Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Old Streets and Sidewalks

I live in Jerome, Illinois, but I work in Springfield, Illinois. I do most of my driving through the streets of "Old Springfield". I must admit I usually take a route which takes me through many of the old neighborhoods I know from my childhood.

Sometimes I feel a bit sad when I notice how little has changed in many of these "hoods", but usually I feel just the opposite. I drive past the church I attended as a youth, my old elementary school. I drive past many of the same businesses I know from childhood - some open, some not.

One thing I always look for are older stretches of sidewalk, or streets.

Asphalt is a best a temporary covering. It looks nice for a a few years, but it simply doesn't last.
Cement, and brick are incredible. Many of the sidewalks I see that are made of cement look as if they have been in place for half a century or more, and some of the few streets made from cement have also managed to last that long.

One thing I felt odd about was driving down the alley way which ran parallel behind my childhood street. I noticed that after decades of asphalt overlays that the alley which was once even with the yards along it was now several feet above those yards.

Also, there are the rare old fences which have somehow managed to survive the many decades since my youth.

And finally, the trees. Incredible trees of my childhood still stand, and each one brings back a rush of memories. Not all have survived, but many have, and I wonder for how much longer those ancient life forms will last. Just to see them, and to know that they may outlast me is actually of comfort to me.

I guess I'm looking for the comfort in finding proof, and clues of my youth.

I guess I'm getting to feel like a time traveler of sorts.

Then there is New Springfield. I know that many of its residents have no link to Old Springfield. They are busy living their sterile lives in their treeless neighborhoods - hoods where houses look all the same - where nothing dirty as an alley would ever be considered. Hoods where a short drive to the sterile corporate parking lots of CVS, Walgreens, Blockbuster, and Sonic, provide little in the way for children of this generation to call their own. In those hoods the streets are paved with asphalt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its a great neighborhood! The yards seem much smaller than when I remember growing up.

email jp

  • jeromeprophet@gmail.com

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