Was it Thomas Wolfe who said in Look Homeward Angel “you can’t go home again”? My friend Eileen and I found that you can return and enjoy the memories of youth.
Eileen is visiting from Israel (she was born and lived in Brooklyn until the early 70’s) and is staying with me until she heads to Seattle to be with her two children and 6 grandchildren. In 1971, my wife Donna and I spent a summer with her in Herzlia, Israel.
Last Tuesday was a rainy stormy day. We decided to head into Brooklyn to go to the Brooklyn Museum. Of course it was closed…not sure why museums close on a Tuesday…so we headed to Park Slope for some hummus, baba ganoush, and other middle eastern delights. I think I’ve had hummus every day now since she’s been here…ok, maybe not every day…It’s good thing I love it!
Since the weather was still not cooperating we decided to go back to the old neighborhoods where we grew up. I grew up in the Midwood section of Brooklyn about two blocks from Brooklyn College. My building, 855 East 19th Street, is still standing (see picture above) and looks as I remember it did 50 years ago. The street’s the same, the houses look the same…looks like they were never touched. East 19th was a great block to grow up on. There were lots of kids (about 10 lived in my building alone) so we were outside playing all the time…We used to play punchball and stick ball on the street. The manhole cover was home plate…hitting a ball over the ‘cut’…the railroad tracks that cut the street in half was a home run. Great memories for me.
Eileen grew up in the Sheepshead Bay area of Brooklyn. She also lived in an apartment building with lots of other kids. In fact, she’s having a reunion today with 5 of those ‘kids’ in a restaurant in Sheepshead Bay. Eileen has often gone back to Bragg Street. Her friend Sheila still lives in the same apartment that she grew up in.
Not sure if there’s really a point to this post, but it was fun returning home again.