Splendor That Once Was

In the last couple of months I have noticed, more than usual, how time keeps moving on.

This photo was taken last fall close to the Batesville Exit on I74 not to far from the Ohio border.  I noticed a couple of weeks ago that all three of these old, dilapidated buildings are gone.  Did they need to be torn down?  Probably, but it got me thinking about how things that we cherish sometimes just go away.  My parents home, which was always known for the bright red shutters and the big, well trimmed bushes, is just a big white “cracker box” these days.  No shutters, no shrubs…. nothing.

One of my fondest memories about that old house began in October 1961, about 3 months after we moved in.  My oldest brother, John was goofing off, throwing a metal pole around the back yard.  On one of his tosses the end of the pole poked a hole about the size of a quarter rignt into the brand new aluminum siding next to the kitchen door.  Dad became extremely angry, but instead of having the hole properly fixed, he just jammed an old dish rag into the hole to keep the water from running in when it rained.  Every year or two he would jam a new “old” rag into that hole.  When the house was sold at auction some 45 years later, that hole was still there with the remnants of the last dish ray hanging out of it.

li and BooI am an avid collector of postal First Day Covers.  This past weekend I started pulling them out of the boxes once again to build a database to keep track of them.  For those who may not know, FDCs are envelopes that are postmarked as “First Day of Issue” by the post office from which the new stamp is officially released.  The really good ones have nice “cachets,” which are artsy drawings and/or photos that are printed on the envelope, usually telling a story about the stamp.

As I was going through these boxes, I found a big box of stamped envelopes that my mother collected for me one about 1986 while in Florida for the winter.  These weren’t first day covers, but buried at the bottome of the shoebox were several letters that had been addressed to either “Grandpa” or “Grandma” from my two oldest boys.  They contained letters that were written, of course, in big block letters.
One of the letters was from Joshua, my middle son.  It said:

Dear Grandma….Thank you for the dollar.  I have lost another tooth.  Could you send another dollar please? Love Joshua.”

The second one from him was a request that Grandpa bring his oil next time he came.  I have no idea why.  My oldest son, Justin, wrote a letter about the cool camper that Grandpa parked in our drive way every time he came for a visit. It ended by saying:

“I want to have a camper just like my Grandpa’s.”

As he aged, however, he must have changed his mind.  He has a big Harley he found on Ebay, but last time I looked I didn’t see a camper in his driveway.

Time certainly does move on.  Houses we once cherished get sold and changed.  Barns that were once awesome become dilapidated and collapse.  Children who were fun to watch while writing letters to their grandparents simply insist on growing to adulthood and moving away.  Loved ones die, jobs disappear, photos fade, friends disappoint, hips start to hurt, eyes begin to fade, and memories get buried by our daily routines.

But once in awhile we get lucky.  We find something that stirs our memory and we get to behold all the good things one more time, not as a pile of boards, crumpled paper, or a “big white cracker box.” in the middle of the street.

We view them in the splendor that once was.

About clayandali
Trained as a research chemist, but have been involved with Entrepreneurship for over 30 years. I have been involved in photography for 41 years. Ali is a graduate of the Ohio Institute of Photography in Dayton, OH. She loves both portrait and landscape work.

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