A long time ago in
Alas, Rich's and its chief local competitor, Davison's, are no more. They were absorbed into the big northern conglomerate known as Macy's. Eventually the downtown building that had become Macy's closed its doors and the company dispersed itself to several suburban malls. The Lighting of the Great Tree still continues after 70 years, but a couple of decades ago it was moved to the roof of Lenox Square Mall in Buckhead, the most affluent section of the city. (It doesn't get more affluent than Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.) Somehow the effect is not the same. This year's event took place last Sunday, November 19th, four days before Thanksgiving. Nobody waits for Thanksgiving to be over any more -- why wait when there is merchandise to be sold, when there are customers to be separated from their hard-earned money, and when there are profits to be made? Some eager establishments start before Halloween.
So many local traditions —- Officer Don on television, the Pink Pig train ride at Rich's, Lewis Grizzard's and Celestine Sibley's newspaper columns, Ludlow Porch's hilarious radio programs —- all of them gone with the wind.
Eventually I will be too.