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Absence of MALL-ice

December 19, 2011 - Rob Weaver
I distinctly remember the day when, as a nine-year-old, I learned a new four-letter word: M-A-L-L.

I recall my mother and sister talking about plans to visit a new place to shop, Woodville Mall, which recently had opened. The only time I had heard a similar word -- maul -- was in relation to lions, tigers and bears. So it was with some trepidation that I asked, What’s a mall?

It’s a big shopping center, I was told, but all the stores are under one roof; shoppers didn’t have to go outside to get from one to another. I realized right away the mall combined two things most kids my age tried to avoid: shopping and being indoors.

I must admit to having some morbid fascination with the concept. I could picture, in my mind, what an enclosed shopping center might look like. What I couldn’t fathom was why people who drive great distances to get to one. An amusement park, sure. But stores?

I still am amazed at how gathering instincts are manifested in modern humans. Especially female ones.

What brought this to mind was the headline in Saturday’s edition of Bowling Green’s Sentinel-Tribune: Woodville Mall closed. Staff Writer Bill Ryan’s lead read, "On Friday afternoon, Wood County Common Pleas Court Judge Reeve Kelsey Friday afternoon granted a motion for a temporary restraining order to close the Woodville Mall in Northwood."

Ryan’s story went on to state affidavits from three inspectors -- Brad Espen, director of environmental services at the Wood County Health District, Northwood Fire Chief Joel Whitmore and Mike Rudey, chief building inspector for Wood County’s building inspection department -- declared the building unsafe for human occupation. The affidavits cited numerous leaks, a collapsing roof, lack of heat, lack of a functional fire suppression or sprinkler system, mold and mildew due to the leaks and other examples of a lack of maintenance.

There was no word on whether the trio share my disdain for shopping or preference for outdoor spaces.


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