The news that the Macy’s at Valley View is closing is sad news indeed, and a reminder at how quickly the mighty can fall in Dallas. (Especially when it comes to retail and real estate.) When Valley View opened in 1973 — I was at the grand opening as a 17-year-old, along with the reigning Miss Texas (though was weren’t together, natch) — it was a glittering palace of a place, a NorthPark for Far North Dallas. In the Macy’s spot was a Sanger Harris, and it almost immediately eclipsed the downtown Sanger’s to become the hometown chain’s flagship store. (Much like the NorthPark Neiman’s surpassed the one on Main Street.) The mall (which was built to accommodate the free-standing Sears store that had been there since the 1960s) even accommodated Sanger’s by incorporating the store’s trademark arches and mosaics into the exterior design. They’re still there. (You can also still see the arches in the DART headquarters downtown, which once was the Sanger’s store.)

Within 13 years, it was all over. First, the far fancier Galleria opened, literally next door to Valley View. Then, when the Sanger’s parent company combined Sanger’s and the Houston-based Foley’s in the mid-80s and gave all the stores the Foley’s name, something special was lost. I always thought Sanger’s meant more to the average Dallas resident than Neiman’s, which was playing for a national reputation (and to Highland Park). And I can still hum the the commercial theme "You Can Always Tell a Sanger Harris Man!" Don’t ask me why. And if memory serves, one of the Sanger Harris men was Angie Harmon’s father.

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