Last week I met Anna for lunch (see my other blog, 12/10).
As usual, I was much too early. My old paper route territory was nearby, so I decided to give myself a self-guided tour of the old neighborhood.
When I was about 13 I delivered The Atlanta Journal to this area. It was mostly duplexes and apartment double levels, with four apartments per building, and the building looked something like a Monopoly Hotel, in dimensions. I think on three streets there were a total of about a dozen of these big 4-unit buildings.
I was in for a shock. Only a short time ago, the apartment buildings have been bull-dozed away. I read the local papers and I knew it was coming with their new urban renewal project, but so soon? I wished I had taken some pictures to re-affirm my memory of the area.
A corner apartment, now gone, was across the street from where I picked up my bundle of papers and folded them. In the apartment on the bottom left was the Godfrey family I remember. Mr. Godfrey was a slim sad looking creature with big glasses. Mrs. Godfrey was happier looking. She always had her kids near her. One time her sister was visiting and flirted around with a friend and I. She and her sister Mrs. Godfrey showed us some black and white photographs of themselves sitting on a grassy bank with their dresses pulled up above the knee. We wanted to see more and they teased us in saying they had more that showed more and someday they just might show them to us, they taunted.
At the time my father was the Chief of the Marietta Police. One day when he came home from work he told me Mr. Godfrey was found out in the woods dead. He had blew his head off with a shotgun.
The next day on my paper route I noticed a lot of cars in front of their apartment. And the next day the apartment was empty.
On up the street two apartment buildings and I remember collecting the weekly paper bill which was 47 cents from an apartment of a single lady in her 30s. I was in the downstairs hallway collecting, the hall front door leading outside was in bad shape, not able to shut, when WHOOSH!!! A blast of rainy wind blew in and blew the Miss's housecoat opened. I saw for the first time what men work for and die for, the love spot with a patch of pubic hair. I was in shock. I told my friends. They wanted to know all the details and exactly how "it looked. I even illustrated "it" for them on a sheet of Blue Horse notebook paper. Next collection day I had at least three, maybe four, friends standing with me when I knocked on her door to collect. One friend made sure the outside door from the hallway was good and opened if a blast of wind decided to pop itself in. No luck.
I had a simiular incident to happen on a house with small frame houses. Just about the same plot, a gush of wind parted her housecoat. This time I kept it to myself because it was embarrassing on the first on - I'm sure she knew what all those beady kids were waiting to see.
Sadly, not that it has anything to do with the neighborhood, but this lady's husband's brother owned a very successful machine shop in town. The machine shop owner committed suicide years later. So, I suppose there is a message there, success doesn't always mean happiness.
On my brief driving tour of memory lane I also noticed a lot of houses with a bit red OK painted on them. I suppose the red OK meant it is OK to bull-doze it. One was my where my grandmother and aunt lived at one time.
It seems to me that it would more time-wise efficient, instead of writing "OK" they would just put a big red "X", which would save paint and time. I guess as long as you don't do it in lamb's blood it should be OK.