The trip back in time
Wife Patti and yours truly have been together in one fashion or another for over 40 years. After watching a movie, I came up with an idea for a trip back in time. What if we took a day and visited all the places we have lived in during those 40+ years.
Without hesitation the “better half” began compiling a list. There were 13 former residences, including two in Syracuse while attending college back in the early 1970s. Maps were prepared, old photos collected. Routes were planned – and after much discussion – we abandoned the idea of doing them in time order. There would be too much back tracking.
We started in my early days attending Monroe Community College and living in two different apartments at a place called “College Complex”, now known as Rustic Village in Brighton. Once we found the apartments, pictures were taken and we moved along to other locations.
As we travelled to Syracuse, we evoked memories of the old days. Upon arriving at the Ivy Ridge Apartments, it was totally different. New siding, many additional buildings and a club house and pool were added. We had been among the first residents of the apartments some 40 years ago and the manager was awed at our recollections of what it looked like – well before she was even born. The following year in Syracuse, we moved into an old rented house on Westcott Street, a bit more central to student life. There, we had an assortment of odd roommates and equally odd times.
The old house was even older and the bright sunlight of memories was now shaded with 40 year-old grown, mature trees that simply did not exist when we lived there. The area had deteriorated to the point that we simply rolled down the window and snapped a picture while driving by. Something I insisted upon in several former City of Rochester residents.
We drove down once familiar routes in downtown Syracuse, many buildings either missing, or transformed in use. My old Newhouse College building was gone. Hey, wait a minute, it was brand new when I attended 40 years ago. It had been replaced by a new Newhouse building, churning out a new breed of journalists.
Back to more familiar ground in the Rochester area. Two places in which wehad lived – no longer existed. One was now a parking lot, the other, steep on the hills of Irondequoit Bay, had only a few of the 80+ steps remaining, leading into a weed-packed hillside.
As we travelled, memories swelled of good times, pizza places, early morning greasy spoons and late night bars. Old teachers, schoolmates and friends, some living, some dead, some unknown either way were remembered.
My childhood home, the one we bought from my mother and lived in for 5 years in the early days of marriage, seemed so much smaller than I remembered. It was like the time I returned to the school halls of long ago only to become claustrophobic in the once looming rooms. It also was a less than desirable house, needing repairs.
Late Monday afternoon and hundreds of miles later, the trip came to a close. I was shocked by some of the places and how they changed and fit into our lives.
We ended up going to diner at Michael’s Grill in Penfield, never lacking for conversation after all these years, all these places of the past.