Thursday, September 24, 2015

CHASING MARY--Everywhere that Mary Went

This is yet another post from my summer road trip to Minneapolis, the old stomping grounds of Mary Richards from TV's "The Mary Tyler Moore Show".

I’ll admit I drove by Mary’s house more than once. Even biked by it. Wherever I wanted to go in Minneapolis, the house became part of my meandering scenic route to get there. I imagined Mary Richards in the neighborhood. Based on the opening and closing credits for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, everything made sense.

In the closing credits, for example, we see Mary with a grocery bag, following behind a line of schoolchildren. Well, Kenwood School was only a few blocks from the house. (A school! What are the chances?!) There’s also an image in the closing credits of Mary feeding ducks by a lake. Lake of the Isles was but a short walk from “home”. No ducks. But I saw the fowl at other Minneapolis lakes. Apparently, they’d moved on after Mary stopped feeding them.

I also found a charming block by the school with a quaint bookstore and a restaurant. Neither image appeared in the show’s opening or closing, but I felt certain these were regular stops for Mary. She’d have gone to Birch Bark, picking up books to read when there was no second date, after Rhoda had moved back to New York and Phyllis was busy attending to Lars.
Mary would have gone to The Kenwood on a few dates.  She’d have gotten the gulf shrimp with saffron risotto and sofrito—she’d ordered shrimp cocktail in one TV episode—or the healthy-sounding grilled chicken breast with chilled spring vegetables dressed in tahini. Mary Richards had a figure to watch, after all. I am certain Mary would have passed on the duck liver pate. Not the creatures she hand-fed by the lake!

Yes, this was Mary’s neighborhood. The fictitious Ms. Richards felt more real than ever.

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