Monday, July 11, 2011

Time travel

The other day I wrote about being homesick. Often, when I feel that way, I jump on the magic time machine called the Internet and go visit places where I've lived.

Recently I traveled through Google Maps to visit the home I grew up in. The house is no longer there, having been demolished in the early '60s to allow for expansion of the Southwest Missouri State Teachers College campus, the southeast corner of which used to be diagonally across the street from our home. Through Google Maps' street view I was able to stand on what would have been the very end of our driveway and look down the brick street I had crossed so many times in my youth. The multi-story building on the left-hand side of the street didn't exist back then, and instead of the modern buildings pictured on the right, there were stately, two-story houses with pretty lawns held back by retaining walls.

We used to sit at the top of the driveway in our red Radio Flyer wagon, its handle turned backward to use as a steering device, then push off and roll downhill, turning at the last minute onto the sidewalk. If we'd ever missed a turn, we would have wound up rolling into the street near the bottom right of this picture.

In the photo below you can see the driveway and the wagon. I'm the curly-permed blonde in the middle, holding my baby cousin Gary, and that's my sister, Judy, sitting on the ground in front. The other girls were neighborhood playmates.

After leaving Google Maps, I went to the MSU website and took a virtual tour of the campus. There are so many new buildings there now, but some of the ones I remember are still standing. I paused the tour video long enough to take a screen-cap of one of those older buildings:

There was a playground in front of this building in the early-1940s for use by children who attended the college-sponsored elementary school, Greenwood. Mother used to take us to play there sometimes when school wasn't in session. The photo below shows Mother with me at the top of the seesaw (which we called a teeter-totter in those days).

I love how today's technology allows us to travel across miles and years to walk down Memory Lane.

Incidentally (and apropos of nothing), I don't know who the little boy was in that last photo, but apparently I liked him:


  1. You visit the past. I visit places I've always wanted to go but can't afford!

  2. Holly, it's cost-effective to travel this way, wherever we choose to go.

  3. This makes me long for warm summer days when I was a kid. Those long days where anything could happen, and often did. I had such anticipation every day...

    I love the last photo. It's just great, Linda!

  4. Duly Inspired, that was in the days before I had ALL these ISSUES--lol.

    Marion, summers aren't as exciting now that we're grown, are they? Even a watermelon was a really big deal back then.

  5. aww, the last one is precious! I still have my Radio Flyer (technically it's all of us kids', but I was the last one to use it, and I painted it blue since it was beat up and rusty. I still use it to haul stuff-and one of these days I'll give in to the temptation to sit in it and push myself along with one foot hanging out and steering with the handle. ;-)

  6. Janet, I've often wished I still had a wagon to haul things. Seems like it would be much easier than a wheelbarrow.

  7. oh yes, much easier-I have a big-ass wheelbarrow that my dad had forever, but it's awkward. You can always get a wagon, ya know!


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