I drove by 8259 today. It is painted a peeling dark blue…it was white with black trim. The front is plain…there was a black eagle with wings spread hanging in the space between the bedroom windows. No bushes now…there were low green bushes across the front of the house. There is a garage out back…there was a much larger back yard. Only one thing was the same…the big rock by the driveway, painted white. Other houses on the street have peeling paint, shingles missing on the roofs, and even a few with boarded up windows…the houses and yards were mostly well kept, freshly painted, filled with families proud to be first-time homeowners.
When we lived there, the house didn’t seem so small. The neighborhood had lots of kids, and we all played in each others’ yards or walked down to the corner and played in the creek that ran next to the railroad track. We had a swing set in the back yard, scene of many acts of daring and endless hours of swinging and sliding. There were horseshoe pits, site of many epic competitions, which doubled as sandboxes. One year, there was a rabbit hutch where my dad raised rabbits, which were later killed, skinned and frozen…to be passed off as fried chicken when my mom served them for dinner (didn’t fool any of us kids, though- we refused to eat it). There was a doghouse, too. We had a German shepherd who would play with my toddler brother by knocking him down as he walked and then pin him down, grinning. (Don’t feel sorry for my brother- he smiled, too.) But the dog had to find a new home in the country when he would nearly tear the down the door when he would hear our baby brother cry. Later, we had a poodle, but he was an inside dog.
I liked our house and neighborhood, but my sister remembers it more as “Little Boxes”… ticky tacky houses that all looked the same. (Although the people who lived in them did not go to University, they were blue collar, and the houses were not on the hillside like the song.) Her country-girl soul was stifled there. But actually, we both ended up liking 12071 much better…
(12071 coming soon)