Technically, I guess it was called the Basic Brown Bear Factory, but the concept was the same as today’s current Build-a-Bear stores, and it was the destination for the 1st Grade field trip when we lived in California. I was reminded of those field trips during our Sunday evening phone calls when one of our sons mentioned their experience with the pay-your-age promotion fiasco this week.

He didn’t remember building his own bear when he was six, but I found the proof. Hooray for pictures! They also showed that some of my memories were not quite correct, but I have my story straight now.

I knew I had a picture of Jeff with baby Michelle and a teddy bear, but it wasn’t Jeff’s bear, it was Brad’s. I didn’t chaperone his field trip because I had a month old baby. However, two years later, I did chaperone Jeff’s field trip, and it was a fun one.

Working the “stuffing” and “blow-drying” machines

Note: If the internet can be believed, Build-a-Bear was started in 1997 by a former employee of Basic Brown Bear. The original store near San Francisco couldn’t compete with the growing mall chain and went out of business about ten years ago. So sad.