Sunday, June 04, 2006

Unhappy homestead

My parents were the original owners of the place at 617 St. Charles Road in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn, Ill. We moved there in 1958 or 1959, and I called it home throughout my grade-school and junior-high years. Though we moved away in the fall of 1968 -- nearly 38 years ago! -- we have not forgotten the place. The ball games in the back yard. Mowing the lawn. Delivering newspapers. Watching the construction of houses on either side of us. The usual suburbia stuff.

Over the past decade or so, the house had fallen on hard times. At one point, perhaps still, the federal government had ownership.

On Saturday, during a trip back to the suburbs on other business, I decided to swing by the place. I would not have been surprised if it were demolished to make way for one of those "starter mansions" that people build these days.

My memories of the place are so far different from the scene today. I almost wished the place were razed.

2 comments:

erik hogstrom said...

Have you ever considered purchasing the place?

Brian Cooper said...

Actually, we did consider it -- but only briefly. Then the nostalgia gave way to reality. In that suburb, the lot probably will sell for more than my house in Dubuque! That's why the run-down status of the place is so puzzling. Plus, none of us live within three hours away, making it even less practical.