Taunton's Silver City Galleria would have turned 29 years old on March 1. But this week, demolition crews began dismantling the once-popular mall, and soon there will be no trace of its existence. How sad.

Back in its heyday, which was not all that long ago, the Silver City Galleria was the place to be. I know, I was there. I worked at the mall in Taunton at least three times during its run. I worked at the Disney Store at least twice, perhaps three times, and at Unplugged Toys and Gifts once.

When I first joined the cast at the Disney Store in 1997, it was as Christmas help. I stayed on. I left and then went back at least once. I enjoy retail, and until recently, I have worked a shift or two somewhere each week for much of my adult life. The Galleria was a fun place to work because of the large crowds it drew. It was exciting. Being a mall employee, I was allowed to access the many passageways behind the scenes. That was kind of cool.

It seems the crowds began to thin out after 9/11. I'm not sure why that was. I don't believe 9/11 was the cause, but people just stopped coming to the mall. And it wasn't only the Galleria. Malls all over the country began to fail as more and more folks discovered online shopping. One by one, the stores began to close, including the Disney Store.

It really is a sad thing. I had great times at the Silver City Galleria, as I am sure many of you did as well. I made many friends by working at the mall. I will miss the Galleria.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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