Those intrepid souls who habitually arrived five minutes before the appointed hour could while away the time by mentally selecting Australia’s award winning chocolates from the tasteful window display. Couples, meeting to go to the cinema, often purchased dark scorched almonds or perhaps a tray of hard or soft centres to enjoy in the darkness.
In 1976, the western end of Rundle Street was closed to traffic, paved with bricks and converted into Rundle Mall. In 1977, Bert Flugleman’s sculpture ‘The Spheres’ was installed in the centre of the Mall. The ‘Mall’s Balls’, as the sculpture is affectionately known, has been the primary meeting place in Adelaide for over 30 years now, with an assortment of citizens either admiring their appearance in the shiny curved surface of one of the balls, gazing into David Jones’ department store’s window display or listening to one of the many talented buskers situated along the Mall.
Think about some of the world’s noted meeting places – Nelson’s Column in London, the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Piazza San Marco in Venice or even the Black Stone in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Where is the favourite public meeting place in your city? Is it under a clock or on a street corner or maybe near a piece of notable sculpture? Some features seem common to all such places: that they are very public with a good flow of people passing by; that there are several ways of approaching the rendezvous point; that there is something of interest for the early arrival to gaze at.
Have you noticed men self-consciously holding a red rose or maybe sporting one in a jacket lapel as they loitered with intent at your local meeting place? Where do you and your family and friends choose to meet? Do you know where your parents or grandparents first met? Think about trysts, introductions and first meetings and include them in your collection of life stories for added interest and depth.