Tuesday, May 29, 2007

When I was a boy, in Michigan

This blog will probably mean nothing to anyone but myself. As I get older, I've felt I needed to put some of my memories to print, in some form or another. I would hate for them to be lost. I dedicate everything here to my daughter, Anneliese, as well as to my mother and father, who may not know it, but gave me a childhood I could only dream of.

The memories I'll share will probably match the season I'm writing in. It's now summer 2007.

Today, I live in El Paso, Texas. And, despite my love of the city and people of El Paso, there's a part of my soul that's still in the Great Lake State. My home. My Michigan. It will always be there. And when I've departed this earth, I hope that someone will return my ashes to the woods that I spent my boyhood.

I was born on October 19, 1968 at Mount Carmel Mercy Hospital in Detroit. Nine days before, the Detroit Tigers had come from behind to win the 1968 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Tigers would have a big impact on me during my boyhood.

Until I was three, I lived at 29799 Linden Avenue in Farmington, Michigan. Our home was a log house, way out of place in a growing town like Farmington. I was an only child, so my days were spent with my mom and dad. Upon my birth, my mother stopped working as an elementary school teacher to be with me. My father worked as a professor of art at Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti.

In early 1972, my father decided it would be a good idea for our family to move closer to his job. He met a designer who built modular homes, and bought a plot of land deep in the woods between the communities of Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and the small towns of Milan and Saline. In November, 1972, we moved into the house; still not completed, but definitely well underway. These are some of my most vivid early memories. I remember our house in Farmington, but our new home, was a study in contrast to the single-level log home. This house had five levels. It was extremely contemporary; cubes and juts mounted on top of more cubes and juts; all tucked deep into a forest of oak and maple.

The three of us lived at 6508 Crane Road until January, 1983, when we moved to El Paso. But 1977 through 1982 are the years that are truly burned into my boyhood memory. In those scant five years, when I think back, I feel I lived a lifetime.

My home. My Michigan.

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