Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Houses in Our Times

I've been doing a little research today - on a house my parents lived in during the 40s, when my brothers were small. It's a house I never lived in, in a city I never lived in, and yet I'm curious about it. I remember my mother talking about a bakery being nearby and smelling the bread cooking, and about my brothers walking down the street to get ice cream.

I had no idea what the address was, but then I remembered a telegram my mother saved from when she lived there. It was a telegram from her sister, Eva, about her son's death. It said, "Donnie is dead. Body will arrive Monday. Funeral Tuesday." Today I went and looked, and sure enough there was an address on the top of the Western Union Telegram.

So, I found the street on Google maps, and zoomed down the street, looking for the correct address. Before I found it, I spotted a bakery. And there, right across the street, are two houses, one of which has the address from the telegram on the front of it.

There's no telling how many people have lived in that house since July 1, 1944, when that telegram arrived. It's a duplex. I wonder which door received that knock. And how many knocks since.

I believe we always leave behind some energy, wherever we may go. So, although there's probably no one in the neighborhood who remembers a young couple with young children who lived there in 1944, something of them lingers.

Maybe that's why it holds a fascination for me although I have no first hand knowledge of it.

These are amazing times in which we live. I can sit in my office in Hutchinson, Kansas and zoom down a street a few states north, to take a look at the house my parents called home, the neighborhood my brothers played in, and the bakery that is still putting out the smell of fresh bread.

Amazing times, indeed.

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