Wow, it been 32 years since I lived on Coolidge Ave. (click the picture for more detail). It was a dump when I lived there (1976) and it looks even worse today. I went to the elementary school located on the corner of Hudson and Bellevue. My first fight occurred on the grass near the corner. I won and it was actually pretty brutal as I recall, somebody paid me back pretty good 14 years later. I don’t think it was the same guy. We would watch movies (perhaps on Saturdays) at the school. I think I saw a Bad Bad Leroy Brown video, we loved that song. I walked to school by myself or with a friend, in the winter, in the snow, when I was 5. My sister is deaf, she went to a special school. I would stop at a store on the way and buy candy. Sometimes I would see and hear things I wasn’t suppose to. Adults didn’t seem to notice kids much. The school held a mock election, we got to vote in a box. I voted for Carter, I regret that now, thankfully it didn’t count. My best friend, Michael, lived on Palmer street. We knew all the cuss words and used them frequently. We played marbles a lot, cats eyes and steelies. His father was black and his mother was white. She was a nice women. I can still see his older brother hobbling out of his house one day, flesh hanging out of his knee, blood pouring and his father (a very large man) right behind him with a belt. The buckle tore open his knee. The ice cream man would come around. We loved the rocket ones, red white and blue I think. I had a bunch of money once, I bought everyone ice cream then we went to a garage sale a few blocks away. The only thing I remember buying was some blue dye. I had the dye for years. What did I need blue dye for? Swat was cool. Lucky Charms were magically delicious. We had a garage sale before I moved to raise money for my friend so he could come to Texas with us. I wrote prices on everything I owned. I didn’t sell much. I tried to sell my rabbit but cried. I couldn’t do it. I can see the driveway my cat got killed in. I had to go down with a shovel and put it in a bag. I remember grieving on the porch of our house and how the sun felt as it leaked through the large pine on to me. I remember the feeling of loss. We rented, the bottom of the house was occupied by two elderly woman. They had a poodle. They like to work on puzzles. I remember coming home and seeing our front door smashed in. Someone tried to break into our house. I don’t recall being scared much, but perhaps I was. I can remember a lot more but I won’t bore you. I don’t regret any of this, just interesting to ponder the road I have traveled.
Coolidge Ave. 1974 – 1976