Published: Tuesday, June 19, 1990

When customers of the Dorothy Lane Market in Oakwood leave on vacation trips, they not only make sure to pack away a camera; they also take a Dorothy Lane Market shopping bag. It’s the bag that counts. Inside the market at 2710 Far Hills Ave. is a large bulletin board with hundreds of snapshots of customers holding shopping bags and photographed in places from Kenya to London, from Paris to Moscow, from the Great Wall of China to the Great Pyramid in Cairo. And places closer to home.

Norman Mayne, the bon vivant Dorothy Lane store owner, initiated the idea after a golf foursome returned five years ago with their vacation photo - with grocery sack - taken along the highway in front of a Florida state sign.

Mayne posted the snapshot on the board. Then another customer added a photo of himself shot with a bag in front of the Diet Building in Japan. The parade was on. Since then, the market’s "Famous Name in Famous Places" board has been a major success. "Have Bag, Will Travel" is the motto of Dorothy Lane Market shoppers.

Mayne even gives $10 worth of groceries to customers who travel outside the United States and Canada and are photographed near a recognizable spot with a Dorothy Lane Market sack. Customers traveling to far-off places in the United States get $5.

The other day Mayne added a photo of customer Ellen Berry standing at the North Pole. Mrs. Berry, of course, is photographed with one of those ubiquitous brown bags from home.

"So what’s the big deal about going to the North Pole?" I asked."Well they don’t exactly run a shuttle up there," Mayne countered. Game, set, match to Mr. Mayne. This also was the first time one of Mayne’s market bags, which have graced the backs of elephants in front of the Taj Mahal in India and been photographed in front of Buckingham Palace in London, had made it to the northernmost point on the Earth. Actually, Mrs. Berry says, "only 500 people in the history of this planet have been to this spot in the North Pole," where the temperature is always at least 20 degrees below zero. At the point of the international dateline, where her group of six, including two pilots, reached the North Pole via a ski plane, "We could walk around the world in about six seconds and jump back and forth between yesterday and today. Everywhere you look it’s south."

"Being at the North Pole was like stepping on the moon," she said. "There’s nothing there. It was like standing on a polar ice cap in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. I’m not athletic and I’m not necessarily adventuresome, but this was such a safe adventure. It was really neat."What’s more, now she’s officially enshrined in her favorite market’s "Famous Name in Famous Places" corner. "That’s neat, too," she says.