Harvey The Rabbit and Sears Department Store

January 7, 2018 at 9:47 pm (Personal essays) (, , , , )

Harvey The Rabbit and Sears Department Store

Tomorrow the last of Sears Canada’s 130 remaining stores will close.

Among the Sears stores closing will be the Sears at North Hill Mall in Calgary.

I have many fond memories of that particular Sears store and North Hill Mall in general.

Because as a kid, whenever my family came down from Edmonton to Calgary to visit my grandparents, that was the closest mall to where my grandparents lived.

So my sister and I would often walk there.

In those days, North Hill Mall seemed a fantastic place.

When I moved to Calgary in 2016, I did visit North Hill Mall- once.

Now it seemed to resemble a federal penitentiary more than a shopping mall and so I haven’t been back since.

My most vivid memory of the Sears store at North Hill Mall in Calgary was buying a plush animal there when I was a kid.

The plush animal that I bought there was a 3-foot tall purple bunny rabbit with big pink floppy ears and a big pink floppy tail.

I called the rabbit Harvey after the rabbit in an old 1950 comedy movie with Jimmy Stewart.

Harvey is a rabbit that is seen by a wealthy drunk named Elwood P. Dowd (Jimmy Stewart).

Most of Dowd’s relatives and friends think the 6 ft. tall giant rabbit that Dowd sees and talks to is imaginary and seek to have him committed to an insane asylum.

By the end of the movie, it becomes apparent that Harvey is real but only a few people are able to see him.

So when I bought Harvey, the store clerk at Sears did not have a big enough shopping bag to put him in.

She managed to fit most of him into the bag but as my sister remarked at the time, “His bum is sticking up in the air with his big pink fluffy tail sticking out.”

This could pose a problem.

Because to get back to my grandparents, we’d have to walk along 16th Ave N which just also happens to be the Trans-Canada Highway (Canada’s national coast to coast highway).

And the thought occurred to me that it might be somewhat embarrassing to walk along Calgary’s stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway holding a shopping bag with a purple bunny rabbit’s bum with a big pink fluffy tail sticking up in the air.

So I asked my sister if she would carry it for me.

She naturally said no.

I then said I’d give her 5 bucks if she’d do it.

She wanted to see the money first so I gave it to her.

Of course a quarter of the way home back to our grandparents with cars slowing down along the Trans-Canada so drivers and passengers could stare at a big purple bunny rabbit bum with a big pink fluffy tail sticking out of a shopping bag, my sister offered to give the 5 bucks back if I’d take the shopping bag from her.

I refused.

When we got back to our grandparents, my sister spent the entire day complaining about having to carry a shopping bag along the Trans-Canada Highway with a big purple bunny rabbit’s bum with a big pink floppy tail sticking out of it.

Who’d have thought that the closing of a big department store would have brought back such amazing memories? 😉

-A personal essay
written by Christopher
Sunday January 7th
2018.

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