My crazy neighborhood growing up

I grew up on the northwest side of Chicago in the 1950s. I am now 68 years old and love telling anyone who will listen about my childhood. I was, needless to say, an interesting time.

I will be posting little vignettes of my life as a baby boomer in a wonderful urban environment.

Please remember, every story is 100% true. These stories and more will be in a book I will soon begin to write.

The Old Gray House

The old gray house stood alone and empty. Silent, without a trace of the screaming fights we heard coming from within in the past. The whole neighborhood was there, on the street, sidewalk, and alley. I stood with my circle of friends at the front of the crowd. Sometimes it was good to be six years old.

Then, they began to arrive. Workmen in dusty, dirty clothes. A serious look of determination on their faces. They began their work. Sawing, hammering, and prying. The work continued throughout the day and by evening it was done. They had cut the house in half, right down the middle.

Two days later more workman came, this time with trucks and jacks. We watched our eyes wide and mouths gaping as they slowly lifted the half house on a flatbed truck and hauled it away. The owner, whose name I have long since forgotten, stood alone, staring at what remained of his house — now completely open to the world. Curtains swaying in the breeze and water dripping from the cut pipes. Who would have thought that when his perpetually angry wife was awarded half the house in the divorce decree that she would take it so literally!

Vietnam vet, retired realtor, published author.