Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A little ring

Turning onto Broadway or Washington eastward, the first street past the railroad tracks was Vine Street. Six more streets followed in a fairly symmetrical order forming a series of equal sized blocks. Let's see, there was Smith Avenue, Jackson Street, Park Avenue, Franklin Street, Ashland Avenue, and Johnson Street. On past Johnson Street, Broadway and Washington ran together forming the Irvine Road. It was generally believed that Washington Street became Irvine Road, but I knew that it was really the junction of Broadway and Washington forming a Y type intersection. Washington Street followed a higher ridge out of town as compared to Broadway because starting at Jackson Street, you had to climb a long stretch of Broadway to get to Ashland Avenue. Washington Street also had yellow lines painted down the middle which made it look much more official, whereas Broadway narrowed to a little country road before it sliced into Washington.

This was my neighborhood. Looking down from the air (by satellite now) it must have seemed like a ladder leaning against the earth with each rung being one of the streets. Each block was usually cut in half by a fence row which separated the blocks right down the middle. This produced two sides, each house facing the street which named it, ours being 25 Vine Street. I often thought that our street must have been named after the large number of grape vines that grew along the fences. There was also honey suckle, mulberry, wild strawberry, milk weed, black berry, red roses producing thorn bushes, and lots and lots of poison ivy! Mam maw and pap paw lived on Jackson Street, two blocks further up Broadway. It was just a hop, skip, and a jump to the cinnamon toast and coffee. It was just a chain I often thought. A chain that ran through pap paw and mam maw, to dad and mom, to me.

A little ring
Encompasses our lives
And many generations
Link the rings of theirs,
Thus forming a chain
That is without end.


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