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I was invited to a party at the home of a woman I met through my support group for people who are separated or divorced. The party was in Crownsville but I decided to do some extensive driving through my old stomping grounds a few hours before the party.

I was doing some browsing on Facebook just a few minutes before I left home when I saw that Madonna Girl Dale was going some more highway dancing in Brooklyn Park. I decided to start my driving tour in Brooklyn Park just to catch up with Madonna Girl Dale. On the way I needed to use the restroom so I stopped at this large place known as Bingo World.

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Bingo World provides a designated smoking area outside its doors, which is such a throwback because I’ve seen signs at so many businesses forbidding smoking near the doors.

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After I went to the bathroom I took a brief look. Bingo World is incredibly huge. One half of the large room has the usual Bingo tables while the other half have slot machines. I’ve played Bingo before but I’ve never seen a Bingo hall that large before. Plus there were all kinds of kitsch decorations to boot. If I wasn’t trying to manage my tight finances, I might’ve given the slot machines a try.

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I saw on that Facebook video that Madonna Girl Dale was dancing next to this temporary fireworks stand and one of the employees was speaking about how they were having a buy one get two free sale (especially since it was the day before the Fourth of July holiday). I found the fireworks stand along Ritchie Highway but Madonna Girl Dale was gone by then. I took a few brief pictures of that stand before I left.

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I drove south along Ritchie Highway until it branched off into Crain Highway and I took Crain going south. I found this building that I recognized from my childhood growing up in Glen Burnie yet it has changed since I moved away years ago. In my day Tony’s Barber Shop was simply a building with a false brick front and aluminum siding on the sides. The only decoration touches it had, besides the “Tony’s Barber Shop” sign, were a couple of red, white, and blue barber poles. Imagine my surprise when I found how more decorated Tony’s Barber Shop had become since I left Glen Burnie.

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There are all kinds of political commentary along with rooting for sports teams. I’m just going to post these photos without any comment from me.

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After checking out Tony’s Barber Shop I went to Crabtowne USA where I played some of their vintage video games and pinball machines. (I didn’t eat anything on that trip because I was on my way to a party where there would be plenty of food there.)

I also visited what used to be the Harundale Mall. My mother loved to take my grandmother and I to Harundale Mall most Saturdays when I was growing up. (Occasionally we would go to Glen Burnie Mall or Jumpers Hole Mall for a change but we mostly stuck with the Harundale Mall.) The Harundale Mall was one of the first enclosed indoor suburban shopping malls that was opened on the East Coast of the United States and it was said that then-Senator (and future President) John F. Kennedy had attended the mall’s grand opening. After I left the mall began to falter when its main anchor store, Hochschild Kohn’s, had gone out of business and gradually more stores began to leave that mall like rats leaving a sinking ship. The opening of Marley Station Mall just a few miles away hastened Harundale Mall’s demise. Eventually the mall closed and it was converted into an open-air shopping center now known as Harundale Plaza.

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The shopping center is very spread out with a small park and a few park benches in the middle of the complex.

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None of the stores and restaurants I remember from the old Harundale Mall are still around. Some stores just went completely out of business while others just moved to other nearby malls and shopping centers. While Harundale Plaza have a few stores and restaurants, I’ve also seen more empty storefronts with “For Leasing” signs such as the one in the photo below.

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During my numerous shopping trips to the Harundale Mall over the years I remember there was a water fountain that had this carved rock commemorating the opening of that mall back in 1958. Even though Harundale Mall is now known as Harundale Plaza, the rock from that mall is still there.

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Seeing all those empty storefronts at the Harundale Plaza was a bit of a bummer since I still remember that shopping area’s better days. After that visit I just headed on to the party, which I’ll write about in another post.

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