Sunday, March 8, 2015

A very, very fine house

Home is where one starts from.
– T.S. Eliot

Ed and I drove to Owensboro yesterday to help celebrate my brother-in-law's 65th birthday/retirement. Ed's sister, Gay, had planned a surprise party for Steve and we had strict instructions to arrive at 3 p.m. on the dot and park around the corner. 

Not wanting to be late, we left Farm Dover before noon and made it to Owensboro in time for a BBQ mutton sandwich at Old Hickory. Still we had an hour to kill before the party, so we drove around town. We checked out the new hotel and convention center; we stopped in the International Bluegrass Museum to purchase tickets for this summer's ROMP Bluegrass Festival; and then circled around town stopping to remember certain old houses and the people who lived in them. It has been 50 years since Ed left Owensboro, but I can tell he still loves his hometown. 

We pulled up to the corner of Daviess and 7th Streets and Ed pointed out a beautiful white frame house. It was the house he was born in (okay, he was actually born at the Owensboro-Daviess County Hospital, but this is where he lived until he was about seven). The house looked loved and well cared for and that was pleasing to both of us. 

Across the street is an empty lot, the site of the old Galloway Market, run by Galloway brothers Ira (Ed's dad) and Hugh (Ed's uncle). 

I'm sure the neighborhood looked a lot different when Ed was growing up there. I like the idea that his mom and dad worked just across the street and I imagine little Eddie Lee running back and forth between the house and market. The church they attended, Cumberland Presbyterian, was over on Ninth and Cedar Streets and and his 1st-grade school, Franklin Elementary, was within walking distance.

I recently read a blog post that notes how children's first homes are their introduction to architecture and they leave lasting impressions that influence how they view their world. I'm glad Ed grew up in this house. Architecturally, it has great "bones", there was (and still is) a pride of ownership, there were plenty of trees to climb and back alleys to explore, kids could walk or bike all over town, and play cowboy and indians with their cap pistols and (suction cup) bow and arrows outside until dark. 

Remember the house you grew up in. What was it like? What do you remember about it? How did it influence your view of the world?

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