I grew up in a medium sized town in Iowa on what is called the “East Side” which has a reputation for being slightly more run down than other areas of town. I always thought my neighborhood was great. I wasn’t afraid of walking nearly a mile to either my elementary or middle school and I sold Girl Scout cookies and World’s Finest Chocolate bars and bunnies to strangers door to door, even in the bitterest weather.
Now, when I drive my big white Buick past my old haunts they seem unbelievably empty. Even though the surroundings remain familiar and the buildings still stand for the most part, they have crumbled and warped with age, sometimes, even changed colors or got new fencing.
That was how things were until Lincoln Elementary was ripped to the ground and houses began disappearing from Logan Ave. They are widening what used to be a main road in our town that has become rundown and badly cracked. Driving down that street is so weird now. So many of the houses I remember driving past as a child are missing and many more are being lifted far above their foundations in anticipation; which will be the next to move? I guess the road will get a little wider and perhaps a little less bumpy but it makes for a strange sight. Full houses and neighborhoods are simply growing legs and walking away, changing the shape of our city and abandoning their addresses and memories for new ones.