When you ask folks who grew up in the 1980s about “Merry Go Round“, they’ll undoubtedly remember the store… and its trendy fashions that they’d probably just as soon forget. Do the brands “I.O.U.” and “Skidz” ring any bells?
For those who grew up in Laurel at that time, our Merry Go Round was located on the lower level of Laurel Centre Mall, not far from the Hecht’s entrance. And coincidentally, just a few short yards away was another merry go round of sorts—the Carousel shops, which were literally located on a revolving platform in the center of the mall. These seven small boutiques were surrounded by a moat, no less—into which everyone in Laurel likely threw at least one penny at some point. (Perhaps wishing for a new red leather jacket from Merry Go Round, or something).
It wasn’t obvious, but the Carousel did actually rotate. According to this press photo which ran in the October 28, 1979 issue of the Baltimore Sun, the platform did a complete turn every 50 minutes. It did, at least, until maintenance costs proved to be too prohibitive, and then it just sat still. For that reason, many people probably never realized that it ever rotated at all.
And as for Merry Go Round, the store, I hope you didn’t think I’d miss this opportunity to showcase some of its many wares. Enjoy. Or cringe, more likely.