Tuesday, June 14, 2011
My Favorite Places, Part #1
Sam and I worked together, probably for the last time this baseball season(but you never know), at Celina last night. He took the plate and I had the bases in a well played contest between the Junior ACME Bulldogs and their counterparts from Convoy Crestview...the Crestview Knights remained undefeated, scoring 4 in the 6th inning for a come-from-behind 5-3 win. Sam is back at Celina tonight while I travel to Rockford for a Parkway Panther JA game.
My Favorite Towns, Places, Locations, etc Part #1
I got to reminiscing the other day, not only about the places I have lived, but the places I have visited, even for a short while. In my 62 years they have been varied at the seasonal temperatures this Spring...some good, some bad, some not really either, but all were interesting in their own way.
Take for instance Celina....where I hang my hat these days. I have always held a love, hate, relationship with this town of 11,000, situated on Grand Lake. Visiting here for the first time in the Summer of 1960, then moving with the family of mom, dad, Mike, Marty, and 4 month old Kelly, here in October 1962...right at the peak of the Cuban Missile Crisis. So, off and on, for almost 50 years, Celina has been my home. Off when I left for the Air Force and when the family moved to the south part of the lake to Montezuma for my High School Years. Off again for the Air Force, back, then off to Upstate New York...back again for another 4 years, before Patricia and I headed to northern Wisconsin, Kokomo, Indiana, and Dodge City, Kansas...finally chucking the moving around world of Radio News, and settling on Coldwater Creek a couple miles south of Celina in late 1980....and moving into town again in 1990, and finally buying our current home in 1995. The one thing about Celina, no matter where I lived, I could always count on returning here, and calling it home...some of the best days of my life have been spent in and around Celina, likewise, some of the worst.
I watch as our once middle class neighborhood gets infested by drug dealing rental units at one doorstep, and white trash, at the other...Celina is changing, not all for the better that is for sure, but despite it all, I will probably remain....too old to move, and a bit too stubborn to let the interloping trash drive me out. Our first house was purchased in this neighborhood in 1974...I moved back into it in 95, and I'll be damned if I will move out...unless somebody wants to give me twice what our old Church Parsonage is worth...then, perhaps, I can be bought!
Which is exactly what Venice and South Venice, Florida were when we arrived in the summer of 1954. We made South Venice, then Venice, our homes for nearly a decade. Venice was a small town of just over 1000, when we arrived, a population which would "explode" during the winter months, when the Midwestern, and Eastern folks would come down for the Winter...most of the population were transplants from those locations. today, nearly 60 years later, the population has exploded year around, and you can hardly tell where south Venice starts and where Sarasota begins some 23 miles to the north. Venice, while I still enjoy visiting and vacationing there, is not the town of my youth...it is not likely I would move back there. For one, it's too crowded, too expensive, and frankly, too damn hot 9 months out of the year.
So there are my three "Home Towns"...Celina and Scott, Ohio, and Venice, Florida....next I will look at the places I have lived at for a short time or visited, and list with photos, my favorites....I believe it will be a long list, which I have not even began to think hard about yet.