The Way it Was: Memories of springtime in northeastern Ohio
#1 Mar 20, 2013
Nice piece. Although I'm not religious, St. Wenceslas was nice.
#2 Mar 21, 2013
I did not go to St. Wenceslas, but remember when on Sundays Cato and Arch streets became one way so they could handle all of the church traffic. Many side streets in the area were also filled with parked cars, especially on Easter. Also recall the big carnival they had in the summer many years ago with rides and games. So sad to see the place now boarded up and all of the good people who went there either deceased or living somewhere else. Thanks for the memory, John Stralka!
#3 Mar 22, 2013
I went back to the neighborhood I was born last year which is Fleet Avenue. Everything looks the same, but it's still different. Yes, some boarded up buildings.... some houses torn down on the street where I lived, but it's not unrecognizable.
I don't know why I went back. Just felt the need to go. So I woke up early one beautiful summer Sunday morning, and went to that street I grew up on until the age of 7. I parked my car across from my old house and sat there for about 20 minutes trying to remember what it was like living there.
Our beautiful church (St Stans) was on the next street. When we were kids, we could see the steeple where the bell was from the end of our driveway. Back then, they rung the bell pulling an old rope. It made a sound like no electronic gadget on newer churches could duplicate today.
So I drove to the church (which is still open) and people were exiting their vehicles to go to mass just like when I was a child. Not as many people, but people nevertheless.
You can go back to the buildings..... back to the neighborhood.... back to the school, but you can never relive the past. What changed there was the people. Without the type of people that used to live there, it's just never the same. It's like I've always said, no matter how nice the houses, street, businesses, churches, it's the neighbors that make the neighborhood.
#4 Apr 15, 2013
I was born in Cleveland and lived for my first five years off of Harvard on E153rd St. The house was double with my grandparents' owning it. They lived on the 2nd floor and my family on the main floor. It was one of those homed build around the 1920s' or 30s' with the porch out front and a smaller porch off the main floor master bedroom in the back. I remember the floor plan of the main floor pretty good. Last time I drove past it was about 5 years ago. I would have liked to park across the street too and look at it for a while and remissness but probably if I did that, I wouldn't be here now typing this, I'd be looking at the bottoms of grass roots out in a cemetery. lol! Wasn't it an easier time back then when we were kids? No worries just play all day.
#5 Apr 15, 2013
I felt a little retarded when I first did it, but later, was glad I did.
I remember reading history books in school where they highlighted Cleveland as an immigrant city and many homes were built just for them. On my old street, there were properties with two houses on the same lot. They used to cram those immigrants in there nice and tight just like the Mexicans do in Texas and other places in the south today.
Many of those homes in the old area were doubles and they are still for rent in spite of a shortage of apartments elsewhere. It coins the saying "It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there" LOL!
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