I just read a "View" by Connie Schultz in Parade Magazine, April 17, 2011 in answer to the question,"What's your best memory of your childhood home?"
"The House That Built Me" was the title of her piece, and she started with this lead: "The plan was to drive slowly by the house and keep on going." Talk about a grabber lead--she caught me there!! I no longer have that opportunity to drive slowly or drive at all by the Gary, IN apartment building that I grew up in until I was 18 years old.
After college, I visited home very few times because my life was wrapped up in campus living and off campus living. My life was college. After I graduated in August of '69, I took a teaching job in Ft. Wayne, IN. A year after college, I married. I visited Gary, IN only once after that, but did not return to that apartment building because it was condemned and no one could enter. Later it burned to the ground--nothing to visit now, but maybe I should at least see the neighborhood. It probably would be a very sombering visit, however, due to the ongoing decline of the neighborhood. I saw online, inside pictures of my old Emerson School, K-12, where I attended my whole life, and it was a heartsick sight.
The author of the "View" had a picture of her old house and told of her memories, especially of her dad. She ended by saying, "Back then all I could think about was how scary it would be to leave home." I thought the same thing when I was younger. How could I leave the only home I knew, but yet I wanted to leave. I packed my bags for my new job and left my Gary, IN home forever. I cried the first few miles, feeling mixed emotions such as, "I'm leaving home, but I have to go." I would room with a girl whom I did not know and take on my first teaching job of 7th grade language arts classes! My rite of passage had begun.
The first thing I did after reading this Parade Magazine article was to sketch the apartment building I grew up in for 18 years; it had 10 apartments. I have no pictures of it--regrettable.
In my next few blogs I will describe what it was like to live in an apartment setting as I grew up. I guess, it's my way of making a photo of 517 East 6th Avenue.