Sanger-Harris was a regional department store chain in Texas and Oklahoma, known nearly as much for the large mosaic murals that adorned the façades of its stores as for any of the clothes it carried. As a child, I remember being frightened of the mural at North Hills Mall—I’m not sure why—but I was shocked and a little bit saddened when I went by one day and found only some overgrown parking lots and a concrete slab where the mall, and the Sanger’s mural, used to be.

In 1987, Sanger’s rebranded as Foley’s, and in 2006, Foley’s became Macy’s, so Sanger’s lives on only in memory, some slowly deteriorating clothing labels, some promotional comic books, and the few murals that remain.

One day, my wife and I passed the old Sanger’s at Valley View Center. Macy’s had recently closed its store there, and I said, “I should really stop and photograph that mural before they tear it down.” My wife encouraged me to stop there and then, but I was in a hurry, and despite passing it every day on my way home from work, it was nearly 6 months before I finally stopped…

This failure started me on a project… I’ve finished the photography part of it, and now just need to put it all together into something. If you’re a praying person, please say a prayer for me that I find the will and energy to do it; if you’re not a praying person, please just keep some good thoughts flowing my way. Thanks in advance.

This post began its life as a zine in late December 2017.  I made 25 copies and offered them up for free on my Twitter account, and I sent a few to different photographers that have inspired me.

At time of writing (August 19, 2018), I still have a bunch left…

To be honest, I’m a little bit hurt that my n Photography Tweeps didn’t just jump at the offer, and that I’m still sitting on them now. It’s kinda depressing, really, and I’ve let it put me off working on the larger project, or really doing much else with bringing my photography into the physical world. I wonder if offering them up for sale will do something…

So if you’re interested in owning an original, x/25, never to be reproduced in this format, zine, by me, James Cockroft, they’re $5, shipped anywhere in the US ($10 shipped anywhere else). Just drop me a line with your mailing address and I’ll send you a link where you send payment.

Edit: As of about March, 2020, I sold or gave away the remaining copies. If you still want one, you can download the pdfs below and print out at your leisure. You’ll need a sheet of 8 1/2″ x 13″ paper and the ability to run a duplex print. You’ll also need to cut a small slit on the light grey line and figure out how to fold it into a zine… Please for the love of God and all that is good, don’t resize or muck about with the formatting.

a cautionary tale – recto          a cautionary tale – verso

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