Remember life before Tyler had a mall? I do

Published on Thursday, 5 June 2014 09:45 - Written by

By CHRISTINE BAKER POWELL, guest columnist

Picture this: Before Tyler had a mall. I would gather to say that as I grow older, there are segments of my life that have brought comfort and reflection of a memorable childhood.

In my younger years, our home was located on Old Bullard Road, next door to where the Breakers Seafood restaurant is today.

The house also was across from Rice Elementary, where I attended school.

On the mornings before school, my mom would prepare a neatly packed lunch with a nice dessert for me to take in my Miss America “metal” lunch box.

She patiently spent time on a new hair style each day for me as I watched classic cartoons before getting on my way.

Imagine a black-top paved road with a four-way stop sign at Old Bullard and Rice roads.

There was only one next door neighbor, my school just a few steps across the street and a dirt top road that led to a church a few feet away.

Our fenced back yard was fairly large, with lots of wooded area behind us.

There were no shopping centers, grocery stores, movie theater or restaurants.

And picture this: even before Tyler had a mall.

We spent our weekends riding bikes down that hilly black-top road as far as we could go. We spent hours on the playground searching for lunch money change lost in the sand.

We drank out of a water hose on those hot summer days and hung off a rather large twisted vine tree in our front yard.

One of my favorite memories was collecting and digging up glass bottles throughout the wooded trails on our way to the nearest convenient store, where we could exchange our treasured findings for some delicious candy and soda.

A great pastime was gathering blackberries in the woods behind our home, as we knew our hard efforts would pay off as Mom would treat us by making a homemade blackberry cobbler for dessert.

As for this portion of my life, I can no longer see these memories as I now drive down this now very busy street with much activity and growth all around.

But I can imagine and reflect back with happiness AND simplicity of the countless childhood memories.

So close your eyes and picture this … can you imagine?

Before Tyler had a mall …

Christine Baker Powell is a Tyler resident and Brookshire’s employee. Do you have a YES! column in you? Write us at!