My First Off-Campus House is Now A Parking Lot

19 September 2008

That’s right.  The house I moved into when I moved out of the dorm, is gone.  And the good news of the day is that we got official confirmation that the 2008 Dickens on the Strand Festival in Galveston, will go on!

I had an interesting morning involving an ice chest I’d forgotten to properly deal with upon arriving home.  Suffice it to say, it was unpleasant.  And it made me late to my breakfast date with Ronnie.  Fortunately, he was flexible, and after dealing with the business end of our meeting, we had lunch instead.  When I left his house, I got a wild hair to run through the TCU area.  I’d been thinking a good bit lately, about the little house on Frazier Avenue where Roger and I lived for so long.  I wanted to see if it was still standing, and I was curious about all the recent construction at TCU.  I enjoyed driving around, and the little house IS still there, as is the big tree in the front yard.  It looks a bit different—but behind the fence and the new hedge you can still see all the charm of the little 1911 railroad worker house.

The surprise came when I decided to look at the house I’d moved out of to move into that one.  Sadly, I don’t even remember the exact address of the house . . . three thousand-something, Cockrell Avenue.  I shared the house with a girlfriend and her fiance.  The year was 1983.  I had just taken my first full-time job, was taking eighteen hours at TCU and dancing on the drill team, and my daddy, 1500 miles away, had just had the first in a series of surgeries related to the cancer that took his life a few months later.  Oh, and my ex-boyfriend moved in two houses down the road! (That house is gone, too.)  I was crazy.  Any one of those things would have been enough stress to stop most people in their tracks.  I somehow managed to come through that period in my life with only a few scars.  However, I did withdraw from one class and take an incomplete in another, if I recall correctly. 

I guess the craziness was offset by the good times.  Independence.  A steady paycheck.  A place to live that allowed for owning a cat (I got away with it in the dorm for an entire semester!).  The beautiful, old, drafty house where my bedroom had two whole walls of windows.  The smell of Maria’s freshly baked bread every Saturday morning, and the sound of Andy picking at his guitar. 

What’s weird is that I hadn’t driven by there in years—I don’t know when the house went away.  But, I know that a parking lot exists now, where once stood an old house full of fun.  <sigh>  All in the name of progress.

About Dickens . . . In the past, I’ve spoken on the telephone with Molly Dannenmaier, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Galveston Historical Foundation.  She’s a delightful lady and I decided yesterday to send her an email. Within 24 hours she responded.  And I quote:

“Thank you so much for your message of concern. We have determined that we will hold Dickens on the Strand this year, even if it won’t be exactly the same as it would have been had Hurricane Ike not ripped through Galveston. We hope that you and your group will be able to participate as always.”

My email to her indicated that Kyle and I would like to help somehow.  This seems to be the time, I told her, when we should finally make our donation, and join the Galveston Historical Society.  Her response to that was:

” . . . there has been substantial damage to hundreds of properties in Galveston, including all our historic downtown properties and museums. We hope you might be able to make an online donation and encourage your friends to do so as well at www.galvestonhistory.org.”

So, we’ll be sending in our membership stuff, and I figured what better forum to encourage our friends to do the same, than The Daily KRuMB!

And Kelly . . . you were right to keep on sewing! ;-)

~MB