Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Old Stomping Grounds

Instead of taking the freeway home as I always do, I drove the sort of long way and traveled through Berkley and then around my home town, Birmingham. Downtown Berkley had scarecrows or dummies tied to street signs and parking meters. I was nicely surprised.

Into Birmingham I traveled from Woodward on Lincoln toward my old high school, Seaholm. Lincoln has some classic old homes and the changes have been happening since I last drove thorugh. Now interspered in the neighborhoods are teardown/rebuilds newer large homes. The high school looks much the same. I turned right at Seaholm and then right at 15 mile to travel over to the downtown district. I turned left at Bates then left past my old church onto a deep decline/incline road that passes over Quarton River and then into a beautiful subdivision with mixed housing. I ended up on old Woodward and turned right back to 15 mile, a left there took me toward my old homes. About two miles east on 15 Mile before you get to Coolidge on the left is the sub I grew up in. This is an odd corner of the boundary of Birmingham.

My first house I grew up in until 12 years old was on the first street into the sub, Yorkshire. Our home was in the "Old Euro style" (there was a home designer of some fame that did many in B'ham) sprinkled throughout the sub as the first built homes in the area. Other homes were introduced throughout the 1950s and on. For instance our house was on a double lot and was eventually split to fit in a new home. The sub had character. About 6 or 7 houses down from our place was an orchard that took up about three house lots. We had cherry, apple, and pear trees in our yard. My old house (see above) is now on the market for about a few bucks less than 1/2 million. I was shocked! I believe my parents bought the house for maybe $20,000 just after WWII. It still looks very similar, and I wish I had $500,000 mixed in the lint of my pockets.

I then drove up the neighborhood to my other street I lived, Pembroke. This house was a ranch oddly mixed into a street with mostly two-story homes. The house is still there and looking much better than when we had it. The only other ranch in the 'hood was torn down and a behemoth planted in its spot, I'm wondering when the little old ranch on Pembroke will suffer the same fate.