Thursday, June 3, 2010
Close to Nowhere
Voices from the past
It’s been a nightmare trying to sell my mother-in-law’s house in Memphis, Tenn.
Near the old Sears Crosstown building, the neighborhood has become run-down, with many of the area businesses closing. There are a lot of vacant buildings and homes throughout what used to be a thriving neighborhood.
My mother-in-law, Jimmie, and I used to go to Sears Crosstown shopping frequently. I’d park in the garage and we’d go through the tunnel into the basement and go straight to the ‘Hot Nuts’ counter. That was my favorite place in the entire store.
We’d often go right across the street from Sears and have Krystals and a milkshake. Another favorite!
Pop and I lived about three quarters of a block down Snowden Street from his parents -- Jimmie and Clifford Jones. Pop worked at night and it was a rare afternoon that I didn’t walk down the street and spend the evening with them.
We’d sit out on the big front porch and visit with many of the neighbors most nights.
Ruth and Bobby West and their five children lived right next door to Jimmie and Clifford. They also had a couple of dogs -- Brutus, a German shepherd and quite possibly the best dog that ever lived, and a yellow dog that all these years later I can’t remember her name. I do remember I loved her.
Brutus was stolen from their yard and nearly two-three years later, turned up at Jimmie’s door. He’d come home to his favorite person in the world, John Paul Jones, Pop’s late brother. Ruth gave Brutus to Paul then.
Eventually, Ruth, Bobby and their children moved and the wonderful evenings on the big front porch just kinda didn’t happen anymore.
All these years, I’ve thought about Ruth and her daughter Michelle. Michelle was much younger than I, but we were fast friends. I loved that little girl!
Last Thursday, I drove Pop up to the Shelby County registrar’s office to finish up some paperwork, so he could sell the house.
Standing at the counter, trying not to beat our teenage granddaughters who were bored stiff, I kept looking at this one woman who was looking at me. Her name was Michelle. Finally, she said, ‘Linda Jones?’
It was my little Michelle! Of course, she was at work and busy, but I gave her all my phone numbers.
Tuesday morning Ruth called me.
We share such wonderful memories! I can’t wait to see her again. All we’ll need will be a big front porch!
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