Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Blackberry Chronicles

I’m picking up the pen to blog again. I’m working on a memoir of my old neighborhood Earlington, in Renton, Washington. The first rough draft I’ve worked on over several months is mostly about when we moved here in 1956 through 1962 and the Seattle World’s Fair. 

These rough sketches are mostly about being a kid 7 to 12 years old. I’m having issues with it, several false starts, and I’m way too self conscious. There’s no flow to the stories yet, but I’m determined to keep it going. My motivation to complete it has a lot to do with documenting it for my kids. Like, there was a time before the digital age, the information age, the globally connected age, and here’s a few stories.

Our home in Earlington, Renton WA. (circa 1958)

I’m going to be 71 in a few weeks, so I’m likely facing (MAI) mortality awareness issues. I’ve thought a lot about Family history this last year and continue to feel the pangs of not having asked them the many questions I wish I would have before they passed from our physical plane to the ethereal cosmos.

This blog's title, The Blackberry Chronicles, denotes a deep reflection back to those days of innocence, though I’ve been very inconsistent about maintaining its themes and direction. And, very much like me, it’s totally eclectic and scattered with randomness and rabbit hole adventures. 

Building our clubhouse in the back yard. (circa 1958)

It has nothing to do with Blackberry phones! Though my first smartphone was one of them. Across the street from our home was the Little Woods and to the West a few blocks or so was The Big Woods. Many adventures would take place here and the blackberry bushes (or as we kids referred to them back then) ‘the sticker bushes’ prevailed. Great places for secret camps!

Now I’m plotting a new (old) course and at least for a while I plan to use it to work through some ideas, memories and stories of these early days so my kids have a record.

Mom and her sisters, Auntie's Marjorie and Mildred. (circa 1957)

Our neighborhood was only a mile and a nice walk to downtown. It was rural in nature and feel. It was an old neighborhood on the west side of town. No sidewalks, open drainage ditches, a few street light bulbs on telephone poles here and there and no cul-de-sacs. It was a simple old grid and most every home had an alley with a garage out back. Our little niche was the area below Sunset Highway, also known as Dunlap Canyon Road, then later Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

I live on the East Hill now, heading up past City Hall on Benson Road.

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