Monday, March 13, 2017

Back in Time

I drove by my childhood home in East Falls this past weekend and I was surprised to see this house abandoned and in disrepair as this house held so many happy memories for me. I have not lived here in 47 years.

How many times I remember going in and out of that front door. I played Jax on those front steps more times than I could ever count. The first floor was our living room. The second floor was my parents' bedroom and the third floor was the room where my brothers Michael and Artie slept. There was a flag pole outside their window and I remember how that flag flapped in the wind. Once I thought a bat hung from it though I wonder if that was my imagination as I had such an incredible imagination as a child. We did indeed see our share of bats as Laurel Hill Cemetery was one block away and known for the bats that found refuge there in the 1960's. I spent many afternoons riding my bike or roller skating in the street in front of this house. It is sad to see something that held such wonderful memories be left standing without any windows. When my parents' lived here the house and yard was beautifully maintained.

Look at the brick work. It looks as if it was once painted over and now the paint is peeling. Who would paint over brick? The first floor windows was the location of the dining room and kitchen. I remember my mother playing cards with her neighborhood friends in this kitchen. I used to love to hang out and watch. Behind that second floor middle window was the bathroom and the window towards the back was one of the windows to our playroom where I spent countless hours playing with my dolls and where my imagination went wild. The windows on the third floor on the left was where my brother's slept and on the right was where my sister and I slept. My sister and I had the back bedroom. Once upon a time there was a beautifully maintained side yard. It is full of garbage today.

The back of this house held the shed that led to the back yard. Once my grandmother slept in that shed when someone tried to break in the back door of her house which was two blocks over on Ridge Ave and my grandfather and uncles worked nights at Midvale Steel. My grandmother flew out her front door and ran over to my parents' house and the only door open was the back door to the shed. These were the days before cell phones and if you did not hear someone knocking or in my grandmother's case banging on the door one slept in the shed. Behind that second floor window was the back of the play room and behind the third floor window was the bedroom my sister and I shared. I remember looking out from that window to the yard and all the adjoining yards that met up with our yard. That was the yard where my baby ducks swam. Yes. I had ducks as a child.

It saddens me to see how this house deteriorated in the last 47yrs. Neighborhoods change. Time goes on and we can never go back. Even in my adulthood I often dream of living in this house. It represented a very happy time in my life. It was a time I had my friends Linda Kenney, Kathy Conboy, Marlene Caruso and Margie Gallagher. It was a time of carefree days with no worries or concerns. Days spent jumping double dutch, playing with dolls, roller skating, bike riding, splashing under the fire hydrant on hot summer days, sitting on the front steps on hot summer nights.

You can never go back except in your memories.

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