Sunday, November 29, 2009

122 Dey Street, Hightstown, New Jersey

I was looking through some boxes of old papers in the basement and came across the copy of my birth certificate I got when we went on the family cruise back in 2003.  On it was listed the address where my parents were living at the time, the house I spent my first 3 years in.  The house where my brother and I (5 and 3 yrs old at the time) “cleaned” our new-born sisters diapers for my mom.  We cleaned them by wiping the mess off of them onto the wall paper.  Back when wallpaper was paper, not the easily cleanable vinyl it is now.  Yeah, mom & dad were pretty happy with us.

So birthhouseI decided to look up the old place on Google Maps.  As soon as I saw the picture from above, I knew it was the right place. Not exactly sure why, but I had a vague feeling that I remembered the curve at the end of the street and the woods down there.  I’m also pretty sure that big building across the street wasn’t there, I remember crossing the street to visit a really old lady (probably in her 50’s) ‘cause she had the best candy, out in the open, on her coffee birthhouseview table.  I remember being told years later that she was a Holocaust survivor.

It amazes me the images and feelings that these pictures brought back after some 40+ years.  Of course I’ll never be sure how much of them are things that I was told later in life, and how much I actually remember, but I have pictures in my head of that candy dish, with the rectangular brown candies in it, sitting on the coffee table.  And I remember wanting to go down the street and climb through the wrought iron fence to play in the woods.  And that I was Steve, and the other Steve in the neighborhood was “Steve-down-the-block”.  Which was ironic because in the neighborhood I moved into when I was 4 (to 14), there was “Big Steve” (older than me), “Little Steve”  (younger than me) and, once again, I was just “Steve”.

sartin

6 comments:

The Gearheads said...

No matter what happens, you'll always be big Steve to me.

A Paperback Writer said...

Cool.
I cannot experience a similar journey, seeing as I'm currently living in the house where I spent the first three years of my life.
But I"m glad I've never asked you to help me clean wallpaper....

Max said...

Nah, cleaning wallpaper isn't the problem. Just don't ask us to clean diapers.

A Paperback Writer said...

Fortunately, there are no diapers to clean at my house....

Max said...

Well, I bet we could borrow some from one of your neighbors...

Alex said...

I remember it well. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. This is where I made my first discovery of the world beyond my own backyard. Dad said I was following the moon, I thought it was the garbage truck. Either way I found myself in unfamiliar territory and through the kindness of strangers I got a ride home in a police car. That was the nicest ride in the back seat of a cop car I would ever have.