Found this merry-go-round in the old industrial district of Siverly. It was the only item in the tiny playground, where no children played. I used to play on one of these as kid. There was one in the playground near my nana’s house, and one up at Hasson Park too (or so I was told by the friendly old school crossing-guard who came over to chat with me… people around here are so curious about a person out shooting photos). Recalling those great childhood memories of playing with my cousins and my siblings after Sunday Brunch, it made me sad to think about how lively and prosperous this area once had been.
The house where we gathered together so many times, my Nana’s house, where my father and his family lived their lives was a shamble. There was trash strewn over the yard, which no longer smelled of lilac. The porch, once encompassed by glorious vines was ripped away, revealing a torn exterior and a gutted house. The grass and the garden replaced by muddy grounds where a sad/bored doberman and pit bull struggling against chains too short for adequate movement.
The playground is gone now. Where there once had been swings and slides, and monkey bars and two merry-go-rounds, there was now a weedy lot with broken basketball backboards with torn nets. The whole neighborhood was lost to the wreckage of apathy, poverty and neglect.
Its not just my hometown, its everywhere. That we lose this semblance of who we are by forgetting those places we’ve been.
When I see an old abandoned house, I always try to imagine the lives that once inhabited these places. These people are gone, but the home remains.
I think I would prefer always that we rehabilitate old houses, rather than build new ones. That we maintain what we have, that we show respect and care for the property we have. I’ll never understand the apathy, nor forget where I have been.