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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Street

Photo by Lorelei
Visit her photo gallery at - http://www.pbase.com/birdseye
and her blog at - http://www.westcoastwriters.blogspot.com/
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Suggested prompt...
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I loved the street where I grew up...



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The street where I grew up is no longer there. The interstate just north of town thought to be a boom for the local economy proved to be an aneurysm in the artery of the local businesses draining the spirit and dreams from the street where I grew up.

The street was filled with the laughter of children, backyard barbecues and flag football on any given Sunday. It was on this street where me and dad stood outside gazing at the sky awestruck by the sight of sputnik gliding across a faint milky way one October night. The year before sputnik, our street was filled with the squeal of sirens as they took mom to the hospital...she never returned home to our street. My brother left our street and never returned either. It was only years later that I realized why boys left home and never returned from Southeast Asia. He didn't want to leave...for that war.

My dad and me moved to Chicago when the local plant closed and life was never the same. My innocence remained behind on that street where I grew up. I realize now how naive I was thinking that life would always remain as wonderful as it was on the street where I grew up.

Just in case...with the faintest hope...that innocence can be regained...I am headed back to the street where I grew up to watch the space shuttle glide across the faded milky way with my son.

Dan Felstead

Great writing of such wonderful memories today. Bravo to all. ~ Laura Jayne

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9 comments:

Dan Felstead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Felstead said...

The street where I grew up is no longer there. The interstate just north of town thought to be a boom for the local economy proved to be an aneurysm in the artery of the local businesses draining the spirit and dreams from the street where I grew up.

The street was filled with the laughter of children, backyard barbecues and flag football on any given Sunday. It was on this street where me and dad stood outside gazing at the sky awestruck by the sight of sputnik gliding across a faint milky way one October night. The year before sputnik, our street was filled with the squeal of sirens as they took mom to the hospital...she never returned home to our street. My brother left our street and never returned either. It was only years later that I realized why boys left home and never returned from Southeast Asia. He didn't want to leave...for that war.

My dad and me moved to Chicago when the local plant closed and life was never the same. My innocence remained behind on that street where I grew up. I realize now how naive I was thinking that life would always remain as wonderful as it was on the street where I grew up.

Just in case...with the faintest hope...that innocence can be regained...I am headed back to the street where I grew up to watch the space shuttle glide across the faded milky way with my son.

Dan

Dani said...

Dan that was beautiful! It's so true how the geographical place where we grew up somehow holds an essence of our innocence and childhood. Beautifully written!

Dani said...

My house was the last house on the right before the cow pasture. Then if you followed the road you would come to the local reservoir. I remember the times we would walk down the road to go wading, or simply to watch the sunset reflect of the water.

I recall that time a bunch of girlfriends accompanied me to the reservoir, but when we got there we noticed people were camping and fishing. It was a group of men and they started calling to us and swimming toward us.

So we left, jittery and linked at the arms, singing comforting songs to relieve our jitters. I was the only one that looked back at the vehicle that approached behind us. They were still calling to us and waving. I was the only one tempted to wave back. The others kept me safe from that piece of me.

If I were to walk the opposite direction from my home, I would pass an old trailer home, a white house, and then I would come to the scary broken-down brick house. This was the half-way point between my house and my best friend's that lived down the road. We would agree by phone to meet and then each walk down the road and meet in front of that house.

It was a comfort for us to know that we wouldn't ever have to pass that scary house alone. It's dark cracked or empty windows seemed to watch us as we traipsed passed. Usually we would talk of other things, avoiding the subject of the dark house. But our eyes always watched those windows as if waiting for some kind of creature to appear.

This was the street where I grew up. Now someone else has moved into my old home and then left it vacant and for sale once more. They tore down our precious trees and left our property like an empty casket. My friend's home also now belongs to someone else. Her parents built a home behind it down another road. Somehow, although those walls are new and different, it still feels like home there.

Whenever I visit, I am pulled to the street- to walk along that road again, pass the scary brick house with the dark windows that now seem to be some kind of historical monument, and down the dusty road to the drained and empty reservoir.

I would sit on the cement there to watch the sun go down again. Now, only imagining its reflection on the water.

glnroz said...

I love the street where I grew up. Now that might be an overstatement, but I do definitely hold a lot of fondness for the unnamed oil top road that lead out to the main highway. Well, I guess it had a name but it was always called “First street to the left after you pass Ross’s Affiliated Food Store”, Our house sat almost directly across the street from Grannie and Paw’s house. Both houses are gone now. At least from there. Grannie and Paw’s house now sits in a pasture ten miles toward town. Back to where they moved it from in the first or was it the second place. Anyhow, Daddy’s house was moved thirty miles south to sit next door to one of my sister’s house. Everyone should rest easy because the street is still there. I saw it just this last Sunday. I rode over that way intentionally to take a picture for a story that I wrote. I took the picture but decided to not use it for that story, so I will use it for this story. I jump around, a lot, kind of like Grannie and Paw’s house.

Me and that sister that I mentioned about Daddy’s house, we stayed into stuff all the time. You remember me telling you about the main highway. Well, we couldn’t ride our J.C. Higgins, Sears Roebuck, store bought bicycles on the main highway, but that was where the filling station was that sold snow cones, if he ever had ice. There ain’t no need to fill you in on the deciding part of whether or whethern’t we were going. I guess you can say the first leg of the trip was uneventful. The old codger had a way of intimidating us kids when we ordered our snow cones If you asked for extra syrup, he would stop pouring right then and say, “hee’uh, that’s enough”, and if you didn’t say anything, he liable to just stop anyhow. I can’t remember what she got but I got the coconut. Bright blue. Syrup and ice running down my chin and forearm. Dripping off my elbow onto the sizzling hot oil dirt in front of the old filling station.

Have you ever tried to ride a bicycle while holding onto and eating a snow cone. A bright blue, coconut snow cone? Well she was better at it than I was. I was able to catch up at the hill right before you had to turn left just past Ross’s Affiliated Food Store. It was always a known fact that there is a race to get back to or get to anywhere on a bicycle. I had a plan. I was not going to be outsmarted or out bicycled. I kept a piece of a cane pole stuck behind and through my seat. This was to protect me from dogs. I steadied my left hand, holding half of the bright blue coconut snow cone, on the left handlebar, and with my right hand ,reached back and snatched my dog stick from its perch. With one quick motion I won the bicycle battle, but lost the bicycle war. In my mind, it would just slow her down enough so that I could zoom on ahead and have bragging rights to arriving home first.

It DID slow her down. My aim was perfect. The cane pole slide between the two spokes just about where the valve stem was. The wheel came around and the cane pole locked against the front fork. Here it gets a little fuzzy. From later examination, the fork proved a lot stronger than the spokes. The fork held. Half the spokes didn’t. They vanished. Ass over tea kettle just don’t quiet describe it. Luckily the grass at the edge of the street was pretty tall. The dust had not even settled when she jumped up. She was wearing her snow cone mixed with a sundry of other green vegetation. How I held onto that Blue coconut snow cone I can’t even begin to guess, but she gingerly took it from my left hand and soon I was wearing THAT blue snow cone. We didn’t even try to make up a story to tell when we got home. It was our butts!

Epilogue: This episode was minor. Someday I will tell you about how I had to let her shoot me in the butt with my own BB gun.

PIC OF THE FILLING STATION AND WELCOME CRITICAL COMMENTS AT
www.glnroz33.blogspot.com

rosebud101 said...

I loved the street where I grew up. It was a hot place to live, and it was a poor place to live. I loved it though, and I wish I could go back to all of those wonderful days and people who no longer exist. I really wish I could.

June Freaking Cleaver said...

I loved the street where I grew up. There was never a shortage of players for kickball or wiffle ball in the backyard.

You always had someone to tease, to talk to, to ride bikes with.

And you always had someone who would tell your mom when you did something wrong.

And there were even girls who lived there, so I always had someone who wanted to play Barbies (ick) with me.

I liked the street where I grew up.

We were the third house on the right, on a curve. Our street was one big hill - it was great fun for sledding, bike riding (downhill, at least), and skateboarding.

Until I got one of my skateboard wheels caught in the drainage ditch in front of Schopp's house, and did a header onto the pavement. I still have a scar on my knee from that failed distance skateboarding recordbreaking attempt.

You know, I never liked that street!

Merriam said...

Ancient trunks of ancient trees
curving, dome-like, over the street.
This is my private cocoon
my happy forest-city dwelling.

christine said...

I love the street where I grew up. The road was very steep, it kept us fit walking up and down it, my parents never owned a car, and it was quite a trek to the bus stop.

Right at the bottom of the road was the local beck - a tributary of the river, where we went shrimping, my brother and I, and our friends.

As I grew up there were only two houses which had a car parked outside. None of the houses was built with a garage in those days, cars were almost unknown.

My brother and I used to sit on top of a midden hut at the bottom of the road and make lists of all the car number plates that passed by. It would take all day to fill a page!!

We loved to climb the flowering cherry tree outside the house. I was over in Yorkshire just a few months ago, and my brother drove me past the house.

The cherry tree is gone now, but the house looks just the same - well, perhaps it looks a little smaller than it used to.

It was great to grow up on that road. A safe place.