, “I have heard that the sky is going to fall and I am trying to prevent this.” The traveler was stunned. “But you are just a little bird. Do you really think that you can stop the sky from falling?” The bird was silent for a moment and then she answered.  “No sir, I do not, but one does what one can.”

And this is what Agilists do on Agile Earth: We show up, and we do what we can.

Still Slouching Toward(s) Bethlehem

Joan Didion. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.

Whenever I take a class with Teri Stubits, trainer extraordinaire, I walk away resolved to be a better BA. Whenever I read Joan Didion’s writing, I resolve to be a better writer. Didion has been an important companion to me for most of my reading life, and while Blue Nights has been on my shelf for years, it is perhaps no coincidence that I chose this particular August, the month before lens surgery and the month of RA treatment, to read this beautiful and thoughtful commentary on the process of aging. And perhaps no coincidence that in this honest yet somehow disbelieving commentary on loss, my page marker has been the funeral card of one of my closest friends, lost suddenly and against my will.

Like Didion, I have “lived my entire life to date without seriously believing that I would age.” Yet shockingly, I am. Other people notice it before I do. Twenty-somethings call me “Ma’am.” My two-drink minimum has become a two-drink maximum. In the last 24 months, I have attended more funerals than in the previous 24 years. I dread reaching the age of invisibility. Maybe I have, and other people notice it before I do.

Yet I really didn’t want this book to end, not because of Didion’s foreshadowing of what awaits me, but because Joan Didion still writes like Joan Didion. The absolute mastery of language, of pauses, of punctuation — all still the same Joan Didion who played it as it lay. There is also that element of voyeurism. The Dunne family is to letters what the Barrymores were to theatre, and the candid glimpses into the author’s private sphere (more guarded, even clinical, in The Year of Magical Thinking) create a moving intimacy with the writer that is made all the more poignant knowing that this is, at its core, a memoir written to come to grips with the loss that sparks dread in the heart of parents. This is the loss of a parent who outlived her child. Such a loss is against nature.

My only child, like Quintana Dunne, is a child of choice and not of biology. My perfect child is safe and healthy. Didion’s daughter was safe and healthy too, until one day, she wasn’t. Surprising that a book that chronicles my own base fears could be as pleasurable as it was gripping. Perhaps a testament to the power of Didion’s craft. Most certainly a shaft of hope comes from knowing that having faced my greatest fears, Joan Didion still can wield words that take my breath away.

Thoughts about Broken River (J. Robert Lennon)

Broken River: A NovelBroken River: A Novel by J. Robert Lennon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the 2009 comedy-drama City Island, the story revolves around situations that arise from the secrets a family keeps from one another. The comedy part of this drama comes forward when the film audience sees members of the Rizzo family moving in circles to hide the same secret — Joyce hides her smoking by doing it in her car, Vince smokes with his head through a cupola in the roof of the family home, and daughter Vivian goes to great lengths to hide her suspension from the university for, of course, smoking (something a little more potent than Virginia tobacco). When the film approaches its climax after approximately 90 minutes, the family members stop lying to one another, let their devotion come to the surface, and the family extends to include additional characters in its fold, and all grow closer as a result of supplanting truth for lies.

City Island and Broken River have nothing in common with one another, save the fact that they chronicle families whose members lie to each other. That, and the fact that if this were an exercise in Reader Response theory (which, I suppose, it is in a rather haphazard manner), one invoked the other in this reader’s mind. The film is a comedy in the truest sense, in which the characters triumph over unhappy circumstances as a means to positive change. The novel, not so much. As both a mystery and a psychological thriller, Broken River delivers the best that both genres have to offer, and as good literature should, it delivers in a fresh and innovative way.

The family of Karl, Eleanor, and 12-year-old Irina moves into a renovated house where over a decade earlier, two brutal murders occurred. The murderers were never apprehended. Perfect setting for a mystery. Add to this a family with secrets, each telling lies to the other (lies that set sinister consequences in motion), and you have a psychological thriller. Arching over all of this, add a mysterious “Observer,” who sees all but is incapable of agency. (Critics and graduate students will, I have no doubt, write theses about this “Observer” — in my reading, the Observer is quite simply us, the Readers. We see the consequences of every action but are incapable of changing the narrative.)

In City Island each lie leads the family nearer to the dramatic climax in which all is resolved. As the story climbs to this point, even the most unconventional character traits are embraced with acceptance and compassion. Young son Vinnie’s sexual fetish (Feederism) is accepted by his neighbor as a sign of his generous and nurturing spirit, reinforced when Vinnie actually establishes a healthy relationship with a plump classmate. In contrast, the dramatic climax in Broken River, while not a tragedy in the traditional sense, builds on a shaky foundation of lies and secrets that leads to a series of tragic events. Karl’s compulsions nearly destroy his family, Eleanor’s anger and frustration turned inward nearly kill her, and Irina’s innocent obsession with the decade-old murder nudges the killers back into deranged and deadly action against characters with only the most tenuous connections to the house.

Through the Observer, the reader knows what the characters cannot, and like a train gathering breakneck speed, the action moves toward a blood-chilling and surprising conclusion as all of the tracks converge. A spectacular thriller, written on multiple levels and filled with wry observations of human nature and human frailty.

Thank you, Graywolf Press, for the Advance Reader copy!

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Suspended from Facebook, I’m taking to my ‘blog….

Or, how to start a persecution complex.

And so it begins.  A close and highly-contested election draws to a close, and the vitriol continues at a much more sinister level because now, those haters of free speech and diversity feel empowered and — dare I say it — affirmed. “Disagree with me, and I will make you go away.”  And it’s all right, because “we won.”  “I don’t like anybody who doesn’t like me,” as tyrant Anthony Fremont would say before sending dissenters to the cornfield.

I take issue with this attitude, first because it is simply rude and dismissive. As a firm believer in the Constitution (the document, not the frigate), I also defend the right of anyone to exercise their freedom of speech.  If I don’t like what they say, I am free not to listen.  I am free to walk away.  I am equally free to disagree, and to say so. And lastly, I am free to vote for someone else.

And what does any of this have to do with Facebook, a tool that I use primarily to keep in touch with distant friends (most of whom share my political views), faraway relatives (most of whom do not share my political views), and a few friends with whom I simply agree to disagree?  When I freely expressed my hurt, dismay, and disappointment at the election results, one of my far right friends said she wouldn’t want to lose a friend over politics.  Another particularly far right and vocal anti-liberal said rather eloquently that my politics aren’t what she loves about me.  In short, when you care about someone, you learn to balance tolerance with acceptance.  You choose your battles because friendship is bigger than politics.  (Just look at Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia — they shared a legendary friendship though polar opposites on the political spectrum!)

My oldest friend, though, posted a rather unusual quotation on my Facebook wall. Because she is a devout Christian, her unfettered support of Donald Trump surprised me nearly as much as her toxic hatred of Hillary Clinton.  We had a brief discussion on social media — we have, after all, been friends for decades. In this discussion, I questioned Mr. Trump’s ethics.  Her response surprised me even more than her adulation of the president-elect.  “Because of Hillary Clinton, 51 million babies never had the chance to cry.”  Really?  This is all about abortion?  And Hillary Clinton is personally responsible for 51 million abortions?  If I were being honest, rather than avoiding an argument, I’d have responded that that was quite close to being the most ridiculous bit of propaganda I’ve ever heard, and it would take an idiot to repeat such nonsense.  I chose my battles.  I turned the other cheek.

I, too, am a devout Christian, but I don’t wear my faith on my sleeve.  Jesus himself said “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?”, and I hope that the fruits of my life show where my faith lies.  I also know that I need to work on my own house before I judge others, and until my house is clean, I don’t feel I have the right to put on my white gloves. And so, I posted a passage from the Bible, noting that surely, no one could take issue with that.

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

Was it meant to be tongue-in-cheek?  Maybe a little, because I don’t have the courage to come out on a social media site and talk about what I see as apocalyptic overtones in these election results.   What a nut job I would reveal myself to be, right?  In truth, though, my faith leans toward radical discipleship, and I do in fact believe that Mr. Trump is the False Prophet in the book of Revelation.  A prophet, by definition, is one chosen by God to speak for God in words divinely inspired.  A false prophet, then, is one who subverts that definition.  One who, perhaps, judges all Mexican people as “drug dealers and rapists,” or all Muslims as “radical terrorists.”  A False Prophet can stir up the masses with lies and deception and get them to follow him like a Pied Piper.  Give the False Prophet power, and that’s pretty apocalyptic.  But I didn’t say that.  I just posted a passage from the second letter to the Thessalonians, without a comment.  I never mentioned Mr. Trump.

And what did my oldest friend post back to me?

“One of the truest signs of maturity is the ability to disagree with someone while still remaining respectful.”  (Attributed to Dave Willis, and I confess to not knowing who he is.)

Where on earth did that come from?  Was I disrespectful?  My thoughts certainly were, but I thought quoting Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians was taking the high road.  After all, anyone who reads it is free to decide what they want it to mean.  I know what I meant, but I have no control over other people’s thoughts. More importantly, how mature and respectful is it to claim that Hillary Clinton singlehandedly aborted 51 million babies?

But I digress.  The persecution complex.

This morning, I checked my Facebook page to find myself suspended for 60 days–to give the Facebook minions adequate time to “investigate.”  Someone has filed a complaint.  Of course the Facebook minions can’t tell me WHO lodged the complaint, but they can tell me what the issue was with my posts.  Apparently someone thinks I am “disrespectful, divisive, immature, and a potential threat to national security.” And Facebook assures me that they take this very seriously.

But even if I were, isn’t it my constitutional right to be?  Couldn’t the complainant just do the 21st century version of walking away and “unfriend” me?

Who on earth would say such things about me?  The only people who can see my Facebook page are people I allow to see it, so SOMEONE I KNOW has an agenda that I can’t even fathom.  The words “disrespectful” and “immature” jump out at me because of my friend’s post.  Could my oldest friend, who has known me since I still had my baby teeth, be the whistle-blower?  The person who called me a “potential threat to national security?” (Believe me, if my quoting the Bible on Facebook is a  potential threat to national security, we have bigger problems than anyone can imagine.)

Like Facebook, I too take this very seriously. Can I help it if, again, I see apocalyptic overtones in this behavior, if in fact she was the one who complained?  The fact is, someone in my circle made the complaint, and I have no doubt that the complaint was made to teach me a lesson for the way I voted and for my outspoken despair at the election results.

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.” (Matthew 10:21)

Have we come this far? I hope not.  But if we have, it will only be 42 months:

The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months.  It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.  It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. (Revelation 13: 5-7)

I hope I’m wrong and this is just a brief bout with a minor persecution complex.


Where CAbi Clothes are Made

Women love to empower other women by purchasing CAbi (Carol Anderson by Design) clothing and supporting people they know while keeping the money local… but do you know where the clothes come from, and the conditions under which they are made?

The CAbi catalogs are beautiful, the website is okay (needs a proofreader and a really good Web designer), and the representatives are upbeat and supportive and really good at what they do.  The clothing isn’t all that overpriced when you look at comparable pieces at Nordstrom, Dillards, Saks, Elder-Beerman…

The  issue I have with CAbi is unfortunately a BIG ONE.  The clothes are made in China, not in one of the more modern, humane facilities where working conditions are beginning to catch up with the First World and the 21st century, but in Shanghai’s “Manufacturing City,” which is nothing more than legalized slavery.  Workers are paid virtually nothing (less than ONE U.S. dollar per day), are not allowed to leave the complex for weeks and sometimes months on end, and are forced to PAY for accommodations where they sleep in crowded, filthy conditions that are similar to puppy mills.

CAbi has its own foundation that claims to “encourage and empower women,” and that foundation supports some great not-for-profit organizations like World Vision and the International Justice Mission.  Doesn’t it seem a little counter-intuitive, then, to EXPLOIT women in the making of designer clothes for westerners and then turn around and give a portion of the profits to fight one of the very same injustices that CAbi helps to perpetuate?  No, it doesn’t make any sense to me either.

So the upside is, the clothes tend to have a timeless style that you can continue to mix and match in your wardrobe for several seasons.  Carol Anderson designs her clothes to mix well with other pieces from the same line AND from previous and future lines.  The clothing is well-made, so you can expect to get several seasons out of your new CAbi items.  Once I received an item that was NOT well made (one seam was completely missing — just an open side) and my sales rep made the arrangements to have the item replaced.  She was terrific, but the company did take 12 weeks to complete the exchange — by which time, the new season had been introduced.

Even though, as a rule, I don’t support sweat shops, I do continue to purchase a lot, and I mean a LOT of CAbi clothing because I like the experience.  That said, I feel an increasing sense of guilt and shame each time I spend $500 to $1500 per season on clothes that I know are the products of extreme exploitation.  Would we want our mothers, sisters, or daughters to be treated the way the offshore garment industry treats its workers?  Of course not!  Much as I enjoy the clothes and the parties, I may need to get out of the CAbi habit soon.

It is starting to become easier to find quality clothing, accessories, and even the occasional appliance with the “Proudly Made in U.S.A.” label.  Hopefully Carol Anderson and her company will follow the trend — and their consciences — sooner rather than later.  Unfortunately, I’m not hopeful that CAbi will see the value in the “Made in USA” label.  I posted a question on their website — very gingerly — asking if they would ever consider bringing production of CAbi fashions to the U.S.  After a day, my question was deleted.  Gone without a trace.

“Made in USA” Directory Sponsored by Re-Employ America

What great news!! I will use this directory over and over again.


“Made in USA” Directory Sponsored by Re-Employ America. I have found a new “Made in USA” directory called The directory lists many different categories: large appliances, small appliances,automotive repair parts, business to business, clothing: children, clothing: infants, clothing: men, clothing: women, construction material, construction supplies, construction fixtures, cookware and dishware, electronics, furniture: office, furniture: bedroom, furniture: dining & kitchen, furniture: living room, furniture: outdoor, games, non-electronic, hobby, craft & art, home & office decor, home entertainment, household linens, jewelry, misc. household & office, music, office supplies, outdoor & recreation, pet supplies, non-food, textiles, tools, hand, tools, power, tools, yard & garden, toys, vehicle, off-road, vehicles, personal.

Interestingly enough this website also lists other Made in USA directories.

I evaluated a couple of the categories: furniture: living room and cookware and dishware. It has one of the most extensive list of Made in USA products. Of course, there are…

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We were serious about our 1980s fashion and all-day mall excursions

Muskegon Mall - Remember?

Muskegon Mall – Remember?

In the 1980s, daughter Julie and I used to spend entire days in shopping malls, very seriously checking out the stores from Brooks Fashions to the Wild Pair (though Express, then “Limited Express,” always seemed to remain our primary destination for the day).  We were as serious about matching our scrunched socks to our oversized sweaters as we were about teasing our bangs to just the right height before applying the optimal combination of mousse and spray to hold them in place.  (There is a reason this style came to be known as “mall hair.”) Express dropped its “Limited” and has managed to survive the decades since The Breakfast Club, but other places we loved, like Contempo Casuals, Id, and my namesake Marianne’s haven’t fared as well.

Banana Republic and American Eagle were still “outfitters” in the 1980s — of course we didn’t shop at them because they didn’t sell leggings (with stirrups, of course), but we made it our business to have a look at BR’s display (once they had a jeep and part of a sand dune in their storefront!), and sometimes we poked our heads into American Eagle to pick out something for Julie’s dad.  He probably still owns every flannel shirt and pair of jeans we ever brought home from American Eagle Outfitters!

Those mall days — sometimes we called them “Julie Days” — hold a certain magic for me even in memory.  Julie and I nearly always agreed on styles, picked up on the same quirky incidents or unusual people around us, laughed at the same things, and rolled our eyes in unison at the things we overheard.  In my memory, nearly every lunch break took place at Sbarro, and every coffee break at Mrs. Fields (which, thankfully, has survived along with Express).  Julie always chose a Dream Bar, and I always ate Debra’s Special oatmeal raisin.  Cigarette after, sitting around the fountain, because malls still had smoking areas.  And ash trays.

Now we shop more conscientiously and with less abandon.  Locally-owned, sweatshop-free, made in USA, sustainable goods…. things that will last and, we hope, not end up in an incinerator or a landfill. We are smarter, nicer, more responsible citizens than we were 30 years ago.  But we were nice people in 1984 too.  We just consumed a lot more, without thought to the consequences. Because we could.

So what brought on this trip down Memory Lane, this nostalgia for Esprit sportswear, Zena jeans, Benetton sweaters, and my ten-year-old Julie? That’s the funny thing about memory.  Trying to remember the name of an Australian outfitter that was actually, I believe, a free-standing store during the 1980s and early 1990s.  The name won’t come to me, but all the other memories –sights, tastes, smells, and sounds — from that happy decade come flooding back with enthusiasm.  The elusive store wasn’t The Limited, with their “Outback Red” label; this was the genuine article, a real outfitter that sold snowshoes, leather hats, and an item I still own and love — Australian oilskin dusters.  Unlike mall hair, these classics wear well and get better with age, and because they never change, they don’t scream the name of any particular decade.  But what was the name of the shop?  Will it elude me forever?  If I remember correctly, the store did very well on the heels of films like The Man from Snowy River and Crocodile Dundee, but it had been around for some time prior as a destination for serious outdoorspeople.

My Australian oilskin came from a location on Laclede’s Landing, but I remember seeing these stores all over the country.  No Internet search yields the name of the forgotten, and now probably defunct, outfitter.  I think the St. Louis location lasted until the flood of 1993, when that entire section of the Landing was underwater. I can’t believe I don’t remember the name, and it’s remarkable that with a handful of really good key words, I still can’t find a single reference to it online.  Good reason to scan a mall map and store it in the cloud, so that 20 years from now when I can’t remember the name of that funny place with all the overpriced crap from third world countries, I can slap my forehead and say “THAT was it!”

This is the decade, I’m afraid, in which my photographic memory loses a pixel here and there.