08 October 2010

"The Valley"

I grew up in a rural area South of Indianapolis Indiana. Even though homes to house "Baby Boomer" families were springing up everywhere there was still a "village" feel about our community, much like what you've seen on "The Waltons" TV series. As kids we all knew there were always adult eyes watching us (and watching out FOR us) from behind most every window. If we got into mischief we could be pretty sure our parents would know the details of our shenanigans before we arrived home.

The heart of my world then was "The Valley". The bulk of my "Indianapolis News" newspaper customers were there... older homes and many older residents interspersed with families raising kids... lots of kids. The Valley had a tiny grocery store and an even tinier Variety Store... both were places I'd take refuge to warm my cold extremities near a pot-bellied stove while delivering newspapers on sub-20 degree days.
I had a personal relationship with most every resident there. "The Valley" was an extended family for us all.

Today I'm gonna mount the Pizza Bike and drive most of the day home.
I'm spending the weekend in Indiana with an old classmate I've known nearly 60 years and tomorrow, along with several other schoolmates and "Valley" family members, we're gonna walk down through our old community and share memories. Just thinking about it makes me a little melancholy, 'cause our old stomping grounds have changed pretty dramatically over the years. But the weather is forecast to be near perfect for my ride to and from, and for the memory walk.

I hope your weekend is filled with love and near perfect weather too.
I'll have details for you later.


Rita said...

We'll all see ya tomorrow. Like you said, I wish the old bridge was still there, we spent half our childhood on and under that bridge since it was right next to our property.

From what I heard, there are only two houses now occupied on "my" side of the bridge. Our old house and Cotterman's, which is now owned by the youngest "P" girls, who grew up across the street.

It'll all be bitter sweet, I'm sure.

Timothy Frazier said...

My younger brother and I made a similar trip home to Greenville, Texas last summer. It's only 75 miles from here, but it had been a good 18 years or so since I'd actually made time to stop in and take a look at our childhood neighborhood and homestead in the Ardis Heights area.

We were both shocked at how small the old house really was and the whole world just seemed to have shrunk to quarter scale in that area. Amazing how our memories are so different from reality as time goes by.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Makes me wistful for my old high school days in Ohio. I always planned for me and Dad to go back to Ohio, to visit the house we used to have on base at Wright Patterson AFB, the townhouse we had in Kettering.

But I simply waited and waited too long and now my father is gone. Rather heavy sigh.

Too late, too long.