Saturday, May 28, 2011

Annie, Get Your Gun

G and I were just talking about Amy Winehouse and how much she was in the spotlight and now you never hear from her. Well, we spoke too soon. She stopped off for a mini bottle of vodka (I am picturing the ones from the airlines), proceeded on to a hair salon where she threw up, and then went on her way to rehab. She's an interesting one.

Also, a receipt from a tire store in Joplin, MO was found 500 miles away in Indiana; this is the farthest that anyone has ever documented debris travel after tornadoes. These are all facts that you need to know.

And in answer to your question, yes, I grew up, for the most part, in Joliet, Illinois. That is where my dad and his parents lived and my mom lived in near by Lockport. I had ten minutes to kill and rather than sit in the parking lot at McDonald's, I decided to go investigating. My childhood neighborhood was greatly effected by progress. Route 80 cut through the neighborhood and if it happened earlier, I don't know what our path would have been to get to school.
In no particular order I am going to point out some local houses. These will have little interest to the average joe, but my siblings will get a big kick out of them. This is the house that we looked at when we looked out our front window or were in the front or side yard. The same people still live there (the family name was dangling from a light post. They were a house of only girls and not nice girls. I have just have an 'ick' on my brain when I look at this house. My sister Mike has stories about these girls but I wasn't effected by them. I was a tomboy and was always with my brothers in the park.
This is the park. It has changed to color and plastic, but back in the day, it was the typical four swing, slide, teeter totter, merry go round and a jungle gym. The park was the lot next to our house so it was like it was our yard. You can see our house behind the current playground.
This is our house. It looks a lot better than it did when we lived in it. We had no shutters and the house was white clapboard. My grandparents bought the almost brand new house from Annie Oakley's neice and we had a flagpole in the side yard (it is no longer there; very sad) with a metal replica on the top of Annie Oakley riding bareback with a rifle in her hand. I looked at it all the time when I was growing up. Oh, we lived on Oakley. The dormer on the top of the house was my sister and my bedroom. I notice that the sunroom on the side of the house is gone and so is the stairs going to the top floor that was coming off the garage side. My father built a boat in the basement of this house
This was the brand new house next door where I babysat for the first time. It had no grass or trees and I guess they liked it that was because 45 years later, they still chose to go treeless.
This house next to the icky girls was always creepy to me.
I have no clue what FT is on the end of West Park but the name of the park next door is West Park. It was a very large park that had ice skating, sledding, tennis, and everything else you would want in a park (but no pool). It even had an Artist League that now is no longer there.
This is my cousins house (it was raining through the car window, hence the weird shadows) and we passed by it on our way to school. Back in the day it was on a secluded street facing the park and was a prized location. Now Interstate 80 is the view from the front window thanks to eminent domain.
This was my grade school, Reedswood, and it is now United Cerebral Pulsy offices.
This is the church we went to every Sunday for church (we had our own pew), as well as Sunday School, and catechism on Saturdays. It was Messiah Lutheran Church back in the day and Pastor Bruce Hesse was a big part of our lives. It is now a pretty shabby Baptist church.
This is my best friend, Debbie Graves' house. It looks exactly like it did since I had seen it last, probably 40 years ago.
Al's Steakhouse was our friend's dad's restaurant and we were in awe of a restaurant owner. It was almost like she was royalty. It's funny how kids brains are. There used to be a sign on the sign that said 'Never On Sundays' and that's what I remember, not even the girls name!!
Right around the corner from my doctor's office is my old high school. It was brand new in 1964. It still looks great. I did notice that the burger spot across the street, The Red Barn, with the best fries in the world, is no longer there. Progress.


dee said...

That was fun! Thanks for the travelog. Glad you got your hand taken care of by a specialist. Gotta take good care of those paws.

Kay Koeper Sorensen said...

Which just goes to show you "You can go home again"!

Kay said...

Tommy - I asked if you grew up in Joliet because I taught in the 204 high school district from '67 to 2000 when I retired. My husband taught at Joliet West from '67 to '71 - were you there then? It was fun to see your pictures.

Regina said...

Ha, I don't think I ever knew you grew up going to a Lutheran church. Loved the trip down memory lane. One year I made a video of our early life and gave them to my mom and dad for Xmas. Now that they are gone, I have them. I should transfer them to DVD and maybe I'll watch them this summer.....I'll invite you over for my acting debut......Can't you find a decent doctor in Chicago for God's sake. See you soon

Gayle from MI said...

This was great! Thanks.

spikemuffin said...

Good stuff Tommy.