Friday, August 04, 2006

A Sentimental Journey

I visited Michigan in May to see my 90-year-old mother and to revisit some of the scenes of my childhood. This is the first house I can remember. My warm memories of a sunny childhood are centered around it:

The house had an old-fashioned front porch when my family lived there, not those concrete steps and that odd bit of brickwork. We lived there almost seven years. Then the landlord (Mr. Mertz, really) decided to sell it, but my parents couldn't afford to buy it. And so they rented this bungalow for a year:
My parents were then able to buy this modest house . . .
. . . and then, after four years, this much nicer one:
I also drove to the sites of my old elementary schools, about which I wrote here. What was Polk School . . .
. . . is now a playground:
What was Madison School . . .
. . . has been replaced by a small tract of what looks like subsidized housing:
Tyler School remains intact, on the outside, but it is now a homeless shelter:
Then there is the "supermarket" where I worked part-time when I was a senior in high school:
It was then part of the National Food Stores chain, which seems to be defunct.

Finally, I tip my hat to my home town's most famous landmark, the Blue Water Bridge, which traverses the St. Clair River between Port Huron, Michigan, and Point Edward/Sarnia, Ontario:
(Go here for a great aerial view of the entire bridge, and much more.) The original span (left) was completed in 1938; the second span was completed in 1999.

That's about it. The prevailing gloom that's evident in the photos reminded me so much of my post-childhood days in Michigan that I couldn't wait to fly back to sunny Texas.