What’s in a name? Well if you’re a store, and your name is Marshall Field’s, it means a lot. Word has come the new owners will change the store’s name to Macy’s to be in line with their other holdings. Change can be good, but in the interest of sentiment and quality, change is not a good thing.
Once again no one has asked my opinion in the purchase and change, but I’m giving it. When a member of the Field family (or should I say “heir” because we’re talking money here) was asked his feelings, he did not seem to care at all.
His feeling was the family had not been connected with the store for years, so it did not matter. Wouldn’t you think if your name was on something you would care? Is that sound I hear the rumblings from departed Field family members who worked to build the store? I know the Field’s name will always be prominent in Chicago because of the Field Museum, but for most the name has been synonymous with the State Street store.
Remember all the times Field’s has played a part in people’s lives. The ornate clock has told time to millions but its beauty is timeless. Will it tick away the end of an era? Who can forget the wonderment of the holiday windows as children of all ages braved weather conditions to view the theme-filled displays with life-like figures moving to the delight of viewers?
The beauty of the displays never ceased to amaze those who came, sometimes from great distances, to see what had become a holiday tradition. Inside the store the great tree stood majestically reaching up, up many floors with the hundreds of ornaments glistening and glittering.
Then it was off to the Walnut Room where you could see the tree up close and dine on one of the restaurant’s signature meals. It mattered little that you stood in line to for a long time to get seated and hoped your table would be next to the tree. After lunch, which included a decadent dessert, you’d stop in the food section of the store to purchase Field’s special dressing and Frango mints in some form or another. Then it was off to the fourth floor?”the toy department?”where I could spend hours just looking at the dolls.
Traditions have always been a part of the store. Who can forget Uncle Mistletoe, a symbol of Christmas for Field’s? We loved his character and purchased ornaments of him for our own trees. Even Uncle Mistletoe was not meant to be alone; Aunt Holly followed soon after. Both were elderly in appearance but warm in their representation.
Field’s shopping bags in their distinctive green color weren’t discarded. They were sturdy and could be used over and over. Now they will serve a different purpose, as a reminder of another change in our ever changing world.
My special feeling towards Field’s?”other than childhood memories?”include remembering when Husband Joe and I were first married and trying to establish credit. He had just gotten out of the Air Force, and no store would give us a credit card we could use as identification when cashing a check.
Field’s was responsive to my request and said, “Of course, if he served his country, we will be glad to issue you a card.”
I still have the card, though it gets little use. Instead, it’s a reminder of what Field’s once was. What it will be now, we will wait and see. It won’t be the same, but lately nothing is.